“It’s my body and I’ll eat what I want.”
That wasn’t always my mantra. For all you active followers in my journey here on Dauntless, I’m sure by now you know food and I have not always had the best “relationship.” In fact, “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to cover it. But, since starting this journey of mine (going on two months now!) I’d like to say we are finally becoming “friends” once more. 🙂
While doing research for an essay I’m currently working on, I found a site called Thank Your Body. It’s dedicated to helping people achieve healthy living by establishing healthy lifestyle habits. One article in particular (linked here) discusses the effects of stress on one’s health. I’m not talking about every day life stresses, like an upcoming interview, the stress of paying bills, or emotional stress. Some of this stress is natural and as author Robin Konie also notes, a little stress can actually be good for us. Here, I’m talking about food stress: worrying over what to eat, constant anxiety over trying to be “healthy” and eat “clean.” (Note the quotations because what is healthy and clean if not a constructed definition by today’s health and diet industry?) This type of stress isn’t good for us and it’s exactly what I let dictate my life for years.
I encourage you all to read her article. If I could copy and paste the entire thing below, I would. Still, let me bring a few notes to your attention…
Robin Konie shares her own journey towards health, and much like mine, it hasn’t been easy. “I’ve been there” she says. “I remember the time… The day when I feared eating anything because there was research to show that everything is bad for you.”
I’ve been there, too. Don’t eat this! Carbs are bad! we’re told. Stay away from sugar and eat a serving of veggies at every meal. Talk about tough standards to meet. In reality, she adds, “some of the most strongly held ‘truths’ in the health world are the very ones doing a lot of damage to our bodies.”
Stressing over food and what to eat and how much etc. etc. was practically killing my body, wreaking havoc on my metabolism, and keeping me from enjoying life. (In Konie’s article, be sure to look at the list of symptoms this type of stress and metabolic disorder can induce.)
“Some of the most strongly held ‘truths’ in the health world are the very ones doing a lot of damage to our bodies.” -Konie
Now, since deciding to stop worrying about food (and that’s much harder than it sounds) I feel like a whole new person. I’m sleeping better, I’m listening to my body, and when I’m hungry – I eat! I try to take a few deep breaths every day and remember to smile. I’ll be honest though, some days are better than others. Some days I still find myself returning to past habits and fears, stressing over what to eat if I go out or wondering how I’m going to fit the ‘recommended’ number of vegetables in that day. Like I’ve said though, life’s a journey. It’s a process and every day is a new day.
Ultimately, as I’ve come to realize, it’s my body. It’s my journey, my metabolism, my life and my responsibility. Yes I need to take care of and eat right. At the same time, I need to enjoy life and live a little.
Take it from me and don’t live in fear of food, worried over what to eat to be “healthy” or “clean.” You know your body better than any health/diet “professional,” trying to prove or promise what’s good and what’s not. The best way to actually be healthy (and happy) is to start listening to your own body. Be yourself. ♥
Thank You: Thank you Robin Konie, for your terrific insight and for sharing your own journey in this article. I look forward to reading more articles on thankyourbody.com and I encourage you all to check it out, too!