Food with a side of guilt

It’s Wednesday. Or What I ate Wednesday for a large part of the blog world but I won’t play along today. Rather, we’ll talking about something that’s been making me a little sad in some of these posts. Again, I might be interpreting something others don’t see into these observations – in that case I will blame 12th grade German classes in school.

Let's talk

Why do we try to explain eating that piece of chocolate by stating we worked out extra hard that day and ‘deserved it’. Or when did we start feeling like we had to state a certain day shown was “rather carb-heavy” or “more indulgent day than usual”? Or making a point that we balanced out that piece of cake with plenty of vegetables at dinner? Or state that yes, we ate a lot but we also exercised for this and that long? Don’t hashtag your meals #cheat, #YOLO or #sorrynotsorry or state that you “don’t eat that way every day”. Yes, it’s called the healthy living blog world. But healthy isn’t about eating ‘clean’ all day every day. It’s not about eating vegetables at every meal. Not even about eating vegetables every day if you don’t feel them.

When I stumble upon your WIAW I don’t analyze your choices and categorize you: “glutton!”, “how can she eat grains for every meal?”, “geee, that’s a boatload of almond butter”. No. Rather, I – and I’ll make the advanced guess this is true for the majority of readers – am curious about seeing different people’s days of food. Actually, I might find you a little more sympathetic if you have a huge sweet tooth and heavy hand on the nut butter, too. Choose the foods you genuinely enjoy eating and that make you feel good. Again, I might be more sensitive here but I wonder if these defending statements hide an insecurity or shame for the choices these people made.

Vapiano

What would be the worst outcome? Strangers assuming you had a deep love for pizza, pasta or pie if that’s what you happen to have enjoyed on a given day? That doesn’t sound too awful to me and again: I don’t think people judge like this. Or if they do: never mind because: Those who mind don’t matter. Those who matter don’t mind. Just ask yourself how you read food posts. Do you make quick assumptions about people solely based on the food shown? I’d guess not. The same should go for everyday ‘real’ life. Aside from the fact nobody chooses their friends based on their food choices: Would we be more attracted to the girl ordering the salad with the dressing on the side or nothing [yes, that was me for too long] while you want to get pizza? Or the one who’s up for a spontaneous meal, doesn’t stress about macros and how much she worked out on a given day?**

** Please note that once again, I’m not shaming anybody for choosing a certain diet or lifestyle. My point are choices or statements coming – consciously or unconsciously –  from a place of guilt or shame.

eating out_Dean and David_curry_vegan

Let’s make more room to talk just about the food, not the macros. Tell me all about the deliciousness on your plate [by the way: the above plate was a vegan curry at Dean & David’s]. What I ate Wednesday: not about comparison [with yourself or others], judgement, restriction or guilt. All about enjoyment in food. It’s hard not to compare or push aside food guilt when one and a half million articles offering ‘healthy’ advice tell you to feel bad about carbs/fat/sugar. But we can make a start in stopping to explain our choices. It tastes fantastic and makes you feel good? It’s good for you. Because a free and happy mind can enjoy life more.

 

Happiness-inducing today:Seeing one etting one of the cutest puppies on my walk home and then spontaneously petting it. I’m not usually one to do that because you never know if the owners like it but I couldn’t resist. It definitely made me smile.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Your thoughts on defnding food choices: Is it something you’ve noticed before? Do you find yourself justifying meals or treats through exercise or else? Let me know whatever comes to your mind on the topic.

10 thoughts on “Food with a side of guilt

  1. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says:

    I love this and I hope this is where the trend is going. I was actually thinking about it as I was putting my post together for today. Toast for breakfast, pasta for lunch, quesdadilla for dinner? It might not sound like a “healthy living” day of meals but it’s what I ate and it’s EXACTLY what I was craving. Sometimes I feel like every day is supposed to contain a green smoothie and #paleo dinners haha. But I hope the blog world starts to embrace more “normal” behaviors 🙂

  2. Ellie says:

    I always assume that WIAW are just that, one day out of a week, out of a month. I know I eat a lot of the same food, but sometimes I have an extra brownie or more veggies not because I worked harder that day, but because it was offered or I had things going bad in my fridge. When I add a #sorrynotsorry or #noshame hastag, it’s usually because I’m eating something other people would think was gross or weird (candy corn m&ms anyone?), not because it’s high calorie.
    Great post, very thought provoking.

  3. Kate Bennett says:

    Oh my gosh, yes. I am always saying, just eat it and enjoy it! I cringe when I’m out with friends and they say “I will splurge now and not eat dinner” or “I’m being a fatty”. It’s amazing to me that they don’t recognized that as disorder thoughts!

  4. Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says:

    I used to be REALLY defensive about my food choices and would be upset if someone commented about my food- even in a neutral tone. I’ve had to relearn what it means to people who have never had an eating disorder. They don’t intend for it to set the way my brain takes it. Nowadays, I refrain from commenting at all about people’s food in real life. I like WIAW, but I also understand the hesitancy some people have.

    Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂

  5. madelyn says:

    YES! I love reading WIAW’s for the food ideas and seeing other people’s creativity with their meals, not to see macros and whatnot!
    And i agree entirely, we don’t need to be justifying each bite we take. Having a brownie does not mean you must say #balance, but maybe you’re having a brownie because i don’t know..you want one?!
    Love your insight here! And meals look delicious-as always 🙂

  6. Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says:

    YES! Yes, yes yes. It definitely drives me crazy (and I’m sure I’ve done it myself without realizing) that people feel the need to justify or explain food. Hell, if you wanted to eat a whole pint of ice cream, more power to you, go for it. Why should my opinion matter?!

  7. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    I think people feel the need to justify their food choices because of how much judgment is out there. It’s no one’s place to comment on the way someone else eats, but [some] people feel the need to do it anyways… and I think a lot of that comes from people’s own insecurity in their food choices or relationship with food. I used to be super analytical of the way other people ate when I was struggling with my ED, but the further away from it I got, the less I started to care.

  8. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    I understand exactly what you’re saying. I struggle with reading a lot of the WIAW posts because of comments like you describe. It bothers me deeply, and in a perfect world, I would skip these posts, but so long as I’m a helping host, I feel like it’s my obligation to read the blog, comment and acknowledge the link up. Honestly, it’s hard and hurts me when people say these things, so I try extra hard to put all my meals out there, without any sort of explanation, shame, or judgment. Ya know, that whole lead by example business. I feel like a tiny little minnow in a sea of other creatures though. Le sigh.

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