Sugar-free, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, caffeine-free, fat-free, GMO-free, carb-free, soy-free, salt-free.
Those all sound not only fun-free but mental-sanity-free. And sure, there are allergies and intolerances to certain foods. However, eliminating foods to be hip wid it or in hopes to lose weight is harmful. It’s also unsustainable.
Dieting is one of the top risk factors for developing an eating disorder. It makes sense too. Eating clean (aka dieting) starts off harmless, slowly eliminating one food after another. Then, it becomes about needing control that leads to potential obsessive thoughts about food/weight/appearance/calories. And because dieting decreases our bodies’ ability to produce leptin (an appetite-suppressing hormone) any time an off-limits food is presented we are on the brink of a binge. Overeating leads to negative physical and emotional feelings and a vow to never eat “bad” foods again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It’s hard to know what normal eating even looks like in today’s world. Don’t worry, I got you. Normal eating is a lot of things like…
Normal eating is about balancing the big picture. Some brush strokes are big, some are small, some are sloppy, and some are thoughtful. At the end you have a beautiful painting. Each painting turns out different, but each is wonderful. Food choices are the brush strokes and your body is the big picture. Not every meal or snack needs to be meal prepped and free of sugar and Instagram worthy. And not every body is meant to be thin and toned with a perfect BMI. That’d be boring. Body diversity (and all diversity for that matter) is really special.
Let’s try being obsessed-with-our-weight-free rather than sugar-free. It sounds good to me.
How? Throw away your scale. Delete MyFitnessPal. And toss out that Whole30 cookbook. And while you’re at it, try ditching Instagram for a day or two because studies show a harmful correlation between social media and body image. You are not your body, you’re a somebody. A somebody that is beautiful, strong, capable, tough, and smart.