Food Confusion + Body LOVE
Food Confusion: noun The frustration and utter "what-the-duckness" we feel in relation to the sea of controversial information out there on the interwebs and in the world at large re: good food, bad food, diet fads, and everything in between.
The surprising truth is that health is more in your mind than it is on your plate.
Food confusion results from falling down the rabbit hole of "health marketing," which is usually diet culture in disguise, and looking for solutions to our body woes from external cues rather than learning to trust our own bodies.
Yes, we can eat too much fast food, ice cream, cake, chips, and soda. We can overload our bodies with too much food, ending up stuffed and lethargic. We can party too hard, binge too many shows on Netflix in succession, and fail to drink enough water.
But the truth is, no ONE of those things is going to make you an unhealthy person. Trying to toss ALL of your habits in one fell swoop is the way to:
- experience overwhelm which leads to "this is too much, I'm over it; things weren't so bad anyway"
- feel like your life is BORING if you swap out all the things you love with new things that you aren't necessarily excited about, life gets a little less fun)
- rebound HARD the all or nothing mentality is a sure way to end up doing ALL the perfect things, none of the enJOYable things, and realizing you went from dating Al Bundy to Ted Bundy, and, while neither is the sweet spot, Al is a lot less dangerous than Ted. (Ted rhymes with Ed which is the acronym for eating disorders, by the way).
This applies to me, too. I used to experience an overwhelming amount of food confusion, especially when studying Integrative Nutrition. It turns out that basically all foods are equally trying to kill us AND the antidote to the things that are going to kill us.
This is what fueled my orthorexia nervosa brand of an eating disorder. Fearful of foods that I was unsure of (is it gonna kill me... or is it the best thing ever?... aka soy), I had a very short list of foods that were acceptable, and a VERY long list of foods that were big ol' NOs.
Life today? Well, I sipped on a giant margarita by the pool all day on Sunday, and, as one may expect, Monday morning I didn't feel my BEST. But you know what? I had ducking FUN on Sunday, playing boardgames and floating in the pool, and there wasn't even one tiny ounce of me that regretted my choices. I downed some water, went for a fun run (meaning I ran in a way that FELT good rather than a punishing/grueling run), and came back to my yoga mat for a little stretch. I didn't get mad at myself or say "NO MARGARITAS EVER AGAIN."
This is my new normal. The normal that I don't have to TRY for anymore. It used to feel like my Everest.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Health doesn't mean eating only perfect foods all the time.
Health doesn't mean trading in the things you love for a straight diet of cardboard and carrots without butter or salt.
The World Health Organization defines health as:
a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
This is why I share a version of health that is based on three key areas: yoga, food, and soul.
My own brand of activism is about reducing the amount of time women spend on perfecting their food and bodies and encouraging more time spent in each woman discovering and employing her divine purpose.
Sometimes I ponder how grateful I am to live in a time and a place where I’ve had the luxury of food confusion/obsession with food and my body being a problem. Not to minimize that pain (trust me, I’m intimately familiar with it; so much so that I’ve penned a whole book on it), but rather to point to the gratitude in the situation. After all, the greatest prayer is “thank you.”
This story. This pain. This problem simply wouldn’t be the case if I’d been born in a place or a time where survival was my only focus.
We can choose to obsess about whatever the duck we want. The excess pounds. The imperfections. The cellulite. The perfect foods. The inches gained or lost. The number on the scale. The cut of our cheekbones or the roundness of our bellies.
We can also choose to live the lives that we’ve been given FULLY, regardless of our outward reflection.
Is it possible to live with the aspiration of a body that is as strong and able and healthy as yours is TODAY? It’s the only body you have right now.
Body positivity isn’t a meme or an aspiration (it CAN be those things, in part; but alone they’re quite shallow). It’s accepting what you’ve got and learning to say thank you for what it is today.
This is a subject we're digging into in Glowing Goddess Guru Beast Mode. Check it.
Cause suffering is rooted in the wanting things to be different than they are. Different than they are today.
Accept how things are today.
Tomorrow is another day.
(Didn’t mean to quote Scarlett O’Hara... but some quotes are dug deep into your very soul, I suppose.)
p.s. My friend Elyse Sparkes who I interviewed a couple weeks ago about finding joy in movement is offering her Body Mind Bundle Program (this girl GETS true health). You CAN witness massive upgrades in your physical body, your mental clarity, and your faith in what you can accomplish in just 30 min (or less) a day. Elyse shows you how in her Body Mind Bundle program. All the deets are here. *PLUS* All my peeps are getting a little discount! Use this code: BRITTANY10 at checkout to get $10 off!