I Should Be Grateful to Have A Relationship with Food

One of my greatest bug bears of this year has been the response (good and bad) to diet culture.

I may not be ending 2019 where I intended to be (a different country to start with!) but I have been on a significant journey of self discovery.

I always intended to have a steady relationship with food and a balanced approach to nutrition, but not for one second did I think I’d end up in a such a funky mindset with food.

It is my fault to a certain extent by being persuaded by some uneducated plonkers on the internet, but I also blame the lack of gratitude the western world has for food.

It is so easy to forget that in some parts of the world they do not have access to food and clean water. Meanwhile we are too busy worrying about having too small a bum and not a flat enough stomach and taking this out on our relationship with the contents of our shopping trolley.

Now I’m not talking about people with eating disorders… that’s a whole different kettle of fish. But I’m talking about the influencers telling us to ditch one type of food and instead spend our money on something else that is fashionable at that very moment in time. Especially when it is driven by their financial gain. Cue #cyonidegate

Yesterday I complied fully with my no snacking/sit at the table rules and for something so simple it was so empowering. I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted but it must fall within breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I was too full I could have whatever I’d wanted at the next meal.

It felt like such a grounded day with food. I did not overeat, I felt in control and I felt grateful that I had a fridge full of food to choose from.

I appreciate its only one day but the experience was so much more rewarding that seeing a number drop on the scales. My mind has become so consumed with the thought of foods (and my bank balance has become so empty signing up to every dieting plan there is) that it was nice to have a break.

Today I took the plunge and didn’t weigh out my breakfast. Scary stuff!

I appreciate it might sound a bit whacky to be ‘grateful’, but being introduced to daily gratitude was a life changing thing for me. At the time I was unemployed, looking at returning to live with my parents and it was putting a huge strain on my relationships. Being able to focus on the good in my life at the point stopped me from going under and 12 months later we are back on track.

I won’t let diet culture and social media influence me anymore. I am not against weight loss – I’m on a mission to shave a few inches off myself. But nor will I succumb to the games of diet culture and/or anti diet culture.

So there we have it! I’ll get off my soap box now!

Welcome to Simple Healthy Living

You should probably know that as I type this I am lying on the sofa in my PJs, with Tim (my husband) rubbing my feet and a tub of Cadbury’s Minitature Heroes by my side. Bliss right?

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

On the flip side I’m also lying on the sofa with a sore big toe, a pending cold, controlled epilepsy, gallbladder-less, yeast intolerant and I have some very sore muscles from being in quite a sedentary job and not doing much exercise. I’m also lying on said sofa with approximately 40% body fat and with borderline low bone density.

And this my friends, is the inspiration for setting up Simple Healthy Living. I have spent the past (almost) 20 years on endless diets (with only some success) and have found that the more information I gather on weight loss, the more confusing it becomes. Well, the basics aren’t confusing – calories in versus calories out and strength training.

Social media would have you believe that it’s anything but calories in versus calories out. It’s food type, body type, exercise type, hormonal imbalances, food addiction, intermittent fasting, low calorie, high calorie, in the middle calorie. Basically anything but a calorie deficit that aids weight loss.

Yet every diet group and social media influencer drives a hard sales pitch with great success and as a result I have spent the last 18 months spiralling into the deepest pits of diet culture hell.

And quite frankly, I’ve had enough.

I’m bored of spending money on diet plans, bored of being a sheep and most importantly bored of dieting.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m also wary of the Health At Every Size movement and think that in due course it will come back to bite certain individuals on their derriere. But that’s a discussion for another time.

The biggest focus on this website will be on the word ‘simple’. I need to reduce my body fat (I’m fortunate that I’m not overly fussed about the numbers on the scales), I need to build my strength, I need to manage my stress and I need to introduce more hobbies into my life.

I don’t want to ‘eat clean’ all the time – moderation is definitely key. There’s room for both kale and cookies here (although I’m not mad for a cookie but you know what I mean!).

So please, take a seat, sit back and relax and enjoy the simplicity!