Intuitive Eating

I’ve spent a good portion of my Thanksgiving Break, not necessarily catching up on homework but powering through this book, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. If only I’d have discovered this book at 16!

I don’t really feel like getting into it but it’s been a fascinating journey, to say the least. Fascinating, and enlightening.

It’s inspired me to 1. Stop posting about food— probably, no one cares, and definitely, it’s not helping me form a healthier relationship with food. Exceptions to this might be meals I cook up that I’m especially proud of and that happen to be particularly photogenic. Like tonight’s dinner, for example 🙂

 Sweet potato burger on whole grain flax toast, with caramelized onions, kale, and homemade hummus. Anyway, onto

2. Stop posting about exercise, with the exception of my running log, which I will maintain simply to track my progress because I’m interested, and which I will probably keep to the basics, including only major milestones or moments of actual interest. What I do or do not eat before or after is probably of little interest and definitely not making me feel better about life.

3. Up my carbohydrate intake– I know I just said that I will stop posting about food, but I realize that I have been neurotically obsessed with my carbohydrate intake– I even ate a black bean burger the other day, and ate it with a fork, because I was afraid of the carbohydrates in the bun.

Anyway, point being, if I’m going to be running, guess what? I’m going to need more carbohydrates. According to a chart in this book, two miles of running requires approximately three slices of bread– whether or not that’s accurate for my body type, I have been craving carbs more since I’ve been running more, and I need to honor those cravings, not suppress them. I’m actually harming my metabolism and muscle-forming process by restricting them!

Like I said, the book is too good and too long to go into at this point, but I’m going to post the “Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights” so it’s quick and accessible for me.

1. You have the right to savor your meal, without cajoling or judgment, and without discussion of calories eaten or the amount of exercise needed to burn off said calories. 

This means taking time out of the day to eat. More on my distaste for the pace of life expected for adults in this country later……

2. You have the right to enjoy second servings without apology.

3. You have the right to honor your fullness, even if that means saying “no, thank you,” without explanation, to dessert or a second helping of food. 

This will be especially important for me to remember when I’m visiting my grandparents next month…..I, for a long period of my life, blamed my grandmother for my chronically distorted relationship with food. More on that later!

4. You have the right to stick to your original answer of “no,” even if you are asked multiple times. Just calmly and politely repeat, “No, thank you, really.” 

Love how they thought to repeat this right 🙂

5. It is not your responsibility to make someone happy by overeating, even if it took hours to prepare a specialty dish.

Good for couples 🙂

6. You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast (or cereal for dinner!), regardless of judgmental comments or rolled eyes.

am in control of the bacon, as my house mate joked the other day. I had cereal drizzled with my home made walnut butter for lunch today, and a brownie to boot. Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be posting about food anymore, but that just goes to show you. Eat what you want when you want it, and fuck arbitrary societal cues 🙂

While I’m at it, I might as well list out the Ten Principles of Intuitive Eating, also for easy access.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace With Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness 

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor 

7. Cope With Your Emotions Without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise– Feel the Difference (between calorie burning and feeling good)

10. Honor Your HealthGentle Nutrition

You know, I may or may not walk through my own steps on this blog. But that would contradict my previous statement to stop posting about food. We’ll see.

Back to reading this book, then off work at 9:30, then home to dinner, homework, and sleep!


Minding Your Body-Image History

As I highlighted earlier, body-image has been on my mind lately. Not only because of group, though that is a reinforcing factor, but because my psyche seems to naturally be flocking in that direction (the healthy direction.) Every week, we discuss a particular topic, and our group facilitator emails us all supplementary readings to peruse (or not peruse) at our leisure. This week, she included a body-image history survey complete with affirmations. Perhaps it seems cheesy or unnecessary, but I’m going to fill it out for the world to hear (or not hear) because I think it will be a healthy thing for me to do and what else would I be doing while getting paid to sit in a room? (homework…cough) Going to throw out a trigger warning, just to be on the safe side, but here goes!

Examine your body-image history. Understanding your past can help you understand how your body image, or your mental picture of yourself, developed and why it is so difficult to accept. Fill in the blanks below.

As a child, I felt indifferent about my body. I described my body with words like: skinny, thin, lanky, scrawny, stick like, flat-chested, small, tiny, pot bellied, big stomach, little, slim, etc. 

As a teen, I felt self-concious about my body. I described my body with words like: chubby, thin, skinny, fat, huge, obese, pregnant, lanky, big stomach, skinny legs, flat-chested, side fat, back fat, overweight, fat stomach, pot bellied, small, ginormous, tall, flat butt, etc. 

As a young adult, I felt uncomfortable about my body. I described my body with words like: out of shape, fat, chubby, huge, obese, pregnant, short-waisted, jiggly, tall, leggy, small-breasted, curvy, stick-like, thin, ginormous, pig, hippo, overweight, weak, unfit, waifish, scrawny, etc. 

As an adult, I felt okay about my body. I described my body with words like:  leggy, medium-framed, fat, huge, thin, average, out of shape, flabby, curvy, short-waisted, tight butt, sexy, pregnant, small, unfit, lazy, etc. (perhaps I’m not quite an adult yet….)

At this moment, I feel okay about my body. I describe my body with words like: strong, energetic, nourished, smart, injured, average, bloated, short-waisted, curvy, sexy, strong legs, big bellied, fat stomach, tall, long-limbed, gazelle-like, etc. 

Growing up, my caregivers, friends, and family described my body with words like: too skinny, short-waisted, on the heavier side, long-legged, etc. 

My caregivers, friends, and family currently describe my body with words like: great, thin, small, curvy, perfect, tall, small-breasted, perfect, sexy

How does your view of yourself differ from how other people view you now and how they viewed you in the past? Clearly, my friends have a more positive image of me and my body than I do. Clearly, the friends I have now are more loving, positive, and supportive than past caregivers and/or family members have been.

Do you have difficulty “letting go” of your past identity or body image? 

Yes, I do. Mainly because I look back at my past “mes” and I remember the negative feelings, insecurities, and associations I had in regards to my body. And I think to myself, WHY didn’t you do more about it? You didn’t exercise enough, you didn’t read enough about nutrition, you didn’t educate yourself, etc. etc. This thought process even includes frightfully twisted “why didn’t yous”……. including (I hate to admit this) thoughts like, Why didn’t you starve yourself more? Why didn’t you start earlier?

Anyway, and basically,  I’ve been self-conscious about my stomach since I was about 8 years old — I always hated swimming simply because I didn’t want to have to wear a bathing suit. Things only got worse when my sister became a gymnast, and I started going to her gym meets, looking at all of the stick skinny girls, seeing her with her 8 pack, etc. I was never active as a child, I was always an “inside” kid and preferred reading to physical activity. I always felt like the “fat one” in the family, since my mom was always super thin. Sorry to talk numbers, but I remember buying a certain size of jeans when I was 11, and my mom telling me that she wore that size all throughout high school. I just remember thinking, “Wow, if Mom was this small as a teenager, and I’m this big just barely into my pre-teens, how huge of a person am I going to be????”

Middle school was just stupid. Regardless of that little voice in my head feeling a bit concerned about being “fat” when older, I knew deep down that I was actually thin. In fact, in middle school, my peers decided that I was so thin I must be anorexic. Cue in the bullying and the name calling, and the cheer leaders calling me anorexic despite my own thoughts that I was huge in comparison to them, I had a fat stomach where they had toned fitness, etc.  Middle school is also where I started eating more, because my grandmother started talking behind my back about how I wasted food and was too skinny. I started forcing myself to finish my plate, ate more junk food, etc…..

Things got a little bit ridiculous in high school where I experimented with various behaviors, some of them healthy but most of them not. No need to go into it…let’s just say, there’s about a 50 pound difference between my “high” weight and my “low” weight, and in high school, I was at any given point at my thinnest (and unhappiest) my heaviest (and also unhappiest), and my most fit (my happiest.) I became a vegetarian, I dabbled with drugs, I started messing with other dangerous behaviors…..I was sort of a hellish mess in high school, though nothing compared to my friends (one of them even got sent away to a girl’s recovery camp. my problems were nothing compared to that!)

Well, high school feels like ages ago, and I am now preparing to graduate college and am 21. I still struggle with food, body image, and keeping my behaviors under control. While I *know* that positive reinforcement and being kind to yourself is important, and I make an honest effort every day to be good to myself and love me, it’s way easier said than done. I didn’t intend for that question to ignite this mini rant/history but basically, body image history is hard to let go of because of my inability to accept the behaviors I did and did not partake in. Make sense? Yeah. It’s dumb. Moving on.

Similarly, people with body image issues make the mistake of thinking that bad eating behavior (mindless eating) equals bad person. Instead it would be helpful to think, “Accept myself, and tweak the mindless eating.” 

Wow, what wise words! Now, some pictures of my dinner/lunch from the past two days just as a breather from all the intense body-image discussion:


Dinner I cooked up with my friend Laura — Actually, she did all of the cooking while I sat there and chopped the kale but it’s cumin/cinnamon spiced and baked sweet potato/yam, carmelized onions, and sauteed kale over quinoa and French green lentils 🙂 Super clean. Super tasty. Cooking and communal eating should happen for everyone at least once daily.

Watching Laura cook so meticulously inspired me to do something similar for lunch the next day:


Baked sweet potato/yam spiced with curry powder and dill supplementing some sauteed curried tofu and broccoli 🙂 Now back to body image stuff…

Acceptance Exercise: accepting the gif

First, imagine that you are you are at your birthday party, and you have received a gift. It is exactly what you wanted. Picture what this would be (but be realistic.) Write down what this gift is. 

Can I make it known that I don’t really believe in birthday parties? I mean, if someone invites me to their birthday, I’ll go of course and I’ll be supportive of course. But personally, they feel like any other day to me….But that’s beside the point. The perfect birthday present. And I have to be realistic? Is that even in my vocabulary? My persona? Ahem……A 6 month stay in Europe is all that is on my mind lately. If someone could grant me that….That would make my life. BUT back to being realistic. Maybe a nicer food processor? A slow cooker? A nicer blender? Some good knives? A collection of nut butters? New brakes for my bike? A massage? A pedicure? The latter three, really. I’m not a girly girl at all, but my nails could definitely use some tender love and care….as for my bike, I currently ride a death trap.

Now, imagine that at your birthday party you are celebrating a friend’s birthday as well. You can’t keep this gift you love, because it was intended for your friend. An she has accidentally picked up the gift intended for you. You exchange it with her. Write down how it feels to let go of the gift you really wanted. 

Here’s the part where I start to wonder where this is going….and wow. I guess that depends on who the friend is, which gift it was (since I wrote down so many), etc. etc. Here’s the part where I stop qualifying these hypotheticals! Short answer: if the Europe trip was actually someone else’s, I would probably rage up with jealousy and envy..though I would be happy for my friend and wish them a mind-blowing experiencing. I would acknowledge that I probably just wasn’t meant to experience Europe at that point….If it was any of the kitchen items, I would simply tell them that we should make cooking dates a regular thing! If it was the bike or nail thing, I would shrug it off and realize that I’m okay as things are now, and I’ll be okay without it still.

The gift that was meant for you is something that you didn’t really want. Describe a gift you recently got that you didn’t really like. 

Okay, I know these questions are hypothetical, but seriously, does the writer of these questions know to whom they are speaking? It’s me. I don’t expect my friends to get me anything, ever. And when they do get me things, my friends are so amazing that they always get me something that is perfect for me as a person. I guess the last gift that I received that I did’t want was the non-functioning blender my mom gave me, and that’s because the damned thing doesn’t work…..That, or my dad gave me this Christian book that he wanted me to read…..

Consider what you could do with this gift. How would you make the gift fit into your life or be of use? For example, you might give the gift away. Maybe you hold on to the gift anyway in case it might come in handy someday. Write down what you could do with this imaginary gift. 

With the blender, I suppose I could excite my inner DIY and take it apart, trinketing with parts & wires like my mom’s crazy ex-boyfriend…I could keep playing with the cord as my mom tells me to do, to see if the thing could work….I could recycle it, or take it to a junk yard. As for the book — I guess I could read it, for a fresh perspective. I could sell it. I could donate it. I could leave it on someone’s porch, or I could burn it, or I could ……cut it up and make art out of the cut up pages.

Goal: Finding a use for a gift you don’t want can give you inspiration. You can use this example as a guide for how to think about accepting your body. Your body is a gift. You don’t always get the gift you want or ask for, but you can accept it graciously and make it work or fit into your life. 

Wow, now I feel like a giant asshole. Leave it to me to completely not get something, and miss the point entirely. Honestly, the parable is sort of weak. Not exactly very compelling. Not the strongest note with which to end this little exercise….though I’m glad I did complete it.

I guess the most profound thing (so profound) I can take from this is, just like my friends are all so amazing that any gift they might choose to grant me with would be perfect, not only for me generally but for me at that particular point in time specifically, so my body is perfect for me and my designated life path whatever that may be! 🙂 K going to go vomit over my own profundity 🙂 Have a good day.

Silly Saturday because I can’t think of a better acronym.

Yesterday, in my body image / eating concerns group we discussed …. body image, believe it or not. We discussed the media, the problems with the BMI system, the non-existence of most “women” seen in advertisements, etc. We watched some videos from the Dove Campaign and we listed out the traits we associate with “super models” and the life qualities they seem to embody through advertisement. Through these lists, we were able to illuminate the false correlation between being “model esque” and happy, successful, loved, etc. Not to mention, the (lack of) relevance being intelligent, creative, kind-hearted, or productive seems to have on the lives of these so-called “perfect” women. There were four of us present today, five including our therapist, and it was raw, it was rough, it was rewarding.

I don’t really feel like going over it, honestly. While I’ve been working really hard at keeping my own behaviors under control, I have good days, I have bad days, I have days where I’m not concerned about it at all….Lately, my body image seems stuck in the simply “alright” category, paired with much hounding over how little of my time I’ve been devoting to exercising. I was doing an hour of Pilates four-five days a week just last month. Now I run twice a week, on a good week.

That isn’t even the point. Honestly, I’ve been self-conscious not necessarily about my looks (though, more and more every day I try to minimize the amount of times I have to look into a mirror), I haven’t stepped on the scale in weeks (I’m afraid to, and there isn’t much point, anyway.) Instead, I’ve been concerned with my so-called “eccentric” personality and habits. I don’t think I’m an ill-mannered person, I think I have some degree of social awareness, but there are days when I feel judged by persons making up my surroundings, not only on campus but in the greater Seattle area….A friend told me the other day that he “would have gotten bored of me weeks ago, except for the fact that nothing I do is normal.” Sometimes, I really do feel like I’m from a different planet, and that should be and is a good thing, I must believe that, but it can’t be a great thing until I learn to not only embrace it but harness it for good and creative ends as well.

Now, I know virtually everyone is absurd in their own way, we’re all unique, and defining “normal” is as futile a task as intelligent discussion with Todd Akin probably is. I don’t mean this to be a pity party, but living in this city is just such a weird thing for me, still. I I feel like I still have much of the Las Vegas lingo ingrained into my personality and my shoes are falling apart, yet I go to Seattle University and have a 3.8 GPA.  I drink my water out of a mason jar and shop at the central coop yet I can’t sing along to every Nirvana song that’s ever been written, nor could I tell you the first thing about the latest musical trends as seen on Pitchfork. I hang out at the Northwest Film Forum yet I’ve never seen The Godfather all the way through, and I have a talent for all things writing yet only learned to pronounce the word “succumb” about a year ago.

I know everyone struggles with these day to day nuances of fitting in yet maintaining individuality and keeping up yet honestly assessing one’s own interests, strengths and weaknesses. I get it, these things are not unique to me and yet …. I’m so radically honest, I don’t want to play “the game”, I’m painfully self-aware and independent to the point where I not only isolate myself too much but refuse to keep up with trends for the sake of impressing you in conversation. At the same time, I have a profound need to outdo you in conversation. I can’t relate to my peers, yet I’m too young for the older crowd because apparently, people from the older crowd don’t even expect me to know Fleetwood Mac.

Sometimes, I just feel like I can’t win and that I might actually sprout wings, horns, or turn green, or something. I’ve been bullied for being “weird” since elementary school, and maybe I should just accept that that isn’t really something that just stops, no matter how “mature” or “old” or “enlightened” the rest of the world supposedly grows. Not to mention, I’m an individual, right? I give zero hoots what other people think, right? I’m friends with fascinating, dynamic, and ethereal individuals who love me simply because I’m such a nutter, yet that isn’t always enough and I still can’t quite figure out how it all makes sense … being so unconcerned with what other people think on the one hand; being so painfully upset by the slightest instance of rejection or even off-putting behavior directed your way on the other. Even when said behaviors come from people you neither admire nor even respect! In some (many) cases.

Some self-love seems to be in order, before this little “I’m too strange for the world” crisis of mine spirals out of my control. I really am trying to come to terms with all things “Dalyce.” I took this from Madison (Eating 4 Balance) and really appreciated most of the media she included, so I’ve preserved that as well. Madison, if you ever read this, I hope you don’t mind!

What is normal anyways?

1. What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago? I can engage in a conversation that begins with my least favorite question, “What do you do?” Sounds elementary, but I used to abhor this question (still do in a lot of ways, but I’m learning to embrace it as a part of reality.) Not only that, but though it’s still a struggle, I can even participate in this conversation without self-deprecating, and I’m on my way to figuring out how I can do this without revealing too many negatives about my past and up-bringing.

2. What has been on your mind most lately? Europe. Nebraska. Politics. Individuality. Romance. Writing. Possibility. How people connect. How people don’t connect. How I’m probably from Titan. How I’m not actually. How I’m restless and dreamy as ever and lately, and how I want to be anywhere but here.

3. Right now, at this moment, what do you want most? To be finished with school, to be a paid and valued copy editor on some book / website / blog / newsletter related to the arts, to live in a more ideally located apartment with my best friend, to know how to speak French, to move to Europe, etc. etc. etc.

4. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?Health, love, happiness, money, fame. If that feels like a strange order, here’s my reasoning: There is no happiness without love, and no love without health. Money is, unfortunately, often required for health, but it is not a good thing in and of itself, and fame would just stress me the fuck out.

5. What word best describes how you’ve spent the last month of your life? Avoiding. <– going to keep Madison’s answer, unfortunately this is true for me, too.

6. What is the number one motivator in your life right now? Knowing that I have love and support in my life, and that while I may go through elongated struggles, I’m going to graduate soon, I’m going to find a fulfilling job, I’m going to be able to travel, I’m going to learn to harness my creativity and make documentary films and I will get healthy and fit and run marathons and climb mountains and everything’s going to be okay.

7. In one sentence, who are you? I am Dalyce — radically honest, profoundly independent, painfully self-aware, deeply but secretly loving, frustratingly inconsistent, and incomparably passionate though only in waves.

8. What do you want to be known for? Being real, being wise, being understanding.

9. If you had to move 300 miles away, what would you miss the most? Everything about this city is breath-taking and amazing to me, so I would miss the city itself. Other than that, there are definitely one to two humans from whom I really don’t wish to part…..

10. In one year from today, how do you think your life will be different? If you know me at all, you know I resent the thought of projecting or expecting anything about the future, the future to me meaning what I may or may not be eating for dinner this evening. So, keeping true to that but while attempting to remain hopeful and optimistic, let’s say I’ll live in a more ideal situation, I’ll be more fit, I’ll have a healthier relationship with my self and with food, I’ll be a better cook, and I’ll be writing / copy-editing consistently.

Okay, I think that’s all for now. This survey is considerably longer, and I’ll probably fill out the rest at some point because it’s important that I maintain constantly that sense of who I am, what I think, what I want, where I’ve come from, where I intend to go, etc. etc. and while some of these questions may or may not feel generic, they’re exercises and it helps. Off for a run and a mini trip to the grocery store, have a great day. I leave you with one of my favorite songs, though do note it’s not my favorite performance of the thing. 

Fitness Friday rolls in November! (As If)

Just kidding. Except not really. This week has hardly been about fitness. Which is unfortunate. I’ve hardly slept in three days, and my exercise has consisted of a few warm-up Pilates moves, walking to campus, biking around, walking from the grocery store, you know. I did go for a run this past Monday but other than that, it’s been a pretty rough week, mostly because I haven’t slept but also because it was my “mid-terms” week and also because I haven’t been dealing with stress in quite the healthiest of ways.

Moving on. October is over, I can hardly believe it’s November. What a month! I screened a film in a festival, became obsessed with Pilates, became unobsessed (but still interested) in Pilates, became addicted to Green Monsters, decided to start training for marathon-racing, turned in more late assignments than I’ve ever turned in in my life, missed more classes than I’ve missed in my college career, quit smoking, rekindled my love for writing, rekindled confidence in my voice and my writing, watched a lot of Hitchcock, kicked a fever, kicked a wave of depression, kicked a bunch of leaves, had epic kitchen failures, had epic kitchen successes, started blogging again, decided to join a food / eating concerns / body image-themed therapy group, thought about how I’m going to market myself for post-graduation jobs, gained more encouragement in regards to my writing, baked a ton, spent all my money on groceries, joined the Central Coop, and most recently, decided to start making steps at changing my living arrangements.

Long list. I also spent my Halloween in a real haunted hotel. Okay, I don’t know if it’s actually haunted but they say it is and it is sure filled with history and haunted with memory if not ghosts. A friend of mine was screening a film he’d shot at said hotel, and I stopped by after my long twelve-hour day to not only support but also to indulge my childhood fascination with haunted houses, my thoughts on manufactured frights vs. real life hauntings, and to hear some bites of history I just knew he’d be able to provide.

November Goals (Short-List Because I’m Brain Dead) 

1. Run at least 3 times a week! My first week of “training” has sort of been a failure.

2. Do Pilates (1 hour, at least!) at least twice a week.

3. Learn to budget, budget, budget. Just because I stopped smoking and cut back on drinking does not mean I can spend every penny I earn on expensive groceries…..

4. Find a way to stay engaged in my school work and carry this quarter through with a strong finish despite a rocky start.

5. Stop over-eating! Stop obsessing! Eat slowly! Eating is sacred!

6. But still eat.

7. Bake for people.

8. blah. get sleep.

9. Research apartments and hopefully finalize the move / find a replacement for my current situation!

I’m realizing this post has no focus but my brain, honestly, has no focus right now. The main things on my mind are 1. food / eating concerns / body image group and 2. my decision to consider moving

On group: I’d like to post a reflection / illustration piece that gets at the core of my first experience with this but I’m not sure how to do that without breaking anonymity / keeping true to positivity. Not that I had a bad first experience, I definitely didn’t. But when I can figure out a healthy way to convey this, expect that soon.

One thing I will share — one of the group rules is no eating, for obvious reasons, and of course, what happens to me, my stomach starts growling about halfway through the thing, so awkward, I hope I didn’t trigger anyone, God. My stomach hasn’t growled like that since high school when I was sitting next to a guy in history class who I thought was sort of attractive. or something. Stomachs never growl unless you’re in a room full of people and everyone’s really quiet. Didn’t you know that?

On moving: I’ve finally come to terms to the reality that my living arrangements are no longer ideal. To say nothing against any of my house mates, I feel I’m able to be neither as happy nor as healthy as I’d like to be so long as I continue to live as such. I’ve been suppressing these types of thoughts for some time now, because I really can’t afford to live anywhere else, plus, I’m comfortable with everyone, plus moving sucks, anyway, but I faced it head on the other day. I (thankfully) already have someone who’s also looking for a place and I think we could make it work. Hopefully everything goes according to plan, if they do, ideally, I’ll be able to make moving a reality by January at the latest. Apartment living, here I come! (so, I hope.)

Why am I posting when I can hardly think? I do not know. I leave you with this.

Question of the day: What’s your best “my stomach is growling and this is quite awkward” story? The best thing about this experience is, I know it happens to everyone occasionally, as do most “embarrassing” things that I only think happen to me and me exclusively, because we’re all human and it’s sort of beautiful how much we have in common despite being so utterly, often painfully, different.

friday rant session

For everyone who is interested, because so many of you apparently are: I don’t believe in labeling myself so far as my lifestyle, i.e. eating or exercise habits,  are concerned.

I don’t eat meat, and haven’t since the age of 16, but in recent years, I’ve started eating fish occasionally. Most recently, I’ve decided to abstain from eggs and dairy products. If you must label me, I guess that makes me “pescetarian with vegan tendencies.”

Why do I live this way, you ask? Am I following a trend? On my high horse about being environmentally conscious? God forbid, I’m not trying to lose weight, am I?????

You know, this may shock you, but I eat the foods that I eat, and don’t eat the foods that I don’t, because I like my plant-based diet.  It makes me feel good. 

Sorry for the “ranty” tone of this post, but this is really getting to me. And don’t get me wrong– I’m all for discussing nutrition, alternative lifestyles, cooking, and food in general. If you know me, you know this. Some things I am NOT for, are your subversive criticisms, judgments, or “tests” so far as my diet and exercise habits are concerned. They are NOT subtle, and I see right through your “casual inquiries.”

With the exception of one of my house mates whose food I have commented negatively upon (sorry, Ryan…), I don’t stand there telling you about all of the disgusting ingredients to be found in your nasty frozen dinner. Nor do I give you my “humans are the only animals who drink milk not only as fully developed adults, but who drink the milk of other animals” lecture upon your telling me you just ate a whole (gallon!) carton of ice cream.

I don’t question your eating habits, and I would appreciate it if you would please refrain from questioning mine, thank you.

I choose oat brans, nut butters, fish, lentils, quinoa, fruits, and all of the delicious, yummy greens (kale, chard, broccoli, spinach, etc.) as my staples NOT because it’s “hipster” (what does that word even mean?), NOT because I’m actively trying to lose weight, NOT because I’m a snobby bitch whose on her high horse and has a superiority/inferiority complex about being more environmentally savvy than you. I eat these types of food because I like the way they taste and they make me feel good.

I ride my bike, take long walks, and try to incorporate as much Pilates into my daily routines as possible, NOT because I’m a compulsive exerciser trying to burn off every calorie I consume, NOT because I’m vain and image obsessed, NOT because I want attention. I do these things because they’re fun and they make me feel good. Not to mention, I want a strong core so that I can bust awesome dance moves like this guy. I’m not kidding.

Am I environmentally conscious? Absolutely. Agricultural waste is THE number one source of pollution in the United States, and animal waste, unlike human municipal waste, goes completely untreated. That is pretty nasty.

Am I health conscious? Absolutely! After having suffered through basically every eating disorder that’s out there (most overwhelmingly, binge-eating but I’ve gone through my fair share of hellish restricting, binging, and purging) and watching my closest friends suffer from the same, I’M SICK OF IT and am desperate for recovery. I want a healthy relationship with food, and I want my friends to have the same. Not to mention, I’m quite the temperamental individual! The healthier the lifestyle I can maintain physically, the better off I am in my other faculties (mentally, spiritually, and emotionally!) Do I think I’m better than you because I don’t eat animals (okay, besides fish) and you do? NO. 

Honestly, a carnivorous diet stemming from locally farmed animals is FAR more environmentally savvy than a vegetarian one stemming from cheap carbs bought at grocery outlets. I’m the first one to admit that “vegan” or “vegetarian” does NOT equate “healthy!”

Honestly, people should eat the foods that they want to eat, and not eat the foods that they don’t want to eat. At what point did things lose this degree of simplicity?

If it isn’t okay for me to criticize your food, why is it okay for you to tell me my oat parfaits look like “baby food?”

If it isn’t okay for me to ask you why you eat meat when so much waste is due to agriculture, why is it okay for you to ask me “where I get my protein?”

Seriously. Eat your damn cake, and don’t ask me about my vegan one. Unless you’re genuinely interested. Than by all means, ask away.

But honestly, if you’re not genuinely interested, please follow that golden rule. Because your comments are triggering, and they’re not helping me stay healthy, and if you’re being honest with yourself, you know they’re not helping you stay healthy, either. So you eat your cake over there, I’ll eat my cake over here, and we can be friends for ever and ever and ever.

end rant.

questions/food for thought:

Have you ever been the target for food or eating-related bullying? Sounds extreme, but to me, such comments and questions regarding my eating or exercising habits, really feel like bullying. Thoughts?

Have you ever made a negative remark (i.e. bullied) concerning someone else’s food or exercise choices? How might you treat that situation differently, if you could go back to that conversation and do it over?