Last night, as I sat in the sauna, post workout at the gym…two other girls were in there with me. They were comparing instagram photos and picking their bodies apart, critiquing every detail and trying to come up with justifications for the traits they are unsatisfied with.
“Look! I’m SO wide. But my whole family is like that, so I think it’s just genetics…”
“You can definitely change that if you try.”
“Ugh, I look like a square.”
“It’s the angle, even my friend who has the best body looked like a square from the wrong angle.”
“Let’s start measuring our waists.”
“I don’t even want to know what mine is right now,”
So…this was just a snippet of their lengthy conversation. In that moment, I realized that all of our narratives are pretty similar. Most of us live in a world of self deprecation and it comes so naturally. As I exited the sauna, I overheard another couple of girls talking about what they ate through out the day. One girl was recounting her meals, logging them into a calorie counting app on her phone, as the other girl commented on all of her friend’s choices, clearly judging.
“well…I did have a donut. I had 12 pretzel thins, exactly 12.”
**friend rolls eyes**
“How would you account for a quesadilla?”
“Um..2 flour tortillas, cheese…”
“Well, I only had 1/4 of it.”
These two little glimpses into someone else’s mindset made me feel slightly connected to them in a way. We are all doing the same thing. We are all victimizing ourselves over how we look and what we intake. I get it, I’m totally guilty. I have struggled with body image issues for the longest time, and it’s not easy…it’s always in the back of your mind.
But, the truth is that we actually all have the answer in the back of our minds. We know we won’t feel good about eating the donut when we walk into the gym later…so why do we eat it and then talk about it with such regret later?!
Our relationships to food and our bodies is so complex in a social media world where we all compare ourselves to each other. We look at photos that are photoshopped or public figures that have cosmetic work done, and we instantly feel less than. So we torture ourselves for not being able to resist that chocolate chip cookie, or we count down to our next cheat day. But are we ever really allowing ourselves to enjoy food or feel relaxed about giving our bodies the fuel and energy we need?
Personally, I have so many food allergies, I’m extremely limited on what I can eat with out feeling guilty about my health. Because of this I choose to live a vegan – yeast- sugar free diet. What do I eat? I get really creative with veggies and fruits. I am obsessed with almond butter, and in today’s world — this diet is actually maintainable. When I follow this whole/raw foods diet, I feel better physically and mentally. It takes a lot of work not to self sabotage — not to eat candy, cheese, or a bagel. But, there are so many amazing substitutes out there and it’s time to start figuring out how to make ourselves feel better. In the photos featured in this post, I am munching on KNOW foods waffles. This was after I was diagnosed with my yeast intolerance, but prior to my venture into veganism. I highly recommend KNOW foods to anyone with dietary restrictions, check out their website KNOWfoods.com. And KNOW foods, if you’re reading this…PLEASE make a vegan version of those waffles! 🙂
I’ve found what a healthy balanced diet means for me, and I encourage you to do the same. My lifestyle is definitely not for everyone…I can’t imagine any of my Italian family giving up bread or cheese! But when your overall well being — mind, body, and soul is going to improve, you’ve got to make some sacrifices. Sometimes, reality bites.