^Well I bet you didn’t expect a post like this to show up on your news feed, huh?
As I’ve been in the ups and downs in my own fitness and health journey, I have a lot on my heart & mind. As a fitness professional, this is what I’m passionate about– helping people become healthy & whole in mind, body, and spirit. I think for so long I thought my job just encompassed one part- the body. You know…help people exercise more, eat less, eat the right things, have self control, and have crazy willpower. But I just realized over time (and really, through my own journey and failure and crashing from doing these things for too long) that this doesn’t work in the long haul. My desire is never to give someone a quick fix that only works if they have a crazy amount of willpower, but rather to learn to appreciate and love their body in a way that gives sustainable, lasting change.
In social media today, it’s easy to get caught up in other people’s highlight reels. You know, the fitness professionals and clean eaters that only post their squeaky clean breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, as a way to inspire and motivate people to eat squeaky clean as well. Heck, I’m guilty of doing this, too! I’ve also heard/seen people feel shame because they see these things on social media or blogs, and then see what they themselves eat and feel like they fall short. I have gotten caught up in that feeling of not doing enough or coming up short lots of times!
Long story short, I’ve now given up the pressure to “be good” and be ideal. I have found a wonderful balance of eating mostly paleo foods (because honestly, I fell in love with vegetables and lean meats and fruits) but I eat other things too that work for me. I treat myself more often, which leads to a lot less binging. And you know what? It works. I am happier with my diet, more free than I’ve ever been, and crushing some major fitness goals in the process.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people in the grocery store and they try to explain/justify to me all the items in their grocery cart even though I’m not even looking. Or the times I’ve gone to lunch with a friend and they explain and even tell me “sorry” for ordering the unhealthy item on the menu. So, consider this my apology to everyone out there who has felt the pressure from me to eat a certain way or live a certain way- that’s not my heart. I don’t judge you based on your food or fitness decisions- those things are your choices. I know that maybe I’ve portrayed a certain idealism via social media or this blog, and that is the opposite of what I desire to do!
So I am writing this post to get rid of food shame. To get rid of the idea that we are good or bad people depending on the choices we make related to our diet. To get rid of fear of what other people may think if they knew the true us. Who you are is not determined by what you put in your grocery cart each week. You are a child of God who is made for freedom, love, and great purpose. Shame hinders freedom, love, and our purpose. So let’s break down some walls and get free. Starting with me, here.
So are you ready? Here are the 10 things I wish you didn’t know that I eat (consistently):
- Low-fat cottage cheese. It’s a recent favorite and I honestly eat a lot of it. I know I know, I’m not supposed to eat “reduced fat” anything but goodness I love the way it tastes. Weird weird, I know. Anything that could be described as “curd” shouldn’t be enjoyed. But I honestly do.
- Quest Bars.
Yes they have questionable ingredients and yes they are processed. But how do they taste so good?
Another thing you “shouldn’t eat” because they take all the good fat out of the peanuts. But I honestly think it tastes better than regular peanut butter. Plus it’s so convenient to make with smoothies and shakes. Or by the spoonful. It just rocks my world.
- Tortilla Chips.
When I ate super strictly and deprived myself of chips & salsa, my life was not happy. So now I eat them in moderation and my life is happy.
- Ice Cream.
No it’s not Blue Bell but yes it’s still worth it.
- Non-organic fruits and vegetables.
I try, I promise, but I’ll just say we live on a pastor’s budget, okay?
- Non-grass-fed/free range meat & eggs.
For explanation, see #6.
- Egg Whites.
This one causes the most shame in the paleo world (there’s an entire book written about why you should eat the yolks and shaming people that eat egg whites! That’s intimidating, y’all), and I do eat egg yolks, just not all the time. The yolks have great nutritional value as well as good fats, but they are super calorically dense. So really, I do an egg plus extra egg whites for the added protein without making it super high in calories, meaning I can eat more of it, which I love. More food= Happy Alexa.
- Giant bins of [questionable?] protein powder.
I used to make fun of those people. Now I’m one of those people.
- Leftover birthday cake. From August.
Poop emoji cakes should never go to waste. That would just be a tragedy.
So was that eye-opening? Expected? Eh, it’s just me. I feel freer already!
What are ideals or images you need to let go of this week? Let’s start a vulnerability chain!