It's Just Food
Let’s do away with the ‘cheat day’ and ‘cheat meal’ phrases. In fact, let’s also do away with ‘treat meals’. For some reason when we eat something that is deemed unhealthy, we feel the need to put a negative spin on it, making us feel guilty for doing so, or restricting this to only once per week or month as a result. On the other end, some of us see this as a reward and want to celebrate that we deserve a treat. Instead, how about looking at food as food? No good food, no bad food; just food.
Often times, when we are struggling to control everything else in our lives, food is the one thing we can take control of. Whether that means restricting our intake, or overindulging, we are in control. Unfortunately, this can often times lead to unhappy thoughts about ourselves, poor self-worth, and in more extreme cases, eating disorders and unhealthy weight gain or loss. Food is to be enjoyed and therefore we should strive to have a more positive relationship with what we eat. Food is our fuel. It’s what gives us energy to tackle life’s challenges and keeps our bodies going.
I love to eat. I love to cook new things, try vegan dishes, meals full of meat, sugary treats and healthy alternatives to my favourite go to snacks. Being in the position I am as a fitness instructor and trainer, I often get asked what to eat, what not to eat, and what I eat. I always tell people to eat what feels good to them. Everyone’s bodies are different. What makes my body feel good and perform well may not do the same for the next person. It is all about finding what makes you feel good and see the results you want. I also remind people that it’s okay to eat things that might not typically be the best for us (fries, chips, donuts, and the like). I also remind people I do it too! Immediately the response is, “well you exercise SO much anyways; it isn’t a big deal for you I’m sure!” Regardless of the number of hours I exercise, I still like to eat a little bit of everything. I know what my body likes and doesn’t now, but I am also at a place where I will not feel guilty or punish myself with extra reps or sprints to ‘work off’ the food I consume. It is all about the relationship we have with our bodies and the food we consume.
Life is going to be busy some days and we are going to have to eat out. We are also going to want to eat a cupcake or have a bag of chips now and then. Enjoy it. It’s just food! Create the relationship with yourself and remember life still goes on. We should never beat ourselves up because of what we eat. Of course we want to regularly practice healthy eating habits and eating whole foods as much as possible, but when we don’t, it’s okay. We also need to remember that just because we do have that slice of birthday cake or whatever it may be, we don’t have to make up for it in the gym later. Food is often accompanied by great company and memories, so enjoy the food and the people who gather around the table with you for some laughs and a good time. If we are constantly worried about controlling everything we intake, we will lose out on not only enjoying our food but the people who we spend our time with.
Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.