I Don’t Eat As Much Junk As You Think I Do.

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Hello hello! How’s everyone?

So, Amanda had a post up last week  about feeling defensive about eating healthy that really resonated with me. Then Caitlin had one, and then Sarah. So, I feel the need to chime into the conversation.

It’s no secret that there is a LOT of disordered behaviour in healthy living blogs. I’ve spoken out against this before, and I’ll speak out against it time and time again. What people portray as healthy living can sometimes be anything but. I don’t believe that cutting out entire food groups or categories is healthy (barring allergies and sensitivities, of course) and a life without sugar isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.

But, with speaking out so much against those behaviours I feel like I’ve backed myself into a corner a little bit. I’ve made it clear that I’m all about body acceptance, listening to your body, and eating what you’re craving, even if that’s something that’s traditionally seen as a ‘bad’ food. 

Onion_Rings

 

(onions rings are a particular favourite)

Wings

(The epic wing night)

Bread Pudding, Mousse, Chocolate Banana

 

(dessert round = best round)

I worry that on the blog, I make it seem like the majority of my diet is made up of these foods. Really, that could be further from the truth. These sorts of meals? Rare, in my diet. But, peanut butter and jam chicken wings are a lot more interesting than a salad with chicken and avocado, so I tend to draw attention to the prior. 

After an eating disorder, people can be pretty vigilant in their monitoring your behaviour. I remember an ex of mine used to ask me to tell him what I had eaten that way, so he could judge whether or not I had eaten enough or if I was restricting. I found myself ordering dessert even if I didn’t really want it, or being afraid to order a salad because I was afraid of people thinking that I was backsliding back into the disorder. I think I’m still finding myself with my back up, always fearing that people are judging how I’m eating. So, I make sure to mention all the ‘unclean’ foods I eat.

Truth is, on an average day my eats are pretty damn healthy.

There’s a lot of oatmeal…

Oats

 

A lot of salads…

Salad And most of my desserts are small and portion-controlled.

Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins

 

That is basically what makes up my diet. As much as I love my onion rings and my chocolate cake, I don’t actually eat it too often. I’m a big believer in balance, so that is what I focus on.

Which for me, means leaving all the chocolate cake leftovers with my parents, because I know my self control would be lacking around it. I absolutely adored it and think it’s one of the best cakes I’ve made to date, but I know I’m better off without that cake staring me in the face every time I open the fridge.

Chocolate Therapy Cake Slice

 

It means that I try to include fresh produce in the vast majority of lunches and dinners.

It means that while I don’t count calories, I do keep portion control in mind.

It means that unless I’m craving the ‘unhealthier’ option, I’m probably going to go with the healthier one. It means that sometimes I choose the healthier option because I’ll feel better physically and mentally.

It means that while I enjoy the emotional and physical health benefits of a healthy lifestyle, I like the way it makes me look, too.

In the blogging atmosphere, I have no trouble blogging about the junk and the ‘unclean’ food that I eat, but I find it harder to blog about the healthier stuff. I’m afraid of someone pointing a finger and accusing me of still harbouring disordered tendencies. I worry that I need to ‘prove’ that I’m perfectly fine to eat a burger or a big piece of cake. I think that’s my biggest fear in blogging – being accused of still holding onto disordered habits or being a negative influence on people who are trying to recover. One of my favourite things about blogging is the emails I receive from people telling me how much I helped them see what ‘normal’ eating is and that it’s ok to eat the ‘bad’ stuff. So, I worry about losing that sort of influence if I focus too much on the healthier eats.

But, there you have it, and I hope I’m not judged for it. I do eat ‘junk’, but I don’t eat it all the time. I pay attention to portions, and to a limited extent my macros (in the sense that I’m playing around with them to see what my body responds to best) and I eat a lot of veggies, healthy fats and lean proteins. I have no fear of sugar-filled or greasy foods, but I have no interest in eating them all the time. If I did, I would not feel, act, or look as healthy as I do, so I don’t. I started in healthy living blogs because I do feel like I am a health nut – maybe not as much as I was a year ago, but it’s still in there.

I believe in moderation, so I’m going to keep that in mind as I continue with the blog and portray an accurate picture of how I eat, even if it ends in judgement or pointed fingers.

Aaaaaaand now I feel better now that that’s off my shoulders. Back to my regular blogging habits tomorrow – have a good one!

<— Bloggers, do you ever worry about being judged for your eating habits?

<— Recovering or recovered EDs: do you feel like you have to ‘prove’ that you can eat unhealthy foods?

<— Do you think you follow the 80/20 rule? While it’s not really conscious, I think that that principle probably best reflects my approach to eating.

57 Comments

  1. Awwwwe don’t worry about the people who judge you- screw them lol just show who you are- its your blog- what’s the point otherwise honest and real is always cool Sam! I don’t know the ratio I eat lol, I just sort of eat and don’t really think healthy/not healthy- just food and what is appealing. I tend to always have veggies everyday because that’s just what you do in Italy, but I also eat gelato and dessert anytime- usually everyday I am very interested in sustainability and ethical eating- that’s the only thing I think about really- ooh and I hate chemicals and fake margarines! Please know I will never judge you for how you eat- it’s the person you are that I care about and like getting to know (just so happens we both like cooking and eating :)) The people who care about you shouldn’t apply harsh judgment on you for how you eat, they should care about how YOU are- in your soul (sorry for getting so deep lol) Lots of love Sophia

  2. Such an eloquent and well-written post, Sam! I can definetely resonate to some extent! Especially given the prevalence of eating disorders in the HLB, it’s easy for certain behaviors to come across as disordered- even when they’re far form! This is one of the reasons I don’t blog all my meals (aside from the time-consuming aspect of photographing) – I am very content with my style of eating, it works for me and I feel great…the last thing I need is for others to point fingers, especially when they don’t see the full picture. And like you said, drawing attention to a delicious dessert which I order once in a blue moon is far more appealing than the billionth bowl of oatmeal I ate for breakfast.

    Anyways I will wrap up this long-winded comment by saying that one of the reasons I read your blog regularly is because you keep it real and are so comfortable with your approach to eating- many could learn from you, my friend!

  3. I’m kind of a fan of all of these posts that have coming out recently. They’re really refreshing to read. I’m the same way with my blogging. For WIAW I tend to focus on something special I ate, not even only to prove myself, but because I know when I read other blogs I could care less if the person had oatmeal for breakfast and salad for lunch and salad for dinner. That’s not interesting to me at all. So I don’t focus on it. But in turn it makes me look like all I eat is Mac and cheese and cupcakes, which in reality is probably only about once a week Or less. I love my carrots and green beans and fruit just a much!
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted..My first PRO giveaway!My Profile

    • I’m with you on the green bean, carrots and fruit love I’m just worried about coming off an misrepresenting myself as someone who only eats junk, when that’s not true at all.

  4. Beautiful addition to this chat Amanda started, love I think you know where i stand on this one and that i definitely understand the fear that someone will think I’m relapsing or heading down a path that isn’t great…but i also think that we need to be true to ourselves and that is what i see here…which makes me very happy
    Caitlin recently posted..Hot, Slow(er), and MarvelousMy Profile

  5. Great post Sam. I definitely feel you on this.
    I actually don’t think I portray the more not as healthy foods I do eat, I’m not sure why that is.
    But, I definitely sometimes worry that others judge me. In fact, I’ve gotten comments and e-mails about it before so I know people judge me for it ha.
    I even had the lovely pleasure of someone telling me I was ugly because I had an ED. Nice, right? And I feel more that I have to “prove” I eat unhealthy foods mostly to my parents. Since they don’t really understand it all that much. Sometimes it can be simply I don’t feel like a treat that day, but then they may think otherwise.
    It can definitely be a tough balance, but I love your blog and the approach you show people! You’re honest, open, and a great friend and that’s why I keep reading.
    Okay, um went off on a tangent there. Whoops.

    • That’s one of the negatives about being a blogger, we’re constantly opening ourselves up for criticism and judgement. And the person who told you that? Some people just need a good bitch slap. You are beautiful and don’t you forget it <3

  6. I used to worry a lot about what other people thought of my eating habits. I think it’s all part of becoming confident with yourself, knowing the choices you make are what works for you. I’m glad you share all of your “unbalanced” food with us – it shows you’re normal!

  7. Don’t worry about people judging you, do what’s best for you! I think I follow the 80/20 rule most of the time because that’s how my body feels best.
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted..This or That SurveyMy Profile

  8. a thousand times YES to this post, sam. i’m so glad amanda pointed it out to me on twitter and thanks for pointing out the posts that inspired me; i surely will be reading them. “being afraid to order a salad because I was afraid of people thinking that I was backsliding back into the disorder.” that is just hitting home for me like crazy. i ADORE the salads i always eat and i can’t stand it when i’m afraid to post about them or instagram them because i’m afraid people will think i’m eating the salad because i think i should do so, or will think i’m eating it because i’m trying to restrict. really i just fucking LOOOOVE my salads.
    worrying about what others think of me from an ED/recovery standpoint is something that happens to me all the time. i often get paranoid that people will think that i am not aware that i clearly still am not recovered, which is one reason why i try to be as honest as i can in my posts when i am struggling (and of course i also enjoy helping others through sharing my journey). i don’t want anyone to think i’m one of the bloggers you may see who has disordered habits but doesn’t acknowledge them or acts like they are totally normal. that couldn’t be further from the truth for me.
    but i also know i need to just stop caring what people think; i’m a people pleaser and it’s part of why i developed an ED in the first place. being a blogger, where i’m open to negative comments, has helped me grow a thicker skin but it still has more to go. in the mean time i’m going to keep taking baby steps to forget the people around me (including ED) and post about and share and eat the foods i WANT to eat. this post is really awesome and i applaud you for addressing this topic!

    • And you should love your salads, they always look amazing! I don’t usually share my work lunches, because they’re usually salads or a protein/veggie/fat combo, and I don’t want people to start questioning that. I know about and appreciate your honesty with your ED struggles, and I’m proud of you for how far you’ve come!

  9. I think this is a great post. Just because you (generic you) don’t have to eat healthy all the time, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I mean, why not go for the healthy version if it’s available and you want it? Everyone deserves the flexibility to eat healthy/not healthy whenever they feel like it without being judged. I think it’s awesome that you’re getting that message out there!

    • I forgot I was going to say – just because a food is healthy, it doesn’t mean you’re eating it solely for that purpose. Healthy food is delicious too and you (again, generic you) could be eating because you truly enjoy it!

      • Exactly – I’m all about what’s going to make me feel the best in that moment, whether that’s chocolate or veggies!

  10. Very well said, Sam!! and I feel you on the issue, yet I must say, that I was worried in the beginning that people would judge me, but the longer I blog, the more I lose thie fear. I am not recovered, and people know that and I try very hard not to preach any unhealthy behaviors as healthy. The last I want to do, is to inspire people with disordered habits. But I am honest, and I tell the truth about them, but I focus on them as DISORDERED and not as healthy.
    I am more on the side that I think I need to post healthy food because I call myself a Health Nut. but actually, I eat chocolate every day. This needs some work.
    Besides that, I think you shouldn’t fear the pointers and judgers (I think I just made up these words now), because really, it is YOUR blog and your life and no one has the right to ‘make sure’ that you ‘eat right’. I love your blog BECAUSE it is this perfect balance between Health, Indulgement, Fun and deeper thoughts.

  11. I’ve been giving this topic a lot thought lately, and I think I’ve reached the point where I’m ready to just say screw it and post whatever the heck I want to post. No matter what you do, someone is always, ALWAYS going to have a problem with it. There’s no way to please everyone simply because of the fact that everyone has different opinions on what’s right and what’s wrong. At the end of the day, the only person you really need to answer to is yourself, so you may as well do what you like and be authentic. There;s nothing wrong with eating healthy to look and feel good. Sure it’s often taken overboard, but the people that know you know that you’re well into recovery, so I don’t think you have anything to worry about

    • And no matter what you post I’m going to end up loving it <3 That’s the attitude I need to work on more when it comes to blogigng.

  12. Ha, I just think you can’t win as a blogger. Whenever I try to be inspiring with healthy meals, I get comments telling me I’m restrictive and disordered! But then I try to show a balance, and it looks like all I eat is junk food. I give up!

  13. i think people judge other people’s eating habits for different reasons. like your family just wants to make sure you’re ok. bloggers also care about each other, i’ve learned, but i think there’s also a lot of “what are you eating compared to what im eating” in those cases nobody really wins. i get a bit worried when i post about food that people are going to judge. i think its just going to happen no matter what i post. keep on posting how you’re posting, you’re doing it right

  14. Hmm, I don’t read with a view to picking at someone for having a salad – there are many other bloggers out there with obvious ED denial going on. I think you have a decent balance and that’s clear enough from your posts. I find some other blogs hard to read though – I wonder why they’re so skinny and pretty when they seem to eat junk all day and I’m so fat and ugly when I watch what I eat like a hawk. I have to admit that I love Hungry Runner Girl, for example, but I don’t understand how she gets away with eating what she does. I find it very frustrating.

    This post was very well-written…unlike this comment, which is sadly all over the place!

    xxx

    • Those sorts of bloggers, you have to wonder if they’re misrepresenting themselves…or just incredibly lucky in the genes department. I’m hoping to avoid that sort of misrepresentation!

  15. Yes!! Moderation is key. That’s what I think healthy living is all about.

  16. I think that I follow the 80/20 rule pretty well, but not feeling guilty about the “20” part is often challenging for me :(.

  17. Ha, love the title. Yes, I do often feel judged, but that’s okay, I mean, I put it out there didn’t I? That bit about the chocolate cake reminded me of Looney Tunes, or was it Tiny Tunes, when Porky/Hampton was tormented by the chocolate cake in his fridge. teehee

  18. Unfortunately, being a blogger means opening yourself to judgment from others at some point. But none of that matters as long as you are healthy and happy with your food choices, regardless if they are all documented in every single post.
    Besides, when I read a blog, what they eat everyday is pretty insignificant to me. I like seeing new recipes/products or ideas but I could care less what each blogger’s caloric intake is in a day. That’s their business and if anyone does care to judge them then I think they have bigger issues to deal with.

    • That’s true – I have to think about the sort of people that would judge and whether or not their opinion should actually matter to me.

  19. Beautiful post, Sam. This is actually the first thread of the discussion I’ve read, so I want to check out the other posts, but it’s definitely a topic that resonates with me. I consider myself a very healthy eater, yet I’ve always felt an “obligation” to highlight the not-so-healthy meals and snacks on my blog, merely because I want to show recovering women that it’s okay to eat “junk” once in a while. It seems like there are two HLB groups: those who eat “clean” nearly 100% of the time and promote somewhat extreme lifestyles on their blogs, and those who try to counteract the extreme messages with pictures of ice cream, cake and donuts. I spent far too much time trying to please everyone, only to find that was impossible, so now I just write about what I feel like writing about. If that’s healthy food, great; if it’s the four pieces of pizza I ate Friday night, then that’s what everyone will see.

    Happy Tuesday! I’m so so excited that I get to see you in September! <3

    • on the two camps of bloggers, exactly!! I’ve made it clear that I’m in the second group, but I want to talk about some of the healthy things I eat too…you can’t please everyone!
      And ohmygod, yes. SO EXCITED! <3

  20. Very well said and I think I fall into the same category as you do. But I think it’s great you put this out there and I think it would be ridiculous for anyone to judge you (or me, or any other blogger) from eating healthy most of the time because eating healthy makes people feel good! We are “healthy living bloggers” so most of us know that eating cake and fried foods all the time would probably make us feel lethargic and shitty, so that shouldn’t be expected. I think it’s pretty clear you don’t have those restrictions where you ban anything from your diet and eating for health majority of the time is what most people strive for so it shouldn’t be thought of as falling back into disordered habits.

    • Exactly – I am a healthy living blogger, so you have to assume that there’s some vegetables thrown in there And thank you – that’s basically the message I’m going for, so I’m happy it gets across.

  21. Love this post! I can totally relate – I definitely worry about being judged about my eating habits. Because as much as I love chocolate and desserts, I honestly, truly love healthy foods like oatmeal and stir fries and rice bowls, and they make up the majority of my diet. And when you think about it, we shouldn’t feel bad or ashamed about liking healthy foods – this is how people SHOULD be eating! Just because we’re recovered from an ED, it doesn’t mean we should be eating junk food every day.

    • Exactly – I just hate having to feel like I have to PROVE that I can eat the unhealthy stuff when most of the time, I go for the healthier options.

  22. I do not eat unhealthy – EVER! My willpower is phenomenal and I know if I ate CRAP I would die, since I have food allergies and intolerances – lol, maybe that’s why I have good willpower? I love the way I eat, and if anything people are fascinated by how I eat and actually get intrigued and want to try and eat healthy too! I like that I am a positive influence!

  23. NOOO I don’t think you have to justify yourself at all! This mentality is what I hate about the blogging world. NO matter how you eat, clean or not or normal or not you will be judged by others because it is so personal. everyone has what works with their body more than others. Never feel the need to justify that, you are a person not your food! And I think you are the bomb, so there.

  24. we have that fear of being judges especially since our eats may not always look ‘normal’ but guess it is our normal, as the foods we eat tend to work for us. we too believe in balance and enjoying some things in moderation. life is about living it we are big believers in that every is different and that as long as you are eating foods that make you happy then that is what counts

  25. I can totally relate, but kinda in the opposite way! I never post everything I eat either, and I’ve gotten comments on how I’m restricting and whatnot when my post was really just a random sampling of pictures–I’m bad at taking pics of all my meals in one day. And I always eat other things not pictured, like a ton of fruit before dinner when I’m starving, or a few tastes of something I’m making. I feel like no one ever sees the whole picture, so no need for judging in any case!

    • Exactly – I’m not going to take a picture every time I shove baby carrots in my mouth waiting for dinner to cook! It’s really hard, if not impossible to document every last morsel.

  26. I do believe that after suffering from an ED and it being public to many, judgement is always on my mind. I do feel that I have to defend myself to others saying that yes I do eat cookies now and then and I’ll splurge. I understand where the other girls are coming from tho, cause I deal with it everyday. This is why I’ve chosen not to post about my eating habits, instead on the things I love to bake!

  27. Pingback: WIAW: Eating at Home. |

  28. People will judge you no matter what. Only you know what’s best for you. I love seeing a balance of healthy and unhealthy food on other’s blogs! It makes it more relatable, in my opinion.

  29. I just came across your blog and I’m so glad I did! This is a great post — very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Very well said! I am FINALLY starting to see food as food on a consistent basis instead of viewing it as good vs bad. I know that there are certain foods (sugary, greasy, fried) that will PHYSICALLY make me feel like poo if I eat them so I still look for healthier alternatives, but it’s no longer in a way to cut calories and restrict. It’s really taken a LOT for me to get to this mindset. I was actually just thinking today how easy last weekend and this week has been for me foodwise…so happy to see things getting easier and easier as time goes by! You are such an inspiration for me Sam! I have always loved your balanced attitude towards food!

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