Will you allow me to rant for just a hot second? I mean, I’m going to do it anyway but you don’t have to read it. Although you should. But if you’re not in a ranty mood this morning, you can always look at this post with pictures of my cats.
Because we all know the internet loves cats.
Ok, for those of you who ARE in a mood for a rant, here goes. For the past few weeks, I have been re-examining my relationship with food. It’s a messy, complicated, and not always fun process because I have a twisted history with food. I know I’m not the only one with this issue, so I’m not going to spend a ton of time on it. Just know that food and I haven’t been the best of friends over the years.
While digging through this complicated mess, I’ve realized I have a lot of food and health “rules”. These rules aren’t actual rules but a lot of made up weird rules I’ve imposed on myself over the years in the hopes that they would somehow make me better, whatever better meant to me at that time. Weigh less, be stronger, have more definition, run faster, do more, do less…. the list of better goes on. Here are just a few of the “rules” I’ve created, sometimes without even realizing it:
- Eat 3 times a day with no snacks.
- Eat 2 larger meals and one tiny snack.
- Fast for any length of time before eating.
- Don’t eat before a workout.
- Don’t eat after a workout.
- Eat something before a workout.
- Don’t eat after 7.
- Don’t eat a dessert every night, even if it’s “healthy”.
- Run all the time.
- Lift weights all the time.
- Eat no carbs.
- Eat all the carbs.
- Up my amount of protein.
- No gluten.
- No dairy.
- Less grains.
- Eat more grains.
- No meat.
- Minimal meat.
- Take supplements.
- Stop taking supplements.
Seriously, this list could keep going. Obviously, I haven’t followed these “rules” all at the same time because many of them are contradictory. But can you see how pervasive these are? While I created these rules for myself, there was always an article/post/information I saw that said I should or shouldn’t do or eat something that stuck in my brain and made me think I should or shouldn’t do whatever was in that article or post.
This information is everywhere and you might not even realize it. You’re constantly being told to eat this not that. Do this workout and avoid this one. These foods cause weight gain while this will help you lose weight. We take all this information in and even if you don’t consciously do whatever the article is telling you, it’s still there in your mind and it can influence your actions.
Do I think these articles and websites are out to get us? No, I think they honestly want to help people be healthier, but it’s getting a little out of hand. When we follow the advice of some arbitrary article from someone who doesn’t know us, our bodies, or our lifestyle, we stop listening to what WE really need. We stop listening to our bodies and tune out little voices in our head that might be saying, “Hey, this isn’t right. We don’t need/want this.”
And what our body needs can change. Daily. Maybe you’re fine with intermittent fasting one day but the next you need to eat every three hours. Perhaps morning workouts are your jam for a solid month but then things switch and you feel better working out at night. Your dinnertime could be 6:30 or 7:30 or heck, even 10 pm depending on your schedule and that is all ok. Don’t let what you read or hear or see dictate what you need unless it’s ACTUALLY what your body needs.
I know this rant got a little long and maybe none of this applies to you whatsoever. But I know I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. This rant was just as much for me as anyone of you reading it. It’s ok to not follow the advice of every nutritionist/dietician/blogger/expert out there. It’s not that their advice is bad, it’s just not right for every single person. It’s impossible to offer a piece of advice that will be right for every single person. Except for maybe don’t smoke. That’s always a solid piece of advice 🙂
Ok, if you made it this far, you deserve a reward. And because we know cats are awesome, here are more pictures of my cats. Because I’m a crazy cat lady and think my cats are adorable and you should too.
Have an awesome week everyone!