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. it’s my diet, and i’ll eat what i want to .

July 10, 2011

Happy Sunday, sweetlings! Hope it’s been a beautiful one for ya 😀

Mine started out with a little bit of drama… I had somehow managed to let my supply of chocolate pudding dwindle to one measly pot, which someone (*cough*dad*cough*) snatched while I wasn’t looking. See what happens when you don’t hide your favorite food? Or stockpile massive quantities of it?

It gets ninja’d.

Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when breakfast time rolled around and I wasn’t able to have my favorite breakfast. Thankfully, I wasn’t completely SOL – I found a pot of vanilla pudding lurking in the depths of the cupboards, and while it wasn’t quite as good as chocolate, it still got the job done…

I love having breakfasts that taste like dessert, but I’m not trying to fool myself or anyone else by saying that my bowl of oats tastes exactly like a slice of vanilla cake, because it doesn’t. Although it does taste deliciously sinful, the reality of the matter is that it’s really not – it’s actually quite healthy.

The same goes for a lot of my other meals/snacks. Take, for instance, my cookie dough balls

 

Although they’re similar to the real thing, they’re not exactly the same. They lack the butter and sugar that makes real cookie dough so appealing. In other words, they’re a healthy imitation.

And yet I’d still take my healthy imitations over the real thing…

It’s no secret that I have a pretty healthy diet… I don’t eat too many fried, refined, or overly processed foods, and instead choose to focus on whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and good fats.

Well, that’s fabulous, you say.

Yes, it is. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to agree… Occasionally, I still have to deal with people who question my healthy food choices and accuse me of clinging to my disordered eating past… and although this kind of thing frustrates me to no end, I can also understand where they’re coming from…

See, I wasn’t always a healthy eater. Nuh uh. In my teens and early twenties, I basically lived off junk food. It was Poptarts for breakfast, Kraft Dinner for lunch, fast food for dinner, and countless helpings of chocolate, candy, chips, soda, and other junk food in between.

Then my eating disorder hit. Boom.

I went from eating mass quantitates of junk food, to not even wanting to breathe the same air as it – a complete 180° shift had occurred, almost overnight. People were shocked. Here was a girl who lived for junk food, replacing chips with celery sticks and candy with fruit.

I felt great at first. Happy. Energetic. Alive. But it didn’t last. As my disordered thoughts increased, my list of acceptable foods decreased. No sugar. No grains. No fat. No dairy. No nothing, basically. It eventually got to the point where I was living barely surviving on anything at all.

I don’t recommend it.

Then recovery started. Facing fear foods started. Trying to figure out what foods I actually enjoyed eating started. My diet and tastes had changed so drastically, that it became incredibly difficult to tell whether I was avoiding a specific food because I was afraid of it, or because I genuinely didn’t like it.

So I challenged myself with different foods. I dabbled in my past eating habits, only to find out that I didn’t enjoy them anymore, which did nothing to comfort my confused mind. How could I not enjoy junk food when I had loved it for so long? Was that just another one of my ED’s tricks?

It turns out that it wasn’t. After years of experimenting with different foods throughout my recovery, I can say that I genuinely love the way that I eat. I eat whatever I crave, and don’t feel in the least bit deprived.

Sure, I may not have the same kind of diet as other people my age (outside the blog world, of course), but so what? Who cares if I’m not chugging back sugary sodas and eating chemically-laden foods? I honestly don’t crave them, so why would I force myself to eat them? Just to prove to the doubters that I’m not still clinging to my eating disorder?

No thanks.

I know what’s in my head, and I know that the mentality behind my choices is a healthy one. I eat the way I eat because I enjoy it. I don’t avoid typical junk food because I’m afraid of it, but because I just don’t crave it; and I don’t particularly like the way that my body feels after eating it, either. My food makes me feel vibrant, happy, satisfied, and alive – why mess with a good thing?

I know that it can be hard to differentiate between a healthy and disordered eating habit, which is why I can understand why some people may question my dietary choices. But overt behaviors don’t matter as much as much as the thoughts behind them do. There’s nothing wrong with avoiding particular foods, unless it’s because of fear. If you crave something, but you’re too afraid to “let” yourself eat it, then there’s a problem. But if you don’t like/crave something, and consequently don’t eat it, then that’s perfectly normal. I don’t like zucchini, so I don’t eat it. I don’t crave junk food, so I don’t eat it. End of story.

. – . – . – .

Do you ever have to deal with people questioning your dietary choices?

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😀

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84 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2011 5:35 pm

    It makes me so flipping angry when people judge other’s food choices! Its like telling someone how to raise their kid — you just dont do it! lol

    I think your colorful and unique eats are an absolute inspiration. keep your head high, gorgeous!

  2. July 10, 2011 5:36 pm

    Haha I love the term “ninja’d” 😀

    I’m lucky in that all the close people in my life (Slava, my parents, my siblings) support me and don’t question me – they help me make the right choices when I’m second-guessing myself, but never judge.

    • July 10, 2011 7:04 pm

      People close to me are good about it, and my family is super supportive as well, it’s just a few other people I come across that give me strange looks.

  3. July 10, 2011 5:37 pm

    I do used to be the junk eating college girl and when I switched over to healthier choices I had many, many questionable looks and comments. My close friends and coworkers have grown accustomed to my eating habits but I definitely still encounter my fair share of “disordered eating” comments and food pushers.

    If only I could say, “I don’t try and shove quinoa and hummus in your mouth so please keep your Doritos and Twinkies to yourself.” 🙂 I try to blow off the comments but as you can see they still get to me occasionally.

  4. July 10, 2011 5:40 pm

    I don’t crave junk foods, and I don’t crave fast foods. I would much prefer spending time to make my own pizza then to order one. I agree that it a healthy choice to eat what we crave. So if I crave a healthy nutritious supper over a fast ordered supper then so be it. I live in a family that has really weird eating habits. It can get really frustrating, because if my dad doesn’t go for a run on a certain day he will hardly eat anything, yet some days he will go to Mcdonalds and eat Bigmac in 1 min flat. Basically what I’m trying to say is that in my family my healthy eating habits aren’t as weird as some of my other family’s eating habits so I often go unnoticed.

    Such a great post!

  5. July 10, 2011 5:46 pm

    Especially since joining the blog communtiy, more and more people (mostly my family) comment on my food choices. It drives me insane, but most of all gets to me. I know it shouldn’t, but I haven’t quite found my confidence coming out of my disordered eating past.

    But I love the title of this post, I’m sticking with it.

  6. July 10, 2011 5:47 pm

    Amen girl! Speak the truth! Lol! But seriously….thank you!! I hate when people automatically assume there is some deeper hidden reason why I enjoy eating healthy when it simply is that I LOVE these types of foods and the way they make me feel! Its not like I questions those peoples choices and why they feel the need to fill themselves with nutritionally devoid foods, so why do they always feel the need to question me!? I don’t mind if someone has a genuine question about my diet…but when people start getting critical and condescending, that’s when I get upset!
    Good for you for speaking your mind about this! And for the record, I take your cookie dough over the real thing any day….how could you not? Something delicious and nutritious!!!

  7. sarah permalink
    July 10, 2011 5:49 pm

    Yes, iv definitely had people question my eating habits. People often assume because I eat healthily( although what really is healthy anyway?) That my diet is automatically low fat/calorie -which just isn’t the case. I just think there are SO many delicious foods that can benefit your body that I rarely want to eat junk food.
    Your cookie dough balls beat the real thing hands down IMO! The latest batch I made replaced the almonds with hazelnuts and vanilla protein powder with chocolate- hello nutella bites<3
    Xxx

  8. July 10, 2011 5:51 pm

    People question my diet just about everyday. Hey, I eat what I want 😉

    Oh, and it never gets to me!

  9. July 10, 2011 5:58 pm

    haha my dad always take my food, but he asks so nicely most of the time 🙂 I never ate bad before, it was just when I started refusing certain foods people questioned. I am happy the way I eat now, glad you are too girl!!
    PS- having ninja’s in the kitchen= amazing.

  10. July 10, 2011 6:03 pm

    I used to get so so angry when people would comment on what I was eating. I think it’s because I was pretty embarrassed by my own habits, and then someone would say something and I would pretty much jump down their throat. Whoops. It still bothers me a bit, but I am getting better at dealing with it

  11. July 10, 2011 6:05 pm

    I remember this one time someone questioned me in college. It’s happened multiple times but this one stands out the most…I went to a big group dinner at a Hibachi restaurant. I didn’t want my vegetables slathered in oil and butter so I kindly asked the chef to grill it plain. This one buy (who I was never too close with but was well acquainted with) called me difficult and said aloud, is she “anorexic” or something? Obviously, I choked back tears made a beeline for the bathroom and cried my eyes out. I try not to let people and their comments bother me but it’s hard. I truly love eating healthy and I shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks!

  12. July 10, 2011 6:07 pm

    I deal with people questioning the way I eat on a fairly regular basis.. from family, to friends, to acquaintances. It can be frustrating. but there are foods that just don’t appeal to me. The hardest thing is going to summer events like barbecues.. and not wanting the food that is being served.. but not wanting to seem rude either. I always get looks and questions.. but I often bring my own food. Oh well.

    • July 10, 2011 7:09 pm

      I definitely hear ya on the social events – I have to do the same thing, especially because I don’t eat meat AND have allergies on top of that, so sometimes if I don’t bring my own food, I literally can’t eat anything.

  13. buttonss permalink
    July 10, 2011 6:07 pm

    I just took almost exactly the same photo as you about 5 mins ago o___o
    mine wasn’t of a cookie dough ball, but one i made with oats, dates etc.

    anyways, i found once i started cutting the amount of junk food i ate from my diet i just didn’t want them anymore. I think perhaps the addicting properties of the bad food were flushed out of my system after depriving myself for so long, so when I did allow myself to have them, i simply just didnt want them. and im totally fine with that

  14. July 10, 2011 6:09 pm

    Your story kind of sounds like mine! I would limit myself — restrict myself on what foods were “acceptable” foods are. I feel I did have resricted habits. It started just trying to eat healthier, but then it went to an extreme (became orthrexia). But now, I am finding that balance with myself — being able to have a peice of cake at my friends’ birthday parties, going out for ice cream with my family, etc.

  15. July 10, 2011 6:14 pm

    great post – and so very true for those trying to eat healthy. you eat A LOT and still eat healthy! so what if I want a big piece of fish for dinner, at least I’m finally listening to what my body craves. It’s hard when you’re with a big group but that’s when we all need to grow up and suck it up. one day away from a healthy diet won’t kill ya right?!

  16. July 10, 2011 6:24 pm

    Amazing post and so articulate!

    I most certainly am questioned and badgered all. the. time.
    I’m partially at the unresolved stage where I am questioning
    “Was that just another one of my ED’s tricks?” as you said.
    Part of that is from the badgering. I have a hefty amount of self doubt and I listen to everything but at the end of the day? It is important for us to claim our preference and own it!

    An eating disorder treatment center put me on a no-sugar (at all ..agave nectar, etc) and no flour diet. Years later I still cling to that diet. I think that is okay….until the day I wanted to make socca. Made of garbanzo bean FLOUR. Dun Dun Dun.

    I have loosened the reigns a bit because like you said….it’s all about the thoughts behind the rationale. I recognized I was thinking I couldn’t have flour because a Dr told me so and it would make me binge….or I couldn’t eat dried fruit. I slowly and still work on “going against Dr’s orders.”

    That being said? I don’t want a pop tart. And eating one won’t mean I am recovered anyhow.

    • Jessica permalink
      July 11, 2011 10:07 am

      I’m curious, and if for some reason this is too personal that you don’t want to answer it, no worries! But what was the reasoning behind no sugar and no flour? Sounds pretty extreme… :\

  17. July 10, 2011 6:26 pm

    Hi love!

    Oh YES I have to deal with that, but I just shrug it off, I always used to worry about getting comments on my blog about my eating ways, but I have not had a bad one yet in regards to eating, I thought for sure today I would after posting the junk food fair food, I thought someone was going to comment and say , why didn’t you eat any of that? lol! Im glad to say I did not, and no thanks to the fried food, I just think its interesting , but i do love funnel cakes, but it was not a funnel cake day for me yesterday !

    I enjoy the way I eat, because it makes my body feel good, I do enjoy other stuff like ice cream or other things, but in moderation, my body is not used to unhealthy things and when i overdo it, my body hates me, and I hate the way It feels, so healthy eating is my lifestyle! In the end, its your life, eat what you want and what you know is good for your body!!

    Love u!!

  18. July 10, 2011 6:29 pm

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. In fact, I was just having a similar problem a few minutes ago. I brought home a big Chipotle salad for dinner tonight and I finished it all. Here come the comments- My dad said “WOAH YOU FINISHED THAT WHOLE THING?” It turns out he only said that because he wanted my leftovers (LOL!), but you know what I mean. That’s not the first time I’ve heard comments like that. I really don’t want to feel bad for eating what I want to eat. I just want to enjoy my food and listen to my body! My dad might have just worded it wrong, but like I said, not the first time I’ve experienced things like that. I ESPECIALLY don’t want people telling me it’s wrong to eat great quantities of foods like veggies. Why is it weird when I finish a big salad but it isn’t weird when someone eats an entire steak by themselves?

    Unfortunately, as “healthier” eaters, we’re the minority!

    I’m the same way- I rarely crave “unhealthy” foods. There are a few foods that hold a special nostalgic place in my heart that remind me of my childhood- like sugar syrup or mac and cheese- and I’ll have those on occasion if I crave them. But in general I’d rather have fresh fruit than fake fruit flavor and the like.

  19. sunshinevegan permalink
    July 10, 2011 6:31 pm

    A lot of people outside my family question my food habits! They accuse me of inventing food allergies so I don’t have to eat unhealthy food and being obsessive. I can’t stand it because I don’t say anything about what they’re putting in their body so what makes them feel like they have a right to make comments about my diet. I legitimately prefer eating fruit to candy! Candy tastes fake to me, almost like eating plastic. Except chocolate of course and even then I don’t like over sweet milk chocolate, which I usually can’t have because of the dairy anyways!
    However, I like it when people are genuinely interested in my healthy lifestyle and are open to trying “my” food. I love to share and show people new things 🙂

  20. Julia permalink
    July 10, 2011 6:38 pm

    Similar to you, I really do crave healthy foods over junk now. But I get criticized because I used to have more of a restrictive tendency. I try to respond respectfully by opening up more about my daily eats and lifestyle.

  21. July 10, 2011 6:50 pm

    I am a teacher and it seems like everytime I turn around I get crap for not eating the pizza in the lounge, not ordering a grilled cheese during lunch, or devouring cup cakes at a babyshower. I don’t go around and say comments to others regarding the junk they are eating, so what makes it okay for them to make comments at what I am eating.
    I used to be really cautious about my eating habits and really cared what others thought, I would sneak food and eat it in the bathroom just to avoid comments on why I was eating a protein pancake for lunch. Now that I am older I am alot more accepting of who I am and what I enjoy eating. If people don’t like what I eat, I don’t care. It is my body and I can put whatever it is I want into it.
    I agree with you, ever since I really started eating healthy, if I ever go back to junk food..it really does not taste all that good.

  22. July 10, 2011 7:21 pm

    I can SO relate! I absolutley hate it when people throw me under the bus for eating healthy, it’s so frustrating! I choose to eat healthy foods because I just don’t crave the junk, so at restaurants I tend to make fresh, healthy choices. People always mock me or wave fries in front of my face like, “You scared to fall off the health train wimp? You’re already a stick as it is” Umm FYI no I’m not ‘scared’ of your food, I just don’t like the way junk makes me feel. Whenever I have junk that used to tast like heaven to me “pre-ED,” I just end up getting nauseous and…um…gassy haha 😀
    I’ve gotten much better at defending my eating habits, but it can still hurt to be singled out for eating right. We gotta keep our heads up though, right? 😉

  23. July 10, 2011 7:22 pm

    “There’s nothing wrong with avoiding particular foods, unless it’s because of fear. ”

    THANK you. Once again, you’ve voiced my thoughts perfectly 🙂 Sometimes the looks of shock when I say I don’t much care for X or don’t want Y get a little old. I mean, I can understand why…eating poorly has become “normal,” you know? But I’m glad my taste buds have…evolved…if you will. I could honestly care less that there’s a full plate of brownies that I can help myself to at work somedays. The majority of the time I’d rather have one of my own snacks!

  24. July 10, 2011 7:58 pm

    I was the same way. I didn’t start eating fruits and veggies until like last year. I ate junk. Then I had an eating disorder, barely ate anything except for fruits and veggies. Now I eat, but I eat healthy 99% of the time. I do eat dessert. I eat cake, cookies, ice cream. Whatever. I can at this point.

    People question why I bring Greek yogurt into a movie theater and not popcorn. I don’t like popcorn, but people think it’s just because I don’t eat food like that. So silly.

  25. July 10, 2011 8:00 pm

    I have a few family members who constantly comment on what I eat, and what I don’t eat. It is exhausting sometimes because I wish they’d just keep their comments to themselves.

    It makes me a bit sad whenever I hear that other people go through that too.

  26. July 10, 2011 8:02 pm

    Oh, gosh, yes; this drives me crazy. I mean, most kids like junk food. I think it’s just a natural sort of progression to gravitate toward healthier choices once they’re actually your choices (vs. parental choices). But I feel like most of the time, people look at my choices with a critical eye because of my ED. I don’t understand it, because eating nothing but crap isn’t exactly healthy either. :/

    ❤ ❤

  27. July 10, 2011 8:03 pm

    I questioned myself about that too. Why do I do this? Why do I add chia seeds to my cereal? Why do I choose organic?
    Of course, some people may say the choices we make (in the blogworld) is disordered. It may be true, but I say it really depends. If you are constantly choosing low-fat, low-carb, low-cal sh**, (unfortunately a lot of health foods fit in this category) there’s probably a problem. But if you’re eating healthful, balanced meals that would give you adequate fuel for your day, that’s far from being disordered.
    I choose to eat in certain ways because I CARE. I care about how my body performs, I care about how my skin & hair looks, and I just care about my choices because I simply can and I want to – your tastebuds change after a while. Why would I want to stuff myself with chemical-laden foods when I can make a much more delicious and nutritious foods?

    I totally agree with Jess above: “there’s nothing wrong with avoiding particular foods, unless it’s because of fear.”

  28. July 10, 2011 8:06 pm

    You took the words right out of my mouth with this post. I hear it all the time…oh you are being so good! Umm no actually I’m just eating what I want to eat. To each their own I say. Everybody likes and dislikes different things..so who is anyone to judge?

  29. July 10, 2011 8:08 pm

    I agree with you. I enjoy my healthy imitations. They leave me feeling good whereas “the real thing” leaves me feeling heavy and sick. I just don’t like that feeling! I try to bring a little more “junk food” into my life, but only if I’m really craving it. Just because I had an eating disorder doesn’t mean i’m going to go and eat unhealthy to prove something! I want to live the healthy life that other people strive to live too, and to me that means balance. I want to eat for pure enjoyment, but what is most important to me is treating food as fuel. I want to eat what will be best for my body so I feel and perform at my best.

  30. July 10, 2011 8:10 pm

    I alwayssss get questioned on how I can eat so healthy all the time and how I can ‘resist’ junk food- the truth is my body isn’t trained to crave that sort of stuff so I have no desire to eat it. My good friends all know I eat healthy but it’ always irritating when acquaintances make inquisitive or accusatory comments.

  31. ittybitsofbalance permalink
    July 10, 2011 8:22 pm

    I know EXACTLY what you mean about people questioning your nutritional choices. My family used to love to tease me for eating “too many vegetables” or for “not having enough butter”. At first, I really let it get to me. Eventually I did end up having a talk with them and they eventually stopped, but hey! We need to stand up for ourselves!
    We eat healthy, and we are damn proud 😉

  32. July 10, 2011 8:23 pm

    Thank you. I recently discovered and have become a huge fan of runningwithspoons this past week. I am so grateful for people like you who are living proof that it is totally possible to live a simply nutritious life in our heavily processed world. Thank you for encouraging me, as I am just beginning to realize the amazing-ness of eating this way and am taking my first strides into it.

    I really needed to hear/read this particular post today because people who are close to me, (i.e. my sister) have been making incredibly discouraging comments about my food choices that make me feel as though I’m supposed to eat the way they do. And eventually, I get so tired of their hounding that I’ll just give in, then feel super bloated, sluggish, and regretful after.

    Thank you for giving me the strength to not care. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this. Knowing that there are others who stay true to their awesome and creative ways of eating, no matter the mockery, pumps me with the stickwithit-ness that I need.

    • July 10, 2011 9:20 pm

      Woo for stickwithit-ness! 😀 Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for the foods that you like, especially if eating that way makes YOU feel good. What good is eating the way someone else eats if it makes you feel like garbage? Be strong and stick to what you believe in 🙂

  33. July 10, 2011 8:24 pm

    Hi, my name is Megan and I’m your twin.

    It makes me so pissed when people assume I “eat healthy” because I feel like “I have to.” Not at ALL. I genuinely ENJOY the food I eat, no matter if it’s deemed “healthy” by the rest of the world. I really don’t crave junk as much as I did as a child and I think maybe I junked myself out on Pop-Tarts and Toaster Strudels when I was a youngin’. I’d totally go for a sweet potato over a bag of Cheetos or Skittles today, and that’s the honest, from-the-heart-and-tummy truth.

    Love you!

  34. Georgia permalink
    July 10, 2011 8:26 pm

    Aurgh! Yes! This is definitely something that is a big issue with me. As I am recovering from my ed and learning more and more about what foods I want to eat, I am finding that I am genuinely attracted to wholesome, healthy, nutritious food. But because of my background, no one around me quite believes me – they do all still think it’s ed-driven choices, not my genuine choice. It’s the same with not being hungry for some reason/having a stomach ache/etc at a meal time – even if it’s genuine I’ve lost the right to skip a meal (in a non-ed-driven way) the way that normal people would, because everyone thinks it is ed-driven. Me reading these blogs and experiementing with health-food-shop ingredients and recipes is seen as a ‘funny quirk’ and a remaining sign of my ed. It’s really frustrating! But at the same time, I make no apologies for it and really, I don’t care what others think – as long as I know within myself that I am choosing certain foods and avoiding others for the right reasons, everyone else’s opinion can bite me! I, and you too, shouldn’t have to explain it further to anyone.
    I get the weirdest looks ever for passing up chocolate, fries, mainstream desserts etc but if there is any kind of dried fruit around, the whole thing is gone within seconds. I can’t help my tastes and frankly I love the fact I can enjoy healthy food so much because sadly so many people just don’t!

  35. July 10, 2011 8:29 pm

    I totally agree with you! When I first started eating a lot healthier, everyone in my family was commenting on it and it was really frustrating. Now, they’ve started to embrace it more themselves and realize that I was actually on to something :). You gotta go what’s right for you. Sometimes I do crave junk food- so I eat it.

  36. July 10, 2011 8:59 pm

    People like to pick apart other people’s lives when they’re insecure about their own. I don’t like junk food either. Nothing about it is appealing to me. I don’t like the taste of artificial ingredients, and I enjoy eating foods that nourish my body and keep it healthy. The beauty of being individuals is that we each get to live, and eat, the way we want to. Cookie dough balls blow real cookie dough out of the water!

  37. July 10, 2011 9:29 pm

    Beautiful post, girl. isn’t it crazy how we always seem to go from one extreme to another? I’m so happy that you’re where you’re at right now, happy, healthy, and eating increedibly delicious bites and often 🙂

    I get a lot of grumpy gills at my job hating the fact that I don’t eat every junk snack thrown in the lunch room on a daily basis. “let me guess, you’re NOT going to eat one of those doughnuts, are you?” and giving me awful looks. and no matter how much I assure them how wonderful it feels to eat boat loads of fruit instead of bucket loads of sugary garbage made from machines and fry baskets – they just aren’t fans. Maybe I should work from home. haha but truly, there have been some blessings along the way. I see more people bring fruit, homemade soups and less frozen entrees that I did when I started the job, and even my mom gets all giddy when she has an inch of spinach in her sandwiches! yay for inspiring at least 1 person, right?

    Have a happy week!

    • July 11, 2011 6:33 am

      Yes! I love seeing my healthy habits rub off onto people, and they definitely do if you just stick t o your guns and don’t let people get to you… eventually they come around 😉

  38. July 10, 2011 9:36 pm

    Amen! I still get mocked when I tell my people that I eat porridge for breakfast. They just give me this look of disgust and go, “Porridge? Why do you eat that?!” “Ummm…because it’s delicious and I love it.” Why else would I eat it? GEEEEZ! My family have come to accept the way I eat and I like to think that it’s rubbed off on them. But when people see me wanting to eat vegetables and go for healthier alternatives they look at me like I’m completely bonkers. Ah well they’re the ones missing out 😛

    I don’t think these people really understand how it feels to eat healthily. They’re so used to being hyped up on sugar and other such nonsense to even know what it feels like to be full of healthy energy!

    xxx

  39. July 10, 2011 9:55 pm

    You said it Sista! My goodness you’re amazing.

  40. July 10, 2011 10:15 pm

    Even my family judges my eating habits. It’s SO frustrating. I know 100% that focussing on a healthy, plant based diet has aided in my recovery, rather than harmed it. In fact, it is only when I start drinking diet or other chemical junk that I know I’m slipping down the ED slope and I need to figure out whats wrong.

  41. Rose permalink
    July 10, 2011 10:25 pm

    I definitely agree with you when you said there’s a difference between craving junk food and not eating it because you fear and simply not eating it because you don’t feel like eating. I understand where people are coming from though. Like it is a bit fishy how many people recovering/recovered from ED’s only eat healthy foods, but if you have been letting yourself have junk food only to find you don’t really want it anymore than that’s fine. As long as you have overcomed your fear of foods and don’t look down on it because of it’s nutritional values, then I don’t see what’s so disordered about that.

  42. July 10, 2011 11:21 pm

    Beatutiful post Amanda!
    I dont blame my family for questioning my eating, since both they and I know that my relationship with food isnt the best.
    What I dont like however, is how they seem to think that I like healthy foods because I fear junk. Because that is not true at all! I never ever crave either junk, soda, candy (exept dark chocolate <3), chips or what ever. I crave healthy foods! My problem is that I can crave oatmeal or whatever, but not allow myself that because Im so comfused about everything!

    I keep reminding them that : Yes- i want to eat more and be less obsessive, but NO- I dont want to eat everything they eat just because they like it! I want to eat what makes ME happy and healthy!

    Have a wonderful new week Amanda ❤

  43. July 11, 2011 12:39 am

    Amanda,
    I hope I am not one of those who have annoyed you with questions regarding your diet. You know that was not to judge you, it was simply to make sure you are doing good. I hold you very dear and wish nothing but the best for you.

    Finding out what we truely enjoy after so many years with a messed up eating regime is a challenge greater than words can describe. Often we want to just scream and ask for some guidance.
    Be proud of how hard you’ve worked to find out what you truely crave, to let go off disorded cravings and do your best to treat your body the way it deserves. If that means eating healthy 99% of the time, good for you. If that would have meant eating healthy 50 %, still good for you.
    What matters is, as you say, not just what you eat but the mental process that decides your food choices. To liberate our mind from disorded influence. As long as you are not so dependent on eating healthy, that you would say no to go to a trip abroad or visit a friends house because it meant you were not able to make healthy food, but had to eat what was served ( as long as it did not cause allergic reactions, of course. ) If I invited you over and served you a nice piece of chocolate cake prepared with sugar and all the “usual” ingredients, and you would eat it without feeling anxious or guilty.

    A healthy life is one where food does not prevent us from living. Where we are free from the need to control every piece of food that goes into our body.

    Love you Amanda – be proud of the one you are.

  44. Lenna (veganlenna) permalink
    July 11, 2011 12:47 am

    A really good post full of clever thoughts, thanks for it! I can relate to almost everything you said as I was the same at one point in my life. Now I feel I have found what I like and what I want, but I often get questioned about my food options and hear people talking about my eating, sometimes even behind my back. Eating is a big topic in my family and being a skinny vegan in a family of slightly overweight meat-eaters doesn´t help. But I am trying to do my best…and moving out to my own flat also helped a lot 🙂

  45. July 11, 2011 2:02 am

    We are all different and I think we are allowed to have different tastes. There is nothing wrong in loving hummus, rye bread and grains or fruit whose names most people can’t even spell. If you truly enjoy eating them, nobody has the right to tell you it’s wrong. Stuffing yourself with burgers or spicy chicken wings just because the majority thinks it’s the coolest food ever is a very stupid idea. As long as your food makes you feel good and full of energy, it doesn’t matter what anybody says.

    I used to be a huge McD fan. I still give it a chance every now and then but if we don’t count the veggie burgers they offer in Germany, it totally sucks. And the Japanese sandwiches are the worst sandwiches I’ve ever eaten :/ . I enjoy my hummus and egg sandwiches much much more.

  46. July 11, 2011 3:19 am

    There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with eating the way YOU want. It’s your life, your body- your choice.

    HOWEVER. With that being said….

    I think it’s also extremely important to be lenient, especially in recovery. Eating healthy is great and all, but being invited to a party or a summer bbq and refusing to eat what’s served there isn’t normal, and in my opinion it isn’t healthy (once again, this is my opinion). I’m not saying that in order to be healthy you have to eat unhealthy foods, I’m saying that in order to be healthy you have to be able to go with the flow, not always pre plan all your meals, and just relax and enjoy the atmosphere around you regardless of the food being served. Does this make sense?

    I think this is where a lot of bloggers struggle, and it’s difficult for sure. Balance is key in all aspects of life and we all have things to work on. I sure do…

    • July 11, 2011 4:28 am

      Very well said, Laura.
      To me it made a lot of sense and I agree 100% with you 🙂

    • July 11, 2011 2:04 pm

      I completely agree with you! Everyone is entitled to eat whatever they want, but if you can’t go to a party without stressing about it and bringing your own food (?!), because you refuse to eat anything ”unhealthy”, then you might want to rethink how ”healthy” your eating habits really are.

    • Rose permalink
      July 11, 2011 9:55 pm

      What you said makes perfect sense.

  47. July 11, 2011 3:48 am

    Ahh yet another beautiful post 🙂 When I was younger I would on occasion have a takeaway on a Friday/Saturday night but I’ve never really been into junk food in my whole life to be honest – the most common one for me would have been a Subway so it was never too bad. Therefore I still don’t have a craving for junk food ever, it’s just not me! Of course my ED made me only eat fruit and veg and nothing else but now I eat fruit and veg plus lots of other healthy stuff because it makes me feel good, alive and happy. At first my parents thought it was my ED moving on to ‘orthorexia’ and constantly tried to get me to eat something unhealthy. Over time they realised that actually the way that I was choosing to eat was getting me better so they let me carry on with my healthy ways. Now I am fortunate enough that they understand that the way that I eat is not like theirs (they like a lot of junk food) but I’m healthier, happier than I’ve ever been and they accept it because they finally have their daughter back which they never thought was possible. They have been so good with my diet and never question it and completely understand what I do eat and why. And at the same time, in the past I tried to get them to eat some of my foods but they didn’t like them and now I’ve accepted their diets too and theirs make them happy so I won’t change their ways either. 🙂

  48. July 11, 2011 4:24 am

    You created a wonderful post Amanda with such an important message! Our food preferences are our own and we should feel good about them and not be judged by others! I am always inspired by you and how you truly LIVE your life!

  49. Teniesha @ Vegan on the Go-Go permalink
    July 11, 2011 5:17 am

    Love this post! So relevant to certain thoughts I’ve had lately, too.

    I have had the exact same problems, dearest. Like you, I grew up eating more or less the Standard American Diet, so my sudden health change came as a worrisome sign to people. Of course, when I was at my worst with disordered eating, I didn’t understand diddly-squat about nutrition–I just thought, less calories would equal weight loss, so I ate processed foods, too, such as fat-free cheese *shudder*, as long as it was low calorie. I didn’t know much about whole grains (although I’d always preferred wheat bread, even as a child), partially-hydrogenated oils, High Fructose Corn Syrup, etc. Thankfully, with time and lots of research, I slowly gathered all the information I now know today, and becoming vegetarian and then vegan definitely helped, too, as I had to be sure I was getting all the nutrients I needed to be the most healthy. Some people think that, as a vegan, I’m depriving myself of “worldly pleasures,” but I do not feel limited in my diet whatsoever. I honestly would rather have sweet potato fries over regular French fries, kale chips over potato chips, hummus over cream cheese–it’s just what my body has come to crave, and honestly, even if something is “healthy,” if I don’t like the taste, I’m not going to eat it, plain and simple. Yeah, sometimes an old nostalgic desire for, say, a Blizzard may arise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to go to Dairy Queen–part of the fun for me is concocting a healthy, yet still decadent version of the original, to prove that healthy can be tasty.

  50. July 11, 2011 5:55 am

    YES! I swear, sometimes it’s like you’re inside my head Amanda! I was the exact same way – I used to live on junk food pre-ED, and then I cut it out cold turkey. And I’ve been dealing a lot with this question of “Am I still holding onto my ED fears?” since recovering – both from outside sources and as an internal struggle. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t *like* junk food. I don’t crave it, it doesn’t satisfy me, and I’d rather eat some banana soft serve with chocolate sauce than eat an entire Kit Kat bar. But that being said, if I DO happen to crave something unhealthy, I’ll go for it. It doesn’t happen often, but I’m comfortable with indulging if it does.

  51. July 11, 2011 6:24 am

    YES oh my yes.. not so much anymore but even when i eat oatmeal with some sun warrior stirred inside.. i get weird looks.. like that isnt weird at all?? ADD some protein to a meal esp when ur vegan- and make the oatmeal taste like something rather than just be plain? GAH!

  52. July 11, 2011 6:47 am

    Once again, another amazing post!
    You’re SO right…it’s YOUR diet and YOU’LL eat whatever YOU want to. And the same goes for all of us 🙂
    I do have a lot of people that question my choice in not wanting to eat certain things and I just try to explain to them my decision and yet they don’t understand. It can certainly get frustrating at times, but I just nod, smile at their advice, and move on. It’s my body and I’ll chose what I want to put in it.

  53. July 11, 2011 8:24 am

    Man, do I relate to this post! I completely understand what you have to deal with because the same thing happened to me (ed) and when getting better I just avoided food that made me feel icky but others took that as being ‘afraid’. I say do what makes you feel vibrant and healthy and your food looks amazing. Some people just don’t make sense when worrying about a person’s health just because they don’t like to eat crap. Anyway, I love your blog- it is very inspiring 🙂

  54. July 11, 2011 8:34 am

    You go girl!
    I can see where the critics come from, but ultimately, YOU choose the way you eat and the way you live your life. Random people on the internet should have nothing to do with it. If eating healthy foods makes you feel good (and I know it does for me!) then what’s the problem? As long as you’re not overwhelmed with guilt if you eat a French Fry, and you’re living a healthy, ED-free life, that’s all that matters.

  55. July 11, 2011 8:45 am

    I love the term ninja’d! My foods seem to be ninja’d as well.. I need better hiding places
    My family is so supportive of my dishes so I’m not questioned by people close to me who know about my problem. I’m starting to learn how to just let it roll off my shoulder when people at school make side comments. It’s hard to bring overnight oats into class and not get weird looks but they don’t know what they’re missing!

  56. July 11, 2011 8:58 am

    This post completely resonates with me! My fear of “food observers” prevented me from partaking in social gatherings for far too many years. During the beginning of my ED recovery I felt as though I had to prove that I was “okay” by eating “normal” foods. I remember one barbeque in particular where I downed two cheeseburgers, potato salad, three brownies and a bowl of ice cream within a three hour period. I wanted so desperately for people to think I was “better,” but in reality the BBQ episode only complicated my relationship with food even more. This pattern repeated itself time and time again. I’d feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable, which contributed to a strong love-hate relationship with food.

    Fortunately, those days are LONG gone! I was finally able to truly recover when I began listening to my body and educating myself about what REALLY constitutes a healthy diet–“real”, whole foods. I became confident about my choices, and now enjoy sharing my favorite foods with others, and watching them get excited/inspired (some of the time!). I think it’s sad that we associate processed, fried, fast foods with “normal” eating, when those foods are so far from what we were designed to eat.

    Of course the “observers” still exist, but when I catch them glancing my way, I smile back and genuinely feel good about my lifestyle. I eat what I love and love what I eat. And I’m happy and healthy. 😀

  57. July 11, 2011 9:00 am

    Fantastic post! Oh my gosh, I can totally relate. Since I don’t eat like a “normal” 22-year old, people are always giving me crap for it. Either I’m “High maintenance” or “picky” it’s like my goodnes! I’m just trying to fuel my body with good foods!

  58. July 11, 2011 9:51 am

    Amen!!! Actually, I dealt with this last night a little bit when Michael and I were making s’mores. He never accuses me of having that ED mentality or anything…but I’d eat one s’more and be fine with it while he popped 20 marhsmallows without thinking twice. Or with pizza! He’s always like “I crave it, you know?” and I answer back “Nope.” He laughs..but it’s true! I just don’t crave junky food. It makes me feel like crap, so why eat it?

  59. July 11, 2011 12:17 pm

    Ahh I can totally relate!

    I am a vegetarian and lately I have also been avoiding dairy. I am constantly having to defend my choices. I always have to answer questions like “where do you get your protein from” and hear about how people “could never give up meat”, etc.. etc..

    I just try to stay positive and use people’s questions as an opportunity to share. I find that my way of eating often makes people feel defensive – people’s food is a part of their life and they don’t like to hear that it could possibly be “cruel”. Everyone learns at their own pace!

  60. July 11, 2011 12:29 pm

    Last week my boyfriend told me that my food preferences sometimes annoy him. He knows I have stomach issues (IBS, gallbladder, liver problems and food intolerances). I ate some ice cream to try and be “normal” and I felt sick all night.

    Boo! Stick with what makes you feel vibrant!

  61. July 11, 2011 12:58 pm

    My goodness girl, you just keep pumping out awesome posts!

    I totally sympathise with where you’re coming from. I used to live off junk —> ED —> now love healthy stuff. I’m not afraid of unhealthy stuff, I just don’t want it / like it anymore; pure and simple. I LOVE my diet with a passion, and I just do not crave my past diet. But my choices do get q’nned – my gran asked me just yesterday when I was going to ‘give up the vegan thing’!!?? Gah. It’s frustrating…

  62. July 11, 2011 1:15 pm

    I like eating healthy. I used to love my junk food as well, then I got an interest in healthy eating. I developed an ED when I was searching how to lose weight and as a result I turned my healthy diet into unhealthy restrictive.

    I have recovered to the point where I have gone up to a week eating the foods that used to be on my “no way in hell” lists. And you know what? They were fantastic, but I felt like CRAP after day three. I’m not just saying that to justify eating healthy….but every time I try eating less healthy foods (white flours, cane sugar, deep fried food) after day three my digestion caves in, I get headaches, and I bitch at everyone I pass by. Some people can handle eating amounts of the stuff often or all the time (ie, my little sister stays as happy and carefree as when eating deep fried and sugar deliciousness). For me, I have discovered that I can go a couple days eating that sort of stuff, and eating it once is pleasurable without all the misery. But I’ve decided that my diet is going to be made up of healthy foods, for the safety of everyone in speaking distance of me!

  63. July 11, 2011 1:55 pm

    Hehe I love waiting to comment on your blog cos then I get to read all the awesome comments!! 🙂

    AMAZING post as always!! I actually wrote one like this (to post when I go away)- great minds think alike 😉

    Yes people question my diet ALL THE TIME and I definitely see how it can be hard to differentiate between healthy habits and disorderd ones, but you are SO right that the difference is the mentality and intention 🙂

    LOVE YOU ❤

    P.S. Can't believe you were all out of choc pudding. I would've cried! I have stockpiled hehe!

  64. July 11, 2011 2:28 pm

    Yes, this kills me. My family is the worst. They are incredibly judgemental about my food choices and are always making sneed, backhand comments about how I should go eat a brownie or something. They don’t understand that I honestly prefer the many tastes and textures of a big salad to a plain old sandwich. They really don’t understand how I honestly prefer my chocolate microwave cakes to real cakes (I don’t really understand, either… I just like them better!) or how I prefer the taste of spaghetti squash to the blandness of pasta. But its all true; I like the healthy options better! And likewise, there’s other stuff where I prefer the less healthy option, like pizza. I like thick, crusty pizza with real cheese, not tortilla or thin crust pizzas.

    I’ve realized something the past couple days: Everybody just needs to stop being so freakin’ judgemental and let everybody else just do their thing, because, really, food is NOT that important. (breakthrough!) 🙂

  65. July 11, 2011 3:04 pm

    Every fucking day someone seems to question whether my diet is my choice or my eating disorder. I hate it! I added Greek yogurt back into my diet because I craved it, and that is perfectly fine!
    You go girl!

  66. July 11, 2011 6:16 pm

    I really hate when people criticize or tease me for eating healthy, even though I would never do the same to someone eating junk! I honestly think eating healthy works best for me, so I’m going to keep doing it. I know that I have to keep it in check though, because I’m in recovery for orthorexia, as well as anorexia. Trying to eat as healthy as possible made me spiral down into an eating disorder, and I don’t want to go down that road again. But I think that healthy indulgences, such as homemade baked goods or the yummy oat combos you always have, fit in perfectly in a healthy diet. Let the haters hate, and just keep doing what makes you feel good!

  67. July 11, 2011 7:21 pm

    Yay for standing up to those judgers! It makes me go crazy when people judge my diet. I eat what I want, I’m sorry I don’t crave fried foods and burgers like most americans, but that doesn’t mean I’m clinging on to my eating disorder.
    It just means I like to eat what I like!

  68. July 12, 2011 9:11 am

    Not yet. As more people comment on my blog, I’m kind of thinking that that might happen because while other bloggers would rather drop dead than eat fast food I actually eat fast food every now and then because if that’s what the people I’m eating with want, I don’t want to ruin it for them, and it tastes ok and eating it every now and then won’t kill me.

  69. beckafly permalink
    July 16, 2011 9:06 pm

    Eating what you love is the key. Outside the blogging/health nut world my eating habits aren’t what a lot of people might eat (and I do get funny looks), but its what makes me happy and what makes my body feel best. Maybe poptarts works for one person, for another it might be overnight oats. Eat what you love.

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