Everyone believes different foods are ‘unclean’…just ask your vegan neighbor, the bodybuilder, Miss Gluten-free, Lord Lo-carb, or Princess Paleo. The biggest problem with the idea of ‘clean eating’ is that ‘clean’ has no objective definition. It depends who you talk to…
Like bacon bad? Or deep fried Oreos bad??
At the time, I was just getting back from two weeks in Japan, one of the healthiest countries on the planet and I was midway through my first trimester. It occurred to me I would never receive this reaction to bread – or much else – in Japan. So, what gives America?
Have we gone too far as a nation in categorizing food choices as good or bad? And yet, how does it follow that the obesity in the US is the most cited, the most obvious, and the most shocking thing one notices when visiting (or returning to) this country?
Macronutrients are important, but it’s useful to know that you’ll always gain weight roughly in proportion to how many calories you eat over your maintenance needs — regardless of which macronutrient they come from.” ~Armi Legge, How Eating Too Many Calories From Any Food Makes You Gain Fat
For my fitness friends, in particular, the classification of good vs. bad is more pronounced…and potentially more problematic. And I get it. I remember the day when my skating coach sat me down to tell me about puberty, which apparently entailed big hips and thighs if I continued to eat foods like…peanut butter! So, I stopped eating peanut butter from the age of 12 onward…
Fast forward to the age of 18, my performance director in Disney On Ice instructed me to lose weight in my thighs — I had lean but muscular quads acquired from over a decade of jumping. To make matters worse, I was in Japan on skater’s pay and could not read Japanese food labels. Fortunately, the combination of less jumping and “9-packs” (three consecutive days of three-show days) in humid Japanese summer conditions whittled away my thigh (muscle) as I learned to embrace tuna fish sandwiches and 12-hr fasting before our weekly weigh-ins.
Avoiding specific foods or food groups without a rational reason is one of the defining characteristics of orthorexia nervosa, and is common in people with binge eating disorder and anorexia. It’s no surprise this is a common disorder in athletes, dietitians, and other health conscious people.” ~ JC Dean, Clean Eating is a Scam
When I prepare for stage, I admittedly go for extended periods of time (8-16 weeks) following a strict diet of specific foods in specific amounts at specific times of the day. Looking at one day, my diet is very diverse, well-balanced, and substantial…or, in my mother’s words:
You eat all that?!”
But, this is not normal behavior. It is bodybuilding. It is ramping up to one day of an extremely optimized physique.
A woman (or man) with a history of ED [Eating Disorders] is very likely to take the ball and run with it. If you say, “Don’t eat tomatoes, they have sugar”- that client with an ED is very likely to now label tomatoes as a ‘bad’ food. Which if you understand science, tomatoes are not a bad food, they can fit perfectly into any macro plan. If you tell them that ‘cardio’ is good, chances are very high that they will only feel accomplished if they ‘cardio’ every day.” ~Jennifer Jewell Fitness, Eating Disorders in Fitness
So, the next time, you catch yourself discarding a food as ‘bad’ or overindulging in something on your ‘good’ list in the name of clean eating, ask yourself if you’ve missed the mark and need to surrender this overly restrictive mindset for a more inclusive moderate approach to ‘clean living’.
PHILOSOPHY IN ACTION…SURRENDER
Muster the courage to look inside yourself; to examine the good and the not-so-good. Surrender those habits that may not be in your best interest. Resign your fear to the past, and explore the art of surrendering to your Hopes and Dreams. ~willPower & grace