Healthy eating isn’t defined as ‘consuming a diet solely consisting of fruit and vegetables’, it is defined as the consumption of a varied, balanced diet, consisting of a range of different foods (yes, even chocolate!…) It took me such a long time to listen to this, let alone accept it, but it’s true, believe me.
Don’t get me wrong, eating fruit and veg is proven to have an abundance of health benefits, but you can’t live on apples and brocolli alone. You’ll be able to survive (up to a point), but you won’t be able to live. You won’t have the capacity in your brain to think about anything because you’ll be constantly pre-occupied with food. That’s what restriction does to you… It makes you crave the foods that you deny yourself of, but it makes you too scared to eat those foods you so desperately want. It’s a viscious cycle, but you can free yourself from it. It’s never too late to break free.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy (in-fact, if you do find it easy, you are an incredibly lucky person), for you will need to rewire your brain and unlearn all of the thought patterns that have convinced you that food is the ‘enemy’, and that will take some time. There is likely to be many setbacks during your journey throughout recovery, but I am saying this right from my heart, it will be so worth it, I promise.
One thing you need to remember is that; if you have been caught in the cycle, don’t beat yourself up about it. It doesn’t make you ‘weak’, it makes you human. The society that we live in today places so much emphasis on an unattainable, incredibly unhealthy diet culture. It is this society that has led us to believe that food can somehow be classified as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, but this is so far from the truth…
Although frequently labelled as ‘bad’, fat is a necessary component of our diet. Without it, our health would be seriously compromised. We would constantly feel cold, and if female, we would loose our periods which in extreme circumstances, can lead to infertility. Take it from someone who has been there, it’s just not worth it…
What’s important is that you nourish your body with bits of everything. Not only will your physical health be maintained, through doing this your mental health will also massively benefit. How? Well when you restrict, you lack energy, and as a result, your mood drops. In contrast, nourishing your body will make you happy 🙂
If you need an example of how restriction affects your mood, just look at me. When I was in the depths of my eating disorder, I felt so depressed all the time. I was not only denying myself of food, I was also denying myself of happiness, of a life. But now- now that I am giving my body what it wants- I feel genuinely happy. I don’t go a day without eating some form of chocolate now because it’s just so yummy. And you know what, I feel perfectly okay saying that, I don’t feel guilty or shameful as I would’ve felt last year, because it’s normal and it’s healthy. So you shouldn’t feel guilty for eating the things that you enjoy either.
It’s time for you to pick up your fork (or your spoon), and nourish your body. Do it and never look back. I promise you it will be worth it x