Give Me More

“Positive nutrition begins with compassion towards ourselves. It’s about eating better, not about eating less. Nutrition is not low-fat. It’s not low-calorie. It’s not being hungry and feeling deprived. It’s about nourishing your body with real whole foods: so that you are consistently satisfied to able to live life to the fullest”.

I adore these words from nutritionist Amelia Freer:

“Food is not something that should be feared. Yes, it is important to eat with consciousness: both for our own health, and the health for the environment. But food can also be a carefree source of pleasure and joy. Identifying where your own personal balance lies on this continuum is the key to finding contentment around food”.

These quotes speak loudly because,

food has been an emotional sticking point to self-love for me: as I’m sure is the case with many other people too.

And despite having been something incredibly difficult to deal with – food has also come to form an extremely important role in how I take care myself – as well as how I look after others around me, and the environment we live in too.

Having feared food, demonised various food groups, and deprived myself as a form of ‘success’ and ‘control’ in the past; I have now settled on focusing what I’m giving myself and how I can supply my body with MORE. Yes, in recent years: I have taken some things out of my diet for health reasons, and because of my own personal beliefs. But (unless food groups will cause me actual harm) I enjoy them whenever I want.

Eating more food with more benefits, and never aiming to consume less.

When I was growing up I watched the adults around me go on restrictive diets, and we were all surrounded by messages about the latest low fat fad, and ‘appropriate’ portion sizes (amounts of food for women and girls vs. ‘hard working men’ and ‘growing boys’).

So maybe it wasn’t surprising that I, and many other girls my age, fell into the trap of counting calories as teenagers. I adopted stravation, alongside self-harm, as a means of coping with feelings of inadequacy, depression, and anxiety about not being ‘good enough’ for relationships or small red swimming costumes.

Even when I started receiving treatment for my disordered eating and was attempting to make peace with my body – I was still being governed by calorie controlled diets, meal plans, allowed exercise, and mathematics.

Isn’t this one of the most unnatural features of our society? That food even comes with numbers.

This way of restricting and prescibing food is one of the most perverse things in our society, and really is pretty inhumane – if you think about it any further than just accepting that this is just the way things are.

We need to draw a line.

Eating well isn’t just a tool alter the way we look physically. What we feed ourselves affects our entire physiology. Food affects our mental and physical health, hormones, motivation, energy levels, and mood.

It was this realisation that eventually allowed me to eat for nutrients and stop turning over packaged foods to read the number on the flipping labels. Alongside the work that really needed to be done: understanding my pain, trusting that – as long as I was eating natural foods – my body would find it’s natural weight/size, and accepting my body: in each moment of that journey.

Food can be the most difficult relationship we have to build and work on.

For me, it was an unhealthy way of coping, from which there was no escape. Food is everywhere you look. Social events are focused around food. Diet culture is still hanging on, and much to my horror – there are still ‘health food’ and ‘healthy living’ magazines and movements that running articles on eating fewer calories, less fat, and dwindling portion sizes.

But nutrition has also been one of the most beneficial things for me in overcoming depression, addiction, and – now – living with chronic illness too. I understand that my body needs fuel, a wide range of nutrients to support various systems, and fats to function.

Food can be a foundation for self-love.

Alone, it won’t be the solution; It’s important to acknowledge that no diet will stuff down negative emotion, counteract high levels of stress, or compensate for little sleep. And, you will always stand in the best position if you can address your mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs – as a whole. Making sure you’re not killing yourself! I cringe to my core when I watch people setting themselves up to start restricting their calorie intake, completing harsh HIT sessions each day, and cutting out something that they don’t want to have/rely on anymore all at once.

One thing at a time, please. And softly softly. I detest the ‘work harder, push harder, don’t make excuses’ shit.

If it seems like a hard struggle work. It’s possible that you’re just setting yourself up to fail.

Be understanding. Treat your body with the compassion and repsect it deserves.

If you are interested in loving-yourself more. And not in plummeling yourself. Megan Rossi, doctor of nutrition and gut health specialist, suggests trying to have at least 30 plant based whole foods a week. A simple formula that focuses on adding in MORE foods for a healthier gut, wider range of vitamins and minerals, and an overall improvement in health. Rather than depriving yourself, or cutting out anything.

For the next couple of weeks, I will be trying to do this, by making a list of the plant-based wholefoods I have each day (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and pulses). Adding more everyday, and publishing the finished list of the plant-based wholefoods I have consumed (aiming for around the 30), at the end of the week.

I will be doing this on Instagram. And have made templates available on our account for you to check in on what you’re feeding yourself with too.

This does not require you to share them if you do not want to! They are not there for any comparision.

These templates are here for you to check in on what you’re feeding yourself, and how you could add more. More colours. More plant based whole foods. For a more diverse gut culture, a bigger range of vitamins and minerals, and increased fulfillment.

This is not here for you to beat yourself up, or change your diet in a way that isn’t sustainable or flexible. And it does not require you to restrict or shame.

It’s gentle nourishing way to start giving yourself more.

It’s not hard work and it’s not promising anything out of this world. If your diet is, and it’s asking a lot from you. Making you unhappy, stressed, or causing you to have a negative self-image or engage in negative self-talk – your diet definatley isn’t supporting, or helping you. It’s controlling, and abusive. Please stop feeding it whatever it tells you to.

Feeling guilt or shame when you eat, isn’t healthy.

And being kind and compassionate when it comes to feeding yourself, has to be paramount. There have been study’s suggesting – if you eat and feel guilt – it will cause far more negative effects on your body and mind than if you just eaten it because you wanted to, enjoyed it and felt content – anyway.

So have what you want, and try to relish in food as the carefree source of wellbeing and joy that it can be.

 

Keep scrolling for some of my favourite foodie follows that inspire me to give myself more:

⚡︎ THE HAPPY PEAR

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Happy Pear (@thehappypear) on

⚡︎ BOSH

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by BOSH! (@bosh.tv) on

⚡︎ NUTRITION FAIRY

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ~Kara~ (@nutrition_fairy) on

⚡︎ DELICIOUSLY ELLA

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Deliciously Ella (@deliciouslyella) on

⚡︎ PLANT POWERED KATY

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Plant Powered Katy 🌿 (@katygfoodaddict) on

Share:

3 Comments

  1. December 29, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    Self love is so important! This is such a great read!

  2. Jeni
    December 29, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    Food can be such a struggle… could totally relate. Thanks for sharing this post

  3. Jane
    December 29, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    I’m from a culture where it’s totally ok to openly comment and judge young women’s bodies. Having been at the receiving end, I totally empathize. This is such a great read ❤️

Leave a Reply