This is the second in a series of blog posts I'll be doing over the next few weeks about what it means to me to eat well. Read my first post about how I buy meat that is good for me and the world. I'm really interested in your opinions and how you try to eat well, so please email me or comment below! Also, sign up at the bottom of the page to make sure you never miss a post.
Last week I wrote about how I buy and eat meat. This week I want to talk about how I think about food in relation to my body and my life.
I, like every other woman ever born in the history of the universe, sometimes feel like my body could look better. Sometimes it's like I'm looking at a plate of food and there's a fight between us to see who is going to win. Hint: If I eat the food, I lose. I usually lose but it is actually winning because I am so lucky to have enough food to fill my belly every single day. I think it's super important that we talk about our insecurities and worries in a way that is productive and doesn't feed into an unhealthy cycle. Hence, my list.
1) Befriend women who remind me where real self-worth should come from. Directly related to #5. I have met and am friends with some really cool women. I met Hillary Clinton. Do you think she is worrying about whether her thighs rub together? Honestly, she might be. But she puts that shit out of her head and goes out and GETS SHIT DONE. Similarly, my friends and I have much more important things to talk about than our abs and our calves, and that is exactly how I like it.
2) Don't talk shit about women's bodies. To be honest, I think the practice of talking badly about other women's bodies or my own body is the absolute most toxic thing I have every done for my self-esteem. This is one of those hippy-dippy putting out bad energy things, but this seems like a situation where the energy seems to make a difference.
3) Meal prep. I will eat pasta 7 days a week if I don't make it really, really easy for myself to eat something else. Therefore, I typically buy a bunch of vegetables and prep them so I can easily make them into other meals. This tip can also be found in basically every healthy eating guide EVER but it is truly a good one.
4) Never eliminate foods from my diet. There are better things for me than pasta, obviously. But I will never stop eating it. Other foods that are like this for me include Cheetos, Kraft Mac & Cheese, pasta carbonara, and tacos. I don't eat these foods often, but I will never categorically remove them from my diet.
5) Keep the bad stuff out of the house, except when I don't. This is a strategy I use for everything except Kraft mac and cheese because sometimes the world is cruel and I can't face it without that lil' blue box. Generally, though, I stock my kitchen with food that is good for me and that's what I eat because it is in front of me.
6) Think of myself as kindly as I do my friends. Sometimes I think things about myself that I would never even consider saying about anyone else. In general, I speak to and about my friends (and even strangers) in ways that highlight the best things about them. In general, I don't use the same intentionality with thinking about myself, maybe because it feels intensely conceited to love myself as much as I love my friends. There I said it. That's the truth. But it shouldn't be. So there. The song below might help you.
7) Eat the fucking brownie. I refuse to be one of those women who debates with strangers about whether she should eat a brownie. I hate those women. Sometimes I feel myself slipping into a constant craze of worry about what I'm eating, how much I weigh, and whether I'm pretty enough to be allowed to exist. When that happens, I try to check myself, slap my thick thighs together and go out into the world and make a fuss, because I am worthy of the space I take up and the pasta that I eat.
8) Remember that I don't have to clean my plate. We all kind of know this but could stand to be reminded that not all the food on our plate needs to be eaten. What's that, body? You're full? Word.
9) Give and receive love through food. This goes along with the belief that food should be a celebration of the people I love. When I'm thinking about food this way, it is a lot harder to let it also be a source of guilt and angst. Plus, 1 small piece of cake eaten with friends is more filling than 5 pieces eaten alone. Science.
10) Cook for myself often. I have eaten from a lot of dorm dining halls, and the food is never as nourishing as food I make myself. There is something about the process of chopping and stirring and baking that makes food taste better and fills both my stomach and my heart. That's the good stuff.
How do you manage your relationship with food?