I’ve always chased success and compared myself to others based on restriction. I can lose weight if I don’t eat sugar. I can get more done at home if I don’t watch television. I can be more productive if I don’t use social media.
The best version of me, the one who weighs 150 pounds and works out every day and truly enjoys salad, the one who works nights and weekends to stay ahead at work, the one who cranks out best sellers year after year because she’s a prolific writer… she’s just around the corner if only the me right now would stop baking cookies and going to bed early and talking to her friends online.
Guess what I’ve decided? Screw all that, oh my god.
I’m fine. I am fine right now. I am living my life right now. And it is a really good one. I am happy. I am taking care of myself. I allow myself to rest. I remind myself to wash my hair. And I allow myself to eat anything.
Yes. I eat anything now. Anything I want.
This has revolutionized my relationship with food. I don’t have to restrict. I don’t have to have a sugar ban or never eat bread again. Y’all. I’m allowed to eat. YOU are allowed to eat. I swear. You’re allowed.
Here’s the thing about food: we kinda need it to live. And we have taste buds. And brains. And when stuff hits our taste buds in a nice way, we like it.
And, in complete and utter news to me, this is not a moral failure. Enjoying sweet or salty or fatty or whatever molecule you’ve banned this month in an attempt to lose those “stubborn ten pounds” is not your failure. Because food is not good or bad. Food is food. Food is neutral. You need food so you don’t die. And it’s okay if that food is a cupcake.
I used to think that a minimalist way of eating was a limit on the types of food I eat. Keep it simple, eat whole foods, eat organic foods, eat fresh and raw foods, eat ethically sourced foods, eat food you can make in one pot, eat food you can eat in a bowl, eat the same foods every day, only eat at certain times per day. The more rules I tried, the more I blamed myself for not being able to follow them. But eating is supposed to be easy. Now, I think of a minimalist way of eating as a limit on restriction. As in, no restrictions. I can eat a sandwich or a cookie or ice cream – even right before bed. Gasp!
The truth about food that I can finally see is this: What I eat has absolutely no bearing on my skills, personality, worth, or beauty.