One of my most popular posts was where I said My Healthy Doesn’t Mean Your Healthy. I’ve been thinking on this recently in terms of food.
I get asked questions about food and what I eat and don’t eat. I ask other folks about their own diets. In fact, you may have checked out the column in one of the fitness magazines where the celebrity shares what they eat in a day. There are also bloggers who share their eats and meals for the day or for the week. Some of that is interesting see and often inspirational. It can be great for getting ideas of things to include as meals or snacks.
Sometimes I like looking at that, but more often than not if I am reading a blogger’s page and it is nothing but descriptions and photos of meals and food, I’ll move on to something else. I find that these wonderful descriptions and photos of these beautifully prepared smoothie bowel, salads, and meals don’t always help me. I find myself thinking, wow, how long did it take her to make all that for breakfast? How could she eat that much at lunch and not gain weight? Does she really eat a cupcake every single day? That meal looks wonderful, I surely wish I could make mine look so good! I am doing something wrong if I can’t eat this well and beautifully every single day . . . and on and on and on. It begins that whole comparative game that can lead one into a long dark bunny hole.
I can’t say here that I never post my foods. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I do sometimes post good, healthy, simple foods right before I devour them.
I also post some that are just as good, but not so healthy . . . .
I like to inspire and motivate, but love to keep it real. I’ve said it before I am an 80/20 girl. I try to make good, healthy choices 80% of the time and have 20% left for fun.
This is such a curious topic for readers or most health conscience people. But, if someone asked me how to “eat like me” or how they could begin eating more like me, I definitely would not and could not be a good role model. Each person needs their very own eating strategy. I eat what I like because, mostly, I like it and it is usually healthy. I typically eat what I eat because it is what I want at that time and will make me feel good. I know tons of people who eat much cleaner than I do. While I may have a photo of a wonderful salad from lunch on my Instagram account, what I don’t show are the gingersnaps I ate at 4:00 pm or the glass of wine I had while preparing dinner. I can also have a wonderfully healthy day of eating light and then have a fight with a teenager that just might send me to the pantry for a spoonful of peanut butter, something a little more decadent if we have anything, or anything to fill that urge to eat emotionally. Honestly, just because I know what to do doesn’t mean I always do it.
I like food. I like the celebration of food, how it brings people together. I have written in the past of how my mother and I would talk about food, what we were preparing for dinner and share recipes we had made or even just read. I like to taste good, fresh food that has been prepared well. I do not eat fast food because I don’t really like it. That does not mean you will not see me in a drive thru window. I have been in that line and bought more than I care to admit of Steak and Shake burgers and Chic Fil A sandwiches for my boys.
If we are attempting to reach a goal it is so easy to make that correlation between how someone else is eating to get the results they’re getting and what you should then be eating to get that same result. It just is not that simple. You know that too. How often have you been around someone who could just eat and eat and if you followed suit and ate the same things in the same amounts you would end up two sizes larger? I can name off some of my very best friends! I simply could not eat like them even if I wanted to!
It is a basic scientific fact. We all have different metabolic tendencies, different genetic make ups, different lifestyles, priorities, food preferences, schedules, ages, activity patterns and much more. I could eat just like Jennifer Anniston from now until I’m sixty and I simply would not look like her. That’s a shame isn’t it? Changing your diet based on someone else will never bring you the results you are wanting. Also, jumping from one eating program to another one based upon what you see or read or based on that person next to you in your spin class will never work. Someone else’s eating strategy has nothing to do with yours.
Working with a nutritionist, dietician or health coach is a great way to get on track, learn new eating strategies and develop better habits. However, even with being provided new tools, it is up to us to experience what is going on and respond to how different food choices are working or not working for our goals.
Here’s the bottom line. My nutrition or someone else’s nutrition is not your nutrition. Eating is a personal, individual thing that needs to be based on each person’s unique preferences, metabolism, age, health, lifestyle, and schedule. We all have our very own journeys.
Changing eating patterns and creating a healthy lifestyle does not happen overnight or from eating what a celebrity eats. It happens bit by bit, by making small changes, intentional choices that become more frequent and easier over time. Understanding yourself and why you make your choices, moving on when you need to and congratulating yourself regularly over time will help you incorporate those healthy habits. You will learn to eat the same way on a weekend as you do on a Monday.
Enjoy Your Day!