Growing up, I rarely heard a conversation about food that was outside of the world of weight loss.
It was always something about “avoid these 10 foods for a flat tummy,” or “XYZ diet is the way to the body of your dreams.”
Like many girls exposed to these types of conversations, headlines, and media, it made me very aware and conscious of my size.
Given the fact that the majority of conversations around food in our society are about making sure we do not eat too much, I decided to go on my first diet at age 15—which lead to a decade-long battle with an eating disorder.
I assured everyone that I was “pursuing health,” but deep down I knew I was simultaneously pursing the shrinking of my body size.
I know I am not alone in this either.
Collectively, we so often make sure to limit calories, count points, track macros, and lose pounds. There is so much emphasis on removing entire food groups too. Fat-free. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Carb-free.
By approaching food through this scarcity mindset, I am not suprised at all that so many of us have disordered relationships with food and are obsessed with weight loss.
But if we shift the perspective from eating as a way to manipulate our body size to achieve health (aka lose weight), to eating as a way to nourish our bodies, the conversation changes entirely.
Now the question is “am I eating enough?”
Am I eating enough life-force giving foods to provide the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and hydration my body needs to thrive?
Am I eating enough leafy greens and vegetables for antioxidants and gut health?
Am I eating enough quality protein, like pasture-raised eggs, beans, or grass fed meats to build and repair my tissues?
Am I eating enough healthy fat from avocados and nuts, for hormone production, and cell and brain function?
As someone who now only chooses the perspective of nourishment, I have so much freedom around food. This abundance mindset allows me to truly honor and take care of my body—instead of trying to change it, because of the perception that it’s wrong the way it is.
So which conversation do you want to have? Which perspective feels more empowering?
Shrinking your body or nourishing your body?
Do you want to make sure you don’t eat too much or make sure you are eating enough?
It’s our choice. We can choose whatever conversation we want. But let’s choose wisely.
Author: Cara Carin Cifelli
Image: Bruce Tuten on Flickr
Editor: Kenni Linden
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina