It’s been a while, ha? I know! I’ve so crazy busy, I wouldn’t know where to start. But, I have been wanting to share this with you for a while. So here we are. Let’s talk about “diets”.
When it comes to eating, I have tried many things over the years… MANY! Not only have I stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried different cuisines, but I have also gone through a good share of fad diets. Today, I want to share a very sensitive topic with you: my relationship with food.
The first thing I would like to very much clarify is that there seems to be a negative perception of the word “diet”. Here comes the first issue, people think of losing weight and restrictions when they hear the word “diet”. The truth is that by definition “diet” is simply the kinds of food we eat. A person can have a diet low in carbs, high in fats, high in protein, low in sugar, or really any variation of the main food groups. So when someone says: “I am on a diet”, most people think it means that someone is trying to lose weight. Sure that is the assumption, but what it really means is that someone limits how much of certain food groups that someone can have. A person might need to limit certain food groups for health reasons, spiritual reasons and yes, weigh- loss among other things.
My relationship with food and the many diets, or eating styles as I prefer to call it, has changed so much over the last 5 years. I think it all comes down to social media, what is “in”, what is everyone doing, what is working for others, I should try that! I kid you not, is like a weight-loss epidemic because everywhere we look, we are being told we are not good enough as is. We must plump our lips, have a giant butt, skinny legs, long shiny hair, a flat tummy. It is so beyond ridiculous that these “eating trends” are making it to the news because X Fad Diet worked for X Artist and now we should all do it! Okay, they might not actually say “try it”, but they present you with this “information” to make you consider X Fad Diet because you too want to become a success story just as X Artist…. I don’t think so!
But getting to this point where I can be mindful about my food choices and practice intuitive eating, has taking some time and learning to get here. I am not here to bash every diet out there. For every study that says Keto diet is THE best diet, there is another study that says the opposite. This goes for any eating style or “diet” out there: Paleo, carb cycling, intermittent fasting, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Veganism, and all of them really. So what I am here to ask from you is that when you decide to change your eating habits based on an article you read or a documentary you watched, first make sure you validate the resources used and question who paid for said article or documentary to come to life. You’ll be surprised how much bias there is, and they don’t disclose any of that.
Then I suggest you consider based on your personal health, lifestyle and goals if said eating style is the best for you. Many people eat what others think is good for them, and never consider what actually their body can handle. Depending on how healthy you are, your body will process certain foods better than others. For instance, if you drank milk when you were a teen and never had issues, don’t be surprised if your doctor later tells you’re lactose intolerant. But how so? Well, this change can come for many reasons such as when you were younger you missed to notice the side affects (bloating or heartburn among the many possibilities), or maybe your unhealthy choices caused you an inflamed liver and now you can’t digest food properly as you did when your liver was healthy. I share this because you might be doing say Paleo the “right way” and still don’t see the progress others swear by. If your body is no at an optimal point, the progress might be slow, long, or not at all if you simply can’t digest properly the items on your diet.
So as you can see, I am not here to tell you which is the best or the worst diet. That will always be different for every person because every body will handle and process every diet differently. I tried Keto, and realized I simply can’t live without bananas… seriously, just can’t! I tried Paleo, and realized I simply can’t live without beans… black beans are a must have! I tried intermittent fasting, and realized I hated not being able to eat with my kids because I couldn’t get my eating hours to work with my work schedule and my family schedule. And, while I don’t do this all the time, I want to be able to enjoy my slice of cake without guilt, my pan dulce con cafe without guilt, a whole milk latte without guilt, a hamburger on brioche bun and add cheese because yummy without guilt… I mean you get the idea, right? I think is all about balance. Is being aware of what your body needs are.
I personally have a problem sticking to any ONE trending diet. I tried and I failed, but I truly believe balance is key. I know that my body has issues digesting dairy and grains combined (I actually was tested so this isn’t a guess). I have to be mindful when I eat things like pizza because it hurts my belly. And sure I have tried vegan pizza and while is actually good, I will every once in a while have a slice of regular pizza knowing it will hurt later. I limit how much and how often I have the things that don’t sit well with my belly, but I am not swearing off anything. Recently I started eating plant based. I try to make most of my meals and snacks plant based. This was a very personal moral decision. I am currently limiting animal products to 1-3 meals per week. I used to have animal products with all meals so this is a significant change that my body and soul are grateful for. It works for me, but I don’t know that it can work for others. Like I said, make sure you eat the things that work for your body and your goals.
Oh yes… goals! You know this mama has a good amount of fitness goals. Fitness goals go hand-in-hand with diet. Let’s remember I said ‘diet’ or the foods we eat, and not the wrong and commonly mistaken definition of ‘diet’, aka starvation. I know if I want my old jeans I keep holding unto to fit one day, I will have to limit certain food items, like cake! I could possibly starve myself to skinnyland, but that is just not how I roll. And let’s be clear that I said that is not how I roll. This might work for others and their priorities. It is just not what works for me.
So there you have it. It wasn’t all bad, huh? I just want to bring your attention to these topics that seem to create such controversy. I personally don’t like it when people try to force me to eat like they do. I mean… hello?! You don’t even know my body! How would you know what works for you will work for me? You don’t! I suggest you keep balance in mind when it comes to eating. Have all the good things that make your body stronger and limit those things that make you sick. This aligns closely with the anti-diet culture movement. It doesn’t mean eat all the bad stuff because your body is beautiful regardless of the size. It actually means enjoy all the foods that bring health and joy because your body is beautiful regardless of the size. Balance is key!
Mama Bear Kim