Eating Healthy Does Not Mean Losing Weight

Growing up, when someone told me they were eating healthier, it usually was a means to lose weight. Eating fruits and vegetables was almost a punishment, healthy meals meant yogurt and crackers or the occasional salad. I watched my mom eat that stuff and ask “Why are you eating grass?” 

To me, when there was a grilled cheese or waffles drenched in syrup option, that was so much better than any leafy green or carrot stick.

To be honest, I did not get this image of health through my parents. I got it from the media. I always saw my mom as skinny. She ate salad and yogurt but always had cake or sweets if she wanted it. My dad used to say “she has a fast metabolism” and I wanted to be like that when I grew up.

I have been thinking about this concept or weight and health the past few days because I had been experiencing stomach pains and bad gas. I felt really uncomfortable in my body, bloated and smelly (because gas ya know?) I knew what that meant, I needed to clean up my diet a bit. Too much junk in my system gives me really smelly gas and causes me to not be able to go number 2. This is a problem, because I eat a lot of food and use the bathroom about 5 times a day. All the build up in my system caused very painful cramping yesterday until finally I was able to “let it go”.

When I went ot DC, I had so much wonderful vegan food. Vegan Treats was AMAZING as was Sticky Fingers and all the other great things I ate. I do not regret this at all. As all good things, they come to an end and some “balance” is necessary. When I got home from DC, my diet lacked variety. The same veggies, a lot of PB&J or PB&C (chocolate) and bananas. Nothing I’d say was over the top, but there is a lot of truth in eating the rainbow or having multiple sources of nutrients.

After yesterday, I made the decision to get some of the processed stuff out of my diet for a bit. 

I decided to “eat healthier”.

Immediately, I did not want to think about it like that. I did not want my brain to associate my attempt to clean my gut with some far off desire to drop a few pounds. That is not my intent. When I was growing up, had I said I wanted to  eat healthier, that would have meant “drop 5”. 

Today, it means something else. Rather than switch out cake for an apple, I switch out cake for something equally as caloric, but more nutritious. I made brownies yesterday with bananas, peanut butter, cacao and cashews. Still sweet, but more nutrient dense. Instead of replacing chips with broccoli, I’ll replace chips with baked potatoes or rice. Still as caloric, but fewer ingredients masking the nutrients. 

Thinking about health has changed significantly since I was a child, but old thought patterns die hard. I wonder if I’ll ever not associate health with weight. I don’t think anyone can fully until mainstream media does.

What comes to your mind when you first think “eat healthier?”


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