I'm pleased to welcome back Thomas Grainger as a guest blogger. In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, he shares his thoughts about balance.
Take it away, Thomas!
BALANCED BODY THROUGH BALANCED EATING
by Thomas Grainger
2016 was the year that we witnessed a spike in talks around ‘clean eating’. From paleo to veganism, different people were associating themselves with different labels and different eating ideologies. With a focus on reclaiming back one’s health and doing what we felt was the best for our bodies, many people lost sight of what truly mattered.
Eating healthily is very much a subjective idea. It is not just about what you eat but HOW you are doing it, your thoughts and mindset about what you put into your mouth and the people you are sharing your food with.
Eating is suppose to be a pleasurable process, and one often associated with spending quality time to those who matter in our lives. I think 2017 has already seen a refocusing on what it means to eat healthily - to find that balance between controlling what we eat and enjoying food for it’s intrinsically pleasurable and social value. With food becoming increasingly associated with our identities, especially due to the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, where people share their green smoothies or Acai Bowls in perfectly constructed stylised photo posts,
It is important that we don’t let food define who we are. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cupcake, or having a bowl of vegetables, if that’s what you feel like. Stewing over what we consume for hours, feelings of guilt or even the judgment of others who don’t eat the same way we do, is never a healthy attitude, no matter how many chia seeds you manage to sprinkle over your organic kale chips.
There’s a time and a place for everything, as the cliche goes, and I do believe that eating is very much an evolutionary and indeed a learning process.
Listen to your body.
Enjoy what you eat.
Aim to eat from the ‘rainbow’ of food choices out there and most importantly, don’t overthink things.
Eating is not meant to be a trap. It’s not meant to be associated with weight gain or weight loss.
It’s the fuel source that nourishes our bodies, and we should all enjoy this nourishing process.
Let’s make 2017 the year of rebalancing perspectives on eating. Remember, you can ‘have your cake and eat it too’.
Thomas Grainger is a television producer from Sydney, Australia. After battling a life-threatening eating disorder which left him with a number of serious health issues, he has embarked on a journey as a health and wellness activist, spreading a message of self-acceptance and love for one's body, no matter what shape or size. He is the author of the book, 'You Are Not Your Eating Disorder', a practical guide to understanding and recovering from an eating disorder for life.