It took me 10 years to understand the real value of healthy eating
The real value of healthy eating is not about a popular style but a choice that is pleasant and has benefits on life and I will tell you more.
Raise your hand if you ever had a love-hate relationship with your food! For many women, including myself, food has always been an aspect giving us all headaches. Why and when did food become such a big deal in women’s lives? Why does food mean so much? And what is it that we can do to see food as what it is, fuel for our bodies, a necessity for survival?
The trap of seeing food as a pleasure
As a kid, I was raised by my grandmother. She cooked every day and she spoiled me with the best desserts in the world. I remember that whenever she wanted to show her feelings for me, she made me chocolate pudding, and this is when I knew she was saying `I love you!` Food was love and I was indulging in everything I was tasting, carefree of any limitations.
When my grandmother died, I was already a teenager. On my own almost all day long because my parents were at work, I was eating whatever I felt like. Food was a pleasure because my grandma taught me so, therefore I didn’t care what I was eating as long as it made me feel good. But soon my mother started to criticize my food choices.
Not being fat does not mean you eat healthy
She was worried I was eating too much, or too often, and she was preoccupied with me not getting fat. She thought that being fat is bad for women because men do not like chubby chicks. Not being fat was very important for mom as she was chubby in her teenage years due to autoimmune disease. Also, she didn’t want me to also experience how it felt having some extra kilos.
Like many parents in her generation, she didn’t know how to properly communicate the advantages of eating healthy to me and she didn’t really guide me into what it would be good for me to eat. She would just disapprove of my choices thus making me feel like I was always choosing bad foods. As expected, food became a stressful topic for me.
The more I was running away from food, the more I was actually thinking about it, daydreaming of everything I would eat if I had access to it. Of course, this was also due to the fact that I hoped to have the perfect body so someone would love me too.
The difficult transition to eating healthy
I was 26 years old when my perspective on food started to change. It was when I seriously started to workout constantly and thus understand the value of healthy food for a life full of energy and focus. I didn’t change my habits immediately, though. Even if I rationally knew what choices I should make, my emotions were still choosing for me quite often. Instead, I should have maintained my emotional well-being so that I would make rational choices. It’s hard to change habits overnight!
At times, I would completely let go of newly learned tips and tricks about healthy food and say to myself the effort is not worth it. I would go back to the foods that gave me pleasure, but soon enough I would feel tired and dull again and I would come back to healthy eating because I knew it would fix my mood swings and overall state of being.
Delicious food can also be healthy
I played this game for as long as 10 years being in an ongoing conversation and negotiation with myself about why I should choose healthy foods most time and turn the foods I grew up with into exceptions. It was a matter of practice and consciousness to turn healthy foods into constant choices without feeling like I’m in a battle.
Today, I can say I cook healthy meals without effort! By now, I know what I like and I know how to mix ingredients into delicious and nutritious dishes. I still enjoy chocolate pudding now and then, but the most important thing is that I don’t feel guilty about what I eat anymore. I know that what matters most are the choices that you make most days, not the exceptions that you indulge in now and then!
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