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Emily L: In Defense of Eating

January 10, 2019

Earlier this month I found myself at little pecks on a Saturday morning. I got there just before the morning brunch rush, with my laptop in tow, to put in an hour’s worth of writing before heading off to do errands.

If you’re not sick of me telling you this, little pecks is an amazing place to sit, enjoy something delicious, and simply hang out. You get to enjoy the enclosed Lucas Confectionery patio, that’s heated in winter, and a great source of natural light. Why more of Troy doesn’t spend the afternoon working from this beautiful space remains a mystery to me.

So when I was ordering my morning coffee, the barista asks me if I would like anything to eat. My response was, “I’ve given up eating for January.”

Which, of course, isn’t actually true. But in a way, it is. I’m attempting to avoid fried foods, sweets, fatty meats, refined grains, and simple starches. I’m eating only when I’m hungry, and stopping when the hunger is abated. I’m giving up beer, wine, and spirits until I hit the target weight I left behind at the end of 2018.

All of this inspired some thoughts from Emily L who submitted today’s guest post.

Women, Don’t be Afraid to Eat
By Emily L

While Daniel is going on a bit of a health kick this January, I wanted to bring up an important discussion surrounding food and food consumption.

As a female, it seems much of my life has been around conversations of what I shouldn’t eat. I feel the immense pressure everyday to not eat or if I do eat, that I should have some sort of guilt associated with it. While my family gatherings were filled with delicious dishes each year, much of the conversation of my female family members was discussing around how this was a ‘cheat day’ or the SlimFast drinks they were going to consume for the rest of the week. In high school, I remember it being a point of pride of how little we could get from the salad bar. I attend far too many special events where women stand and drink while men eat all of the food.

I have an autoimmune disorder. As I got sicker, I attempted to overhaul my entire lifestyle a few years ago, only eating vegetables and occasional protein. I refused to eat out and stressed my entire family and all of my friends when it came time to eat. I got down to a size 00 and you know what? I didn’t feel better mentally or physically. I was jaunt and had no energy. The stress of not eating I was putting on everyone else almost put my personal life in jeopardy. When I started to introduce oils, fats, and calories back into my system, I felt like myself again.

I get People Magazine. In the back of the magazine is usually a feature on what a celebrity eats throughout the day. These features are always less than 1600 calories. 1600 calories and active workouts? That is simply a recipe for disaster.

So to all my fellow ladies out there feeling guilty or obsessing over what not to eat, let’s make it a point to celebrate what we do eat. I eat a salad everyday for lunch, but I also always eat dessert. I love my roasted veggies, but sometimes I eat an entire pint of ice cream for breakfast. I run 6 mornings a week, but Taco Tuesday is my favorite day of the week. It’s about balance and taking care of yourself.

Part of what I’m doing is surely about vanity. I do not like it when I look down at my belly and its jiggly. I do not like the way it feels when parts of my skin touch other parts of my skin that have never touched before.

The other part of what I’m doing is about health. There is heart disease that runs in my family, and my doctor would like to see me eating better, and exercising more. I’m not trying to achieve some unrealistic body image. I have no interest, nor ability at my age, to be an adonis.

What I am trying to do is give myself a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to some of my more ridiculous eating escapades. Because when you judge a food competition, lead a food tour, and organize a food centric event all in one week, those calories have a way of piling up. So my plan is to under-eat to balance out all of my overeating.

It’s one of the hazards of the job. But I’m not complaining. Well, except for when I want to eat pizza, but realize I shouldn’t eat pizza. Then I’ll whine like a petulant child and pop a piece of mint gum in my mouth to tide me over until I can have a modest serving of nuts to stave off the hunger.

Perhaps if I ran six mornings a week, it wouldn’t be an issue. But God didn’t make this body to run. Fortunately I’m able to build up a sweat dancing at home in my underwear when nobody else is around. And if you’ll excuse me, it’s exercise time. Then after a shower, I’ll be going out to not eat.

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