Yesterday I posted a recipe that, I must say, I felt pretty proud of. Unique, colorful, and oozing with nutrition and probiotics. Sooo many good things for your body.
Today, however, I am choosing to show you the “other side.” The side that I… for some strange, sad, and irrational reason… do not feel “proud” of.
When did FOOD become a way of measuring pride?
Why is it that we find it easier to ‘advertise’ our meals or snacks when we are eating certain things, and harder to admit when we eat others?
I’m “not proud” that I actually quite like sausage breakfast sandwiches. And that I still have a couple stashed away in my freezer from when I worked at Starbucks and got them for free.
We feel proud of eating certain things. Maybe those things are the “fad” product of the moment; the recent “health trend,” the “scientific breakthrough” or whatever Dr. Oz has most recently held up on a pedestal. We feel proud because… we feel we are doing something good for our bodies? Because we feel we others may look to us with aspiration? Because we are simply doing something that others have labeled as …”good?”
Roast beef + havarti + mayo + dijon
I’m “not proud” that I really quite like deli meat. And that a lot of the time I choose whatever is the least expensive instead of what is the most natural or nitrate or chemical free (school budget sometimes >> environment)
So then what about when we don’t feel proud?
Why do we not feel proud…maybe even guilty or embarrassed… for eating certain things? Why do we sometimes hesitate to admit what we had for breakfast or what we ate on our couch before going to bed? Or why do we laugh it off in a way that advertises our guilt before anyone even has the chance to respond? Why is it easier to order our favorite cafe donut when alone in the car rather than in front of a group of co-workers?
How have our food choices gained so much control over what we think of ourselves?
I may not feel “proud” of many things I like to eat and spend money on. I may not feel “proud” to admit some of my favorite foods. I used to just not eat these things. In fact, I completely just convinced myself I did not like them. The thought of eating and enjoying these things not only made me feel ashamed, but I fully believed that having someone else see me eat these things would mean they would immediately judge me. Like they would instantaneously have a new opinion of me. A much lowered opinion.
Grocery store pumpkin pie + milky chai
I’m not proud that I sometimes choose to buy packaged treats from cafes or grocery stores instead of my own healthy, homemade baked goods which I have packed in my bag.
I am very passionate about healthy living. For whole food nourishment, clean eating, organic this and fair trade that, and definitely for environmental concerns. These are both my beliefs and my passions. And yes, a lot of people see this as being part of who I am. I like to think I eat this way the majority of the time naturally and because its truly what I love. But this doesn’t mean I don’t love take out. Or processed food from a box. Or that I sometimes eat foods that contain – duh duh duh – nitrates.
I am not “proud” that I am no longer vegetarian. But I like meat. This does not mean I am no less passionate about the environment and reducing our carbon footprint and gas emissions. This does not lessen how much I loveeee eating and cooking vegetarian fare.
I’m not “proud” that I like store bought baking… white flour and all. But this does not lessen how much I love experimenting with vegan or gluten free baking at home and sneak vegetables into absolutely everything I can.
Kale salad + steamed kabocha + chicken sausage
I’m not “proud” that many of my dinners are very random.. eclectic…#strangebutgood…and more often than not thrown into random tupperware containers.
Now… not only do I eat these things that I had once convinced myself I did not like, but I challenge myself every day to eat whatever I’m eating in public. Whether it is a salad like you saw yesterday, or kraft dinner thrown into a tupperware.
But even still, that little twinge of embarrassment creeps up to try and tell me I’ve done something wrong.
Carrot Cake + stewed apples with cinnamon + dark chocolate
I’m not “proud” that the majority of my sugar intake happens in the evening, and yes, far past the glorified “8 pm.” Or that the only real movement I do afterwards is moving from my couch to my bed.
But the fact is…
The only question we should be asking ourselves when those thoughts of embarrassment or guilt are trying to get at us is…
“Does this make ME… a bad person?”
“Does this change my worth as a human being?”
Your food choices do not control whether or not you are a good person. They have nothing to do with your worth. Choosing Burger King over a Panera salad does not dictate your kindness or generosity, your empathy for others, your quirky laugh, your passions and desires for life, or your will to care for those you love.
These are the things that dictate who you are.
So I say I’m “not proud”, but really, I am proud. I am proud to eat real food. I’m proud to eat what my body is craving. I am proud to bring my take out or fast food to work or class and eat it, tall and strong, in front of others. I’m proud to show people that I want to nourish my body and give it what it wants. I’m proud of saying,
“Hey, you. You can be quiet now,”
…to that little voice inside telling me I should feel embarrassed.
Food is food. Don’t let it affect your worth as a human being. And be PROUD.
Have you or do you ever feel embarrassed about eating a certain food? Shout it out loud and tell me why you LOVE it.
Not a hugely exciting week. But I did get a few nice things…