We all have at least one friend or acquaintance who is constantly posting on social media about how great they feel when “eating clean” and how guilty they feel from their “cheat meals” or the classic post-gym selfie.
If you’re like me, you couldn’t care less about the number of calories you’ve ingested or if it’s leg day, arm day or whatever day you think helps you meet your health goals.
I love being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. The most exercise I get is the occasional hike or bike ride, but I’m usually good after walking from the library to the Union. So, coming to school four times a week has my exercise covered.
Don’t get me wrong, I prefer water over soda—except when at the movies because why would you drink water at the movies. I love veggies, either fried or drenched in cheese, and I exercise enough to not be out of breath after taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
So, I’m somewhat healthy, but I won’t be posting my pumped-up triceps or my latest prepped meal on social media anytime.
It’s trendy to be in shape and be on some fancy diet. All anyone sees in the Discover tab on Instagram is pictures of people at the gym or posing for a “sponsor,” looking way more muscular than the average person. And that’s just the thing, many people are doing this for the likes, followers and compliments.
For many, and myself included, healthy eating is overrated. People are obsessed with the act of eating as little as possible that they’ve forgotten to enjoy food altogether. We’re all going to die anyway, so we might as well embrace those calories. As long as we do not limit ourselves to eating only one or two foods every day and every meal, we are probably nourishing ourselves pretty well.
And, if you bother to read nutrition information, most of these so-demonized processed foods and fast foods contain a lot more nutrients than most people want to admit, and in some cases at least, they contain more nutrients than a lot of the boasted “pure foods.”
Some people like to exercise or enjoy other kinds of physical activities. Some people like to do creative or complex things with their food intake.
Whatever, I don’t. And there are things that I like to do that you don’t.
That’s sort of how living your own life and being different people works. I’m a grown up and I don’t have to justify my Taco Bell habit to anyone, and I also like being able to have fun on the weekend without diet or training regimen getting in my way.
Nutrition is not a strict regimen of eating all the right foods at all the right times. Rather, it’s developing a healthy relationship with food, learning how to listen to and care for your own unique body, mind and soul. It is a lifelong process of self-negotiation and self-determination, not a list of external rules and restrictions.
I’m not a better human being when I have salads for lunch, nor does posting a selfie after my latest workout mean I’m healthier than everyone else. For those that genuinely care about their health, good for them. People should spend their lives doing whatever they want as long as they don’t force it down others’ throats.