There are all types of ways to feed yourself. Our bodies require food so that they continue to function and we continue to live. Beyond that, there are many, many assumptions and (let’s face it) myths about one way of eating being “better” for you than other ways of eating. There’s even a notion that there is “good” and “bad” food, the idea being that you should only eat “good” foods and never “bad” ones.
I’ve been caught up in that argument before, the good vs. bad food thing. In fact, I have spent many years of my life borderline obsessing over what I eat and whether it’s good or bad for me. And although I’ve been working very, very hard to change that particular mindset, I still find myself falling victim to it.
I think we all do.
Why is okay to eat some types of foods and not others?
Who decides what foods I should and shouldn’t eat? Shouldn’t I be able to decide that, and then not be judged based on those decisions?
Why do we judge others on how they choose to eat? Why do we judge ourselves on how we choose to eat?
Why do people push their own way of eating onto others?
Why is it not okay for someone to eat the way they want to, as long as it’s healthy for them?
In agriculture, we struggle every day with these types of questions because the answers drive the demand behind the products we make. As a dairy farmer, I hear people talk all the time about how they never eat butter because it’s bad for you, so they choose margarine (or nothing) instead. There are loads of people who are adamant about choosing free-range eggs, meat, dairy, etc. because they swear it’s better for you than non-free-range eggs, meat, dairy, etc. There are people who choose not to eat red meat, or any animal products whatsoever, because they aren’t morally comfortable eating animal products.
If you’re one of these people, or if you’re someone who feels judged by others because of the way you choose to feed your body, I have news for you.
How you choose to eat and give your body the fuel it needs to survive and function and live is okay.
What’s not okay is judging someone based on what they eat. It’s also not okay to think that how you feed your body is in any way superior to or better than the way someone else feeds their own body.
We are all different, every single one of us. Each of our bodies has different dietary needs. Each of us lead different lives with different experiences and stresses and situations that will sometimes lead us to eat a certain way.
This is not meant to champion obesity or overlook serious health issues, such as diabetes or heart disease, that are directly linked to the way you feed yourself. We do need to ensure we take care of ourselves in the way we eat, something that can be really hard to do sometimes.
What I’m saying is if you’re healthy and happy and winning at life, eat how you want to eat. Understand that other people may not eat the same as you or agree with the way you eat and vice versa. Trust yourself enough to know that how you choose to eat is your choice and yours alone. No one else (outside of your health care provider) has a say in how you choose to eat. It’s your food for your body in your life.
And that’s okay.