Food was never easy. Until recently there was always something I was avoiding – dairy, nuts, fruit, oil, sugar, solid food. You name it, I’ve probably cut it out of my diet at some point. I thought that people who ate “whatever they wanted” were lazy and miserable and that I was the only one I knew who would be disciplined enough to one day breakthrough and have a sort of nirvana experience in my body. I’d never age, have a fabulous body, be so filled with magical life force that I didn’t need to eat, and probably be able to fly or something. Jeez. You know what I’ve realized? We’re all going to die one day. It’s probably the only thing I’m all that certain of.
I’m not saying that giving up the quest for perfection and immortality looks like “hey-you-only-live-once-so-cheesecake-for-breakfast-every-day-is-where-it’s-at!”. I’m saying that since I’ve given myself a break, since I’ve really allowed myself to listen to my own body and what feels good, and since I stopped obsessively restricting…I’ve seen all the ways I was restricting LIFE. Here I was searching for the key to a magical life in food or fasting or cleansing and life was passing me by the whole time. Passing me by when I said “no” to an occasion because I didn’t think there would be anything I could eat. Passing me by because I didn’t have the energy to go out because I wasn’t eating enough. Passing me by when I wanted to stay hidden because I hated my body and felt like I had nothing to wear. Passing me by when my loved ones shared in a meal and I pretended to not be hungry. Passing me by when I lived in my head, constantly fantasizing about food rather than engaging.
I’ve realized it’s ok for food to be easy. It’s ok to make my own rules, or not have any. It’s ok to experiment. It’s ok to indulge. It’s ok to eat something and feel awful because the chances of me eating it again are much less. It’s ok to say “no” if I genuinely don’t want something (yes, I still care intensely about feeling good in my body). It’s ok for my weight to fluctuate. It’s ok to not plan every meal to the letter. It’s ok that I don’t beat myself up after having a few bites too many. It’s ok not to fast or cleanse after eating less than perfectly. It’s ok to listen to my own body. It’s ok to eat for how I want to feel. It’s ok to love my body unabashedly. It’s ok to love my food unabashedly. It’s ok to trust myself. It’s ok to be free. Like really, really ok.