I’m in a relationship!…with food. We all need food in order to survive, and that is scientific fact. No one, therefore, can refute the statement about themselves being in such a relationship. We have varying degrees of relationships with food, ranging from good to bad, and in some unfortunate cases horrible. A common subject that will always prevail with regards to nutrition or even health in general is that of food. As a personal trainer, as an athlete, as an advocate of healthy living, I am on a mission to educate, preach, and contribute my perspective on such a volatile topic.
The past few years I’ve been truly blessed with how life has turned out. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of unenjoyable moments, but I’ve made a conscious effort to show utter appreciation for everything that life has to offer. Sometimes though, we carry a notion that “good food” equates to “unhealthy” or another popular term, “unclean.” I personally know many amazing chefs from friends, cousins, to even my own mom. Better yet, take for example the Filipino culture. Our culture THRIVES upon the idea that food in a communal setting is a customary tradition that not only nourishes our palate, but nourishes our bond with both people we know and even complete strangers.
I live in the beautiful city of San Francisco, and like the Filipino culture, Bay Area culture will always be closely associated with food. I have met some of the most amazing people here, and many a times we have bonded over extraordinary food. Life is too short to be overly restrictive with your food choices, especially when it comes to the point of taking a toll on your mental health and causing a negative relationship with food. Look, I’m not forcing anyone to eat certain foods, but I am URGING people to understand that you are and should be able to enjoy any type of food that you want, as long as its in moderation, or understand the general nutritional values towards your daily intake. We should have the ability to appreciate those that take time to create culinary masterpieces.
I used to be a “clean eater,” who ate broccoli, spinach, ground turkey, and chicken breast every single day. I would try to psyche myself out into thinking I was enjoying this diet by calling it a lifestyle, or a necessary sacrifice for being healthy. However, I would look forward to weekend “cheat meals,” and the more restrictive I became the more these cheat meals turned into binges. I would hide these meals, and never post them on Instagram or Facebook.
Think about this for a second: If you were truly satisfied with your normal diet, your normal routine, your relationship, then there would be no need for you to have cheat meals.
I’m not trying to offend anyone, i’m not trying to boast about eating In n Out burgers or carbs. I’m just trying to redefine society’s notion of “healthy.” I have the best relationship with food that I’ve ever had in my life, and not only that, i’m in the greatest shape of my life as well. The goal is not to eat as little as possible, but to learn how to be responsible with the food that we eat, and appreciate every bit of it without feeling ashamed or guilty.