The internet can be a wonderful and helpful source of knowledge when it comes to many topics, despite some sources being more biased and unfounded than others. The internet is also starting to get more and more crowded with motivational quotes, more specifically quotes and sayings about health, nutrition, good and bad foods, what you should and shouldn’t eat, how to get lose weight… many of which are worrisome to actual health professionals.
This post will pick and analyze 3 of them, about why having a similar mindset can be threatening to actually live a healthy lifestyle and having a healthy relationship with food.
1. ”If you had to choose between pizza and being skinny, which toppings would you get on your pizza?”
Is eating pizza indirectly correlated with being skinny? Can skinny people not eat pizza? If someone who eats a balanced diet and exercises frequently eats a couple slices of pizza, will they have lost the result of all their effort? The answer to all these questions is no, no and no.
- Eating pizza once in a while won’t ruin your health, especially if you enjoy it. Think about what it does for your mental health when you avoid pizza at all costs forever, versus when you allow yourself to enjoy it once in a while.
- This question does not take into account genetics even in the slightest. It stipulates that pizza = not skinny.
However, genetics play an underestimated role in physical appearance. Malnutrition isn’t only present in ”overweight” people. Many individuals eat almost exclusively very low-quality foods that are very poor in essential nutrients and manage to maintain a thinner build. This is not because they eat healthily or starve themselves to keep this build, but it is due to genetics, and they have little control over it. Being ”skinny” or thin doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is healthy.
- This statement insinuates that pizza is bad and being ”skinny” is good. Neither one is true. We should start focusing on being healthy instead of being ”skinny”, because, although some thinner people may be in good health and have good exercise/eating habits, others who are ”skinny” may have an underlying eating disorder that can be dangerous to their health, wellbeing, and life. We should be wary of the habits we are encouraging.
2. ”Stressed spelled backward is desserts.”
In one of my university classes, a teacher once asked ”can anyone tell me what’s positive about someone eating their feelings?”
The class went silent. Nobody was able to see it.
”The person has the ability to cope with negative emotions and not keep them bottled up.”
Although binge eating disorder is no joke, many of us turn to food when dealing with negative emotions without necessarily developing binge eating disorder. Others do, however.
Eating your feelings isn’t always negative either. You ”eat your feelings” during happy events too, like birthday celebrations, for example. Or, when you get promoted at work and have a few glasses of champagne and some cheese sticks to celebrate (I know those two don’t necessarily go well together but cheese sticks are delicious). The act of consuming food heightens the feeling of joy in those scenarios.
Although ”eating your negative feelings” isn’t always dangerous, it can lead to dangerous and unhealthy habits, as well as an unhealthy relationship with food. With the help of a health care professional, we can try to develop healthier coping mechanisms to negative emotions:
- Writing or journaling;
- Breathing exercises;
- An artistic expression such as drawing, painting, singing, playing music or dancing;
- An exercise that can be at different levels of intensity depending on the person or the mood;
- Talking about it with a loved one that you trust or a mental health professional,
3. ”I miss the 90’s when bread was still good for you and no one knew what kale was.”
First, bread isn’t bad for you. Carbohydrates are essential to a balanced diet and are the main source of energy for your brain, and bread is a good source of carbohydrates that are great to include in moderation in a healthy and balanced diet. To get the full benefits of bread, which includes fiber and B vitamins, choose 100% whole grain (not white or multigrain) bread and/or flour if you like baking your own at home.
Bread was never bad for you. Don’t let common media that has no scientific sources to base itself on convince you otherwise.
Second, kale is a dark leafy green packed with vitamins and minerals, the ideal kind of vegetable to add to your diet regularly. Although it has been understandably overused and perhaps overly popularized by the media in recent years, it might be considered as overrated by some. Many grocery stores have also boosted the price of kale, because of its growing popularity.
Is it the only leafy green that’s healthy for you? Is it a superfood that cures illnesses? Is essential to eat kale to be healthy, even though it’s too pricey for me? Is it okay to call people who choose to consume it ”basic” or ”snobby”? Again, no, no, no and no. If you enjoy it and want to eat it, nothing is stopping you from doing so. However, other leafy greens that are great to add to your diet, among others, are lettuce, cabbage, spinach, arugula, and chard.
Look at all that variety! You’ll never get bored!
Hope you enjoyed the post!