Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On food.

When I'm not reading Oxygen, I can typically be found nose-deep in a book...or Marie Claire magazine. In my opinion, this is a fashion mag that combines equal parts beauty and brains. I love every page they fill with the latest in clothes, and I devour all of the feature stories that cover content that's totally relevant to life as we know it. And in the issue (Hello, Jen Aniston!), one such article had me hooked from headline to sign-off.

If you think eating disorders are a sensitive subject, you might wish to discontinue reading.

"Starvation Nation: Inside a Groundbreaking Eating Disorder Clinic" was both a captivating and concerning article. And I'm not sure which is worse. I found it captivating because I cannot relate—I don't have an eating disorder. I can say that with certainty. But I can see how those with an eating disorder would latch on to such an article for its detailed accounts of counting calories and methods of starvation. And pictures of "thin" individuals, who (of course) are completely unhealthy (but perhaps beautiful and inspiring in the eyes of someone who suffers from an eating disorder).

Irresponsible journalism? Perhaps.
But the above is also the reason why I find this article so concerning. If it is irresponsible journalism, my concern lies in the fact that those suffering from an eating disorder would, in fact, find encouragement in their ways from some of the details written withing. My heart goes out to those who suffer an eating disorder. If you have risen above one, having found a healthy relationship with food, I applaud you and send pride your way. Congrats for finding yourself. Your true and real self. On the flip side, this article makes me want to help every individual out there who suffers from an eating disorder. Could someone close to me qualify? Have I been missing signals? I don't know, thus my concern.

As a personal trainer, the concept of a healthy diet comes up all too frequently. I try to encourage my clients (and anyone who simply seeks my advice), to find a healthy relationship with food. Food is our source of energy, and we need it to survive. It does not define us, it simply gives us the ability to be. Which is why it is truly important to build that healthy relationship, because the healthy foods help us out the best—but that doesn't mean we should fret if we eat something less than healthy.

I've been eating sour gummy worms lately. One might think it's my job.

Do I know they aren't good for me? Yes. Do I picture them on my thighs in the form of cellulite? Yeah, sure. But then I laugh at myself. "Tara, get a grip. You eat healthy 75% of the time, so it's perfectly normal to feel like indulging on occasion. It won't kill you."

It's all about balance. And moderation.

And honestly, the sour gummy worms soothe my nauseous baby belly. So what if I happen to really like them.

Back to the topic at hand.

I guess the point in sharing this article with you is to remind you to find that healthy relationship with food. Don't obsess about it. Be conscious of what you put in your mouth, sure. But (once again) don't obsess about it.

For example, I've been craving lemon poppy seed muffins. I love (LOVE) lemon poppy seed anything, and used to get those big 'ol grocery store muffins all the time. They aren't that good for me, but that shouldn't stop me from indulging in something that I love to eat on occasion. But...because I love finding the healthier option (and didn't really have time to bake them from scratch), I bought a box of Meijer Naturals Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Mix.

Options. Find the options, leave the guilt.

I made the muffins about an hour ago, and my kitchen still smells lovely. And these guys taste lovely, too. Take a look:

If you live near a Meijer and happen to love lemon poppy seed muffins like I do, then you'll love this cake mix. Did I mention it's all natural? Every ingredient is recognizable, and calorie, fat and sugar contents are kept at reasonable levels. Important to know, but not something you should necessarily obsess about.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm obsessed with the latest issue of Marie Claire. Time to finish it.

Question: What is your relationship with food like?

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