I am certainly not a conformist either. My entire life I have rebelled when it comes to fitting into one particular stereotypical group whether that applies to political parties, friendships, environment, animals, foods and eating habits or even family for that matter. My family can testify to this.
Do you know how many times I’ve had someone say to me, “take a stance Renee, you either are or you are not?” I’ve learned especially this year that life isn’t black or white, there is a rainbow of options. What these people didn’t realize at the moment is that I have taken a stance and that is to not fit into a neatly wrapped up little box that says you are Absolutely This or Absolutely That.
There are so many deep levels and layers to the choices we make about food. Did you know that people call themselves lacto-ovo vegetarians or lacto-vegetarian or pesco-vegetarian, etc…? Yes, there are specific types. There are Paleolithic eaters, raw foodists and I’ve even heard of fruitarians. These eating habits come from passionate and deep beliefs in food, environment, animals and the world. You might be laughing right now if this is new to you. At one point, I called myself a locovore (someone who ate local foods) but it started to feel uncomfortable and almost as though I was “cool” because I fit into a category, which was not the place I felt empowered. Again, I realized that I have a hard time being orthodox.
Know this. I have no judgment or issue with my fellow friends who calls themselves a raw foodist, vegetarian or any other particular name. I appreciate that we have evolved so much in our food over the years that the individuals out there who are focused on healthy bodies, earth, soil and animals are using names to distinguish their particular diet. I take this as a huge win during a time when the number one killer in America will soon be obesity.
Here is the thing. What I’m preaching today is not about a category or a way of eating or even a certain type of food. It’s simply that fitting into a particular category of healthy eating is not the way to be healthy.
Instead, it’s about shifting your belief about food and where it comes from and what that food is doing to (or for) your body. It’s about appreciating your body and the earth enough to consume food that you are informed about.
I get it. Not everyone is like me where you study food, earth, health, the body, nutrition, etc. That’s fine, we all have different passions for a reason and the purpose is to learn from each other but ultimately inform yourself so you can live a life personally that serves the world. Informing yourself is your responsibility.
It’s about owning up and asking yourself the hard questions. The reason I don’t eat fast food isn’t because I’m a vegetarian or vegan or raw foodist or locovore. The reason I don’t eat fast food isn’t because it’s not organic or I’m an environmentalist or animal advocate or more knowledgeable than the next person. The reason I don’t eat fast food is because I’ve asked myself some hard questions and I sat honestly with the answers.
Will eating this serve me, serve the world and can I live without judgment of myself after I consume it? Yes profound, but I promise you it is one of the keys to creating miracles with your health and body. Ultimately the judgment we have on ourselves is what causes the sickness, the weight gain and the disease. There are studies that show our mental state drives our immune system and there are also cancer survivors who claim the disease was their best gift.
As you continue on your Love Yourself Naked journey, I want you to know that it isn’t about what diet you try or category you fit into.
What it is about is starting a love affair with your food. A deep appreciation for the cuisine on your plate, patience when eating it, kindness when purchasing it and love when handling it. Binging on food is not love, it’s control. Obsessing over “the perfect food” isn’t love either, it’s fear.
A love affair is a choice. Accepting the food for all of its parts, colors and functions and vowing to learn all you can about it. A love affair with food involves the food loving and appreciating you back. Whether that food is raw, vegan, organic or vegetarian, etc it is up to you but the love affair is a reflection of how you view yourself first.
It isn’t always affordable to eat foods that love you back, but as Marianne Williamson says in A Course In Weight Loss, “it isn’t easy, convenient or inexpensive to be a food addict either.”
I am going to go now and eat my food slowly and with appreciation while I wipe my mouth with my cloth napkin and compost the food scraps and sit down at my table as Renee who loves food. Maybe this makes me a “foodist” but I’m not a fan of that title either.