Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

Mixed Messages…Thinking Out Loud

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Amazing job! You eat those fries and love every moment of it…

How do you eat all those bad foods all the time and not get fat?

It’s okay sweetie, you will conquer that whole pint of ice cream next time.

Hey maybe you should put down that pizza slice, it’s not like you need it..

…..

#YesIAteTheWholePint #RecoveryForTheWin

…..

im confus

Me and you both.

Linking up with Amanda over at Running With Spoons for this week’s Outloud Thinking.

You know my friends I have struggled with this idea for a while. We are very confusing with our messages about food. Then on top of that, when you throw recovery and what we ‘believe’ that those in recovery should eat in there, well **it just hits the ceiling and makes absolutely no sense.

On one side, we have the general public, who demonizes any food they perceive as unhealthy and condemn those who choose to indulge in them even in moderation.

If you happen to not be a size 2, gawd forbid you have that slice of pizza. You might as well prepare yourself for the long, judgmental conversations that may sound something like this…

Hahaha if I eat that pizza I blow up like a balloon…

Oh I don’t eat that crap, do you know how many calories that has in it…

Oh ya know I will just workout an hour longer tomorrow..#balance (<– this is so wrong btw, don’t do this!)

However, take someone who is recovering from an eating disorder and the conversation takes a completely different direction. Think north pole vs the desert.

opposites

That is amazing, you ate fast food twice today! Recovery win!

I feel so over full right now, but I need to get over that because it’s part of recovery…

#PintParty

See the difference?

I’m stuck here though. I see this discrepancy so clearly and that is what makes it so frustrating that I don’t have a clue where to even start. Despite knowing that with most eating disorders come fears and those need to be challenged, I also strongly believe that we taken things too far.

Instagram-My-reaction-officialdoyoueven-731229

How has it become okay to push things on those in recovery that we normally preach to those not in recovery to push away from? How are we supposed to show that food is just food when we do this?

We are extremists.

Recovery has become something where you are to ‘challenge’ yourself to eat in a way that we normally try to prevent.

You should feel comfortable with being stuffed if you’re in recovery, but you should feel slightly hungry if you’re not.

You should feel proud of tackling that Mc.D’s twice in one day if you’re in recovery but feel disgusting and bad about yourself if you choose to have a burger once and a while.

We are being completely contradictory with our messages. Food is food and shouldn’t be different for one group of people over another.

Another issue is this also puts pressure on individuals regardless of what “category” they fall into.

If you’re in recovery and you’re not going to those extremes you may feel (or others may feel) as if you’re not progressing. Likewise, further agitation can occur because if you feel that pressure to push yourself waaayyyy out of your comfort zone, it may create even worse association with certain foods.

On the flip side…

Those who do not fall into that category may feel the need to almost hide food when they are wanting or eating something ‘dirty,’ especially if they are overweight.

Apple and hamburger on scales conceptual

You can’t win. Both sides are negative, so then, what the heck do we do about it?

Truth is my friends, I’m tackling a slightly controversial issue here and honestly I don’t know what we can do about it.

I know that we need more consistency somewhere. The same food can not be good for one person but bad for another.

For those in recovery, we still need to challenge food fears so that food can be eaten without second thoughts or guilt. However, this needs to be balanced with not pushing so hard that it pushes them out of normalcy.

Cheering for someone to make them finish an entire pint of ice cream is not normal. This shouldn’t be dubbed a ‘recovery win.’ IMO

If they want the whole pint then thats different because it’s what they want to do but there is also the issue that sometimes with eating disorders comes binge eating….another challenge, another discussion. 

Isn’t the point of recovery to reach normalize eating? 

Again, on the other side, for those not in the ED category, normal eating should include those foods they are craving once and a while and the should be able to eat until they are satisfied. This is regardless of what weight you are at weight status should not dictate whether you are allowed to have certain foods on occasion (Yes I realize there are some exceptional cases but you get my point).

So, to sum things up, we have created a big, hot mess. Our messages about food are wrong and, to be honest, the way that we try to challenge food fears in the clinical population can ultimately lead to further eating issues (like binge eating) or just worsen fears even more because they are just too much.

Just my thoughts.

What do you think?

-Chelsea

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