Please, don’t tell me what to eat

“Maybe you should try… It’s better for you than that. Cut this out. Eat more of this. It worked for me.”

I love food. Plain and simple. I love cooking food, I love eating food. I. Love. Food.

I am a runner. That is the entire point of this blog. I run. I run, and I need to eat like a runner. Food used to be my biggest enemy, but now it’s something I love. Over the years I’ve taught myself how to cook, and to eat things that will help me be fitter, stronger, more energised, and not leave me feeling lethargic and bloated. Of course, I have my off days, and I am a sweet tooth who loves to bake, so every now and then I eat one too many pieces of cake. But you know what? That’s okay.

It’s taken me six years, a myriad of diets, trial and error exercise, an eating disorder, and being bullied for most of primary and high school, to finally get to a point where I know, and am comfortable with who I am, how I eat, and how I look.

In the time it’s taken me to go from obese to a healthy, ‘normal’ weight, I’ve come to terms with the fact that food isn’t the problem. I am. Or, I was. I ate because I was sad; because I figured if people were going to tease me for being fat then I’ll just stay fat. No one asked or cared why I ate so much. They all just assumed I was a glutton.

2014-09-30-07-51-16

Jessyca in 2008 vs Jessyca today

Without diving too much into the nitty gritty of my weight loss journey, let me get straight to the point.

Please, do not tell me what to eat.

I get it all the time. “Oh, sugar is bad for you. You know you shouldn’t eat meat? That bread is going to go straight to your thighs, you really should eat less carbs.” 

Thank you for your concern, but I am very aware of what my body needs to survive, and how much leeway I can give myself before a cheat becomes a binge.

Please, do not tell me what to eat.

Your low carb diet doesn’t suit me. I have no interest in not eating sugar. I eat plenty of vegetables, thank you. This donut won’t kill me, or make me put on ten pounds.

Please, stop telling me how to eat.

My diet is high in complex carbs, because I run an average of 20-30km a week. I need carbohydrates to sustain the amount of running I do. The energy the carbs gives me is what keeps me upright during the day. Someone who doesn’t run, and does very little exercise is more likely to benefit from a low/no carb, higher fat diet, because they don’t exert themselves to the point of needing to replace as much energy.

I have a sweet tooth. There is no denying that I love and crave sugar. Chocolate is my weakness. Baking is my therapy. I have tried to cut out both, but I’d rather not lie to myself; I’d rather not feel guilty about something I have no reason to feel guilty about. Food is not the enemy. Neither is sugar. When it comes to eating, you are the only one who can stop that second piece of cake moving from plate to mouth. It took me a long time to learn the art of willpower, and while I still have those off days, I relish in the fact that I can eat a couple of bits of chocolate and think, ‘well, I really enjoyed that,’ and then stop.

Please, stop telling me I should feel guilty about eating sweets.

Because I don’t. But I used to. And it’s people like you who make fat people like young me hate themselves.

Jessyca's blog: Jess Runs 21

Jessyca’s blog: Jess Runs 21

Moderation. That is all it is. I have learned, over the course of six years (I started my first diet in 2008, so I count my weight loss journey from there) how my body reacts to certain foods. Dairy bloats me, white bread makes my stomach hurt, too many potatoes, and too much pasta/rice makes my ovaries hurt. I know exactly how much of what I can and should put into my body.

I guess what this blog comes down to, is I’m just sick to death of people trying to tell other people to eat the same as them, to cut this and that out of their diet, without actually knowing a thing about what the other person needs to make their body work, or sustain themselves. Your diet won’t necessarily fit someone else’s lifestyle, and while of course it’s okay to make suggestions, or let people know how you eat, belittling someone for their diet is not on.

So please, don’t tell me what to eat, because my body is not yours.

This article was originally published on blog Jess Runs 21. You can view the blog and Jessyca’s journey here. 

Words by Jessyca Krause 

Feature image: http://hovhustlefitness.com/

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