If you’ve followed this blog or my Instagram for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about food quite a bit. You may have even read the post about where a guy called me fat on the soccer field last year.
I (and most food writers) get the following question at least once a week from someone who follows me on social media:
How are you not 400 pounds?
I know it’s a well-intentioned question, maybe even a back-handed compliment? But I’m not one of those girls who throws back half a pizza and half a bottle of wine without consequences. I’m also not the girl who would ever wear a crop top (by the way, what EVIL person brought that style back?!). I go to the gym 5-6 days a week because I eat a lot of macaroni for work. I eat kale for breakfast and I hate it. Food is not something I don’t think about every day, all day.
I have such a tricky relationship with food. You see, my body didn’t hang on to the metabolism of my youth after age 18, yet my brain and stomach would still like to eat ridiculous amounts of cookies every day. A conundrum, I tell you.
Add to this conundrum the fact that I write about food for work and then it’s just a straight up cluster. One way that I’ve found to combat these opposing entities is taking a break from sugar every few months. I’ve done this by participating in my friend Emily’s 21 Day Superhero Challenge.
I know it sounds intense, but realistically, it’s just a lifestyle shift for three weeks that focuses on real food, no sugar, and moving your body more. I’m right in the middle of my fifth challenge, and as usual, I have more energy, I’m less grumpy, I feel stronger (I just back squatted 220 pounds at the gym last week … whaaaat?!), and I’m inches smaller.
It’s a difficult way to eat for a lot of reasons: finding foods like meat that don’t have sugar (did you know they add sugar to most meat?!), the preparation of said meats, eating vegetables for breakfast (#worst), my social life changing because I can’t go out, etc. etc.
But it also makes life remarkably simple. I’ve focused a lot this year on finding a rhythm in my life. On my About page, I describe myself as either 100% healthy or 150% train wreck. This has been the story of my adult life—huge sweeping shifts in my lifestyle that I’m sure exhaust my body. I’m proud to say this year has been different so far, a good mix of indulgence and discipline.
And a lot of that has to do with the challenge and the principles from it that I’ve carried over into the my life after the three weeks are up. I’ll never be perfect, but this way of eating and living provides a good foundation for me and at the very least, a little reset for myself.
So the next time you see me posting about #cookiesforbreakfast, know that I haven’t fallen off the proverbial wagon. It might just be a train wreck day, and what is life without a little drama? I’m trying to enjoy my days just like the rest of you, and sometimes kale isn’t cutting it.
(If you have any questions about the challenge, feel free to shoot me an email … I love chatting about it!)
I read this whilst eating fries. -Brandee