I got a bit frustrated over the weekend when I saw some of my traffic was coming from dieting sites. I can see why it was since a lot of my recipes are on the healthy spectrum but it’s not what I intend for the pretend baker. For the better part of this year, I’ve been very intentional with how I write about the recipes (especially the healthier ones) taking care not to place any kind of higher moral value on the ‘healthy’ ones over the less conventionally healthy ones. I’ve sometimes felt like I was tip toeing on glass when trying to express that the ‘lighter’ recipes aren’t better by any means and aren’t meant for dieting, but just felt lighter in my body when I was craving lightness. Not lightness in calories, just in the way it feels in my body.
I feel better with heavier foods sometimes and sometimes I feel better with lighter foods. It mostly has to do with what I’ve recently eaten and how active I’ve been. It’s possible that the lighter fare contains more of something my body needs than the heavier and that’s why I crave it or its because my digestive system needs a rest for whatever reason.
Calorically, I probably don’t eat THAT different day to day. I mean, there’s fluctuations because no day is ever exactly the same, but I generally fall around the same amounts (without paying too close attention because that would be neurotic). If I’m eating heavier foods, I probably won’t eat as much in between meals and if I’m eating lighter, I’m digesting it faster and I’m more likely to need more snacks.
You see the lighter recipe that probably has less calories than the heavier or denser ones, but what you don’t see is that I’m having to eat more volume. More snacks. Probably extra chocolate. Probably with a lot more sides than you see in the photos. Often something before I go to sleep because if I get hungry I can’t sleep and my sleep is worth EVERYTHING to me. Everything.
If I’ve eaten something heavier, I don’t need as many snacks or something before bed or maybe I do because for some reason I’m so hungry I don’t even know what to do with myself. And then there’s times I forget about eating altogether. Some days I’ll go 6 or more hours without eating because I’m not bothered, or days where I’m needing something every 2 hours. The body does it’s own thing when we’re not meticulously monitoring it.
One of my favorite things to quote though I can’t remember where I heard it was,
“When you focus too hard on breathing, you forget how to breathe normally.”
I think the same holds true for how to eat. If we focus on how often in a minute we should blink, we forget how to blink. Our heart beats on it’s own. We pee when our body tells us to pee, we sleep when our body decides to sleep. We involuntarily fidget, twitch, etc. We can feel when we need to stretch. When we focus on how to eat, how much, when, etc, I think we forget how to just listen to our bodies and let it take control. We think our brains are smarter than our bodies and it’s just not true.
My recipes are not intended to contribute to diet culture. My household is anti-diet. I spent 7 years with intense body issues – dysmorphia, disordered eating, depression and anxiety and just a general lack of well-being. I gained the weight I needed to gain to feel healthy and happy again and I don’t spend an awful lot of time thinking about it anymore. I’ll admit that I still get sensitive to diet talk and I work pretty hard at keeping that out of my life. When Mark and I have a family, I will do everything in my power to shield them from diet talk and body hate.
We live in a food and body obsessed world and I’m fairly certain that’s why there’s probably a million food blogs and healthy living blogs out there. That isn’t my intent with this site. My intent is to go against diet culture and food obsession. I’ll be changing the dialogue on my recipe posts to reflect that so that anyone coming here with a dieting mindset can see what normal can look like. We all have to eat, and we want to like what we’re eating but it shouldn’t be something we’re obsessing over or using as tools to change our bodies. I hardly give it any thought anymore except to the point of,
“Okay, what kind of things do we want to eat this week, what’s going to be easy, what sounds good, what’s on sale?” And amongst that, there’s room for lunch/dinner dates with friends or date nights or whatever else happens to come up during the week.
You’ll always be able to come here for recipes but with a dose of sanity along with it.
For now, please read Kylie’s post on ‘healthy living bloggers’
It’s a good start for you to open your eyes to what can be a very screwed up online world. There’s good and there’s bad. I want this space to be one of the good ones along with quite a few others I’ll be linking to on the regular.
Happy Monday guys. It’s still Thanksgiving for us here so Mark and I are hanging out for the afternoon, walking some of our nature trails and just enjoying the peace and quiet. Honestly, it’s probably going to be cheese and crackers for dinner because I planned zero things food wise since we were at different family functions all weekend and because who ever gets tired of cheese and crackers, really?