Is 'Clean living' Bad?
Clean living and healthy food bloggers have been getting a bit of a bad rep lately. And, whilst the press may be unfairly tarnishing this lifestyle with a negative brush, it's important to raise awareness to the 'darkside' of eating clean.
Whilst we all aim to live a (mostly) healthy life, exercise regularly and limit our junk food/alcohol intake, it's important to remember that this lifestyle is not achievable 100% of the time. Life is for living after all, and nobody wants to sit in the corner at a party drinking water and munching on celery sticks.
You may or may not have heard of the condition orthorexia- an obsession with only eating foods that one considers healthy. I’d never heard of the term before, but I immediately related to it.
‘People start to restrict certain food groups with the best of intentions. “First vegetarian. Then vegan. Then raw, then they run out of things to eat”- Dr Thomas Dunn Professor of Psychology at the University of Northern Colarado.’
I’ve gotten wrapped up in the obsession with eating clean; I’ve been addicted to gruelling workout sessions, constantly trying to run faster, to beat my personal best in Circuits class, and reduce my body fat percentage to a dangerously low level. Being told you look great, that you’ve lost weight only adds fuel to the all-encompassing fire inside of you, and the desperate cycle of self-abuse and misery goes on.
This way of thinking can be severely damaging to our mental well-being. It’s not healthy at all- It does more harm to your overall health than any amount of chocolate ever will. When you won’t allow yourself a few chips or a biscuit because you think it will ruin your WHOLE diet, it’s time to take a step back. Yes, you may feel crap after eating a burger or drinking alcohol. But it’s not going to kill you, so relax. You can’t be perfect all the time- life is for living, so don’t trap yourself in a guilt-ridden healthy eating bubble.
At the end of the day, loving yourself- as cringey as it may sound- is the most important thing in life. Practising self-love and forgiveness is just as- if not more- crucial to your health than a 'clean diet'. Exercising regularly and nourishing yourself with mainly healthy foods, most of the time is the best way to create a balanced, happy lifestyle.