Over the past 8 or 9 months as the recipe inventory here at Refreshed Nutrition has grown I have had a few requests and questions regarding adding the nutritional information (eg. count calories) to many of my recipes. When I first was asked I thought it might be a nice addition for those looking for it but as I pondered it longer I knew it was something I didn’t want to add and I wanted to open up today and share with you why I feel this way.
I once was calorie OBSESSED. The less I ate in a day the better the day was. Bonus if the next morning my weight was less than the previous day, and if it wasn’t well cue a day filled with obsessive, and anxious behaviors around food. My entire mindset revolved around how hard I could workout to burn off anything ‘extra’ and I constantly was concerned I was eating too much.
The problem was not only was I not eating enough but I wasn’t looking at food as fuel but rather a burden that I had to endure and an enemy to my weight and body image issues. After getting home one night, alone at my dinner table, contemplating whether to eat a cracker because it was ‘bad carbs’ and peanut butter ‘because , ew fat’. In a frustrated rage I literally screamed, “What the F$%^ am I supposed to eat?!” This was my turning point. I began researching what food does for your body and different nourishing foods I could make. I was now able to understand that it wasn’t so much about calories but how our bodies are functioning by utilizing a balance of every nutrient that is available to us in real food.
While I was now eating more and nourishing my body with quality real food I was also still obsessing over body image. I would now count calories in order to achieve an ideal body composition. Again though, it backfired. I became tired of entering food and adjusting it for those spur of the moment dinners out with my boyfriend and eating the same things over and over again because I was sick of entering anything new in an app. Not only was I tired of the behavior but I had caused myself some health consequences that really needed addressing. I finally deleted the app and I haven’t looked back since.
Going through nutrition school was also an eye opener for me. I learned it’s not about how lean you are, how much you weigh or really what you look like that matters. It’s how you treat your body. Treating it with love through both a positive mindset and an ability to focus in on it’s needs and nourish it with the foods that make it thrive for it’s own bio-individuality are really the things that matter.
I’d be lying if I told you that body image is never an issue. But I spend way less time obsessing over it and letting it dictate my day or my mood. I never step on a scale, weigh or enter an ounce of food in an app or spend time worrying about a dessert or two I ate at my most recent outing. Instead I focus on eating foods that make me feel happy and satisfied and applauding myself for all the accomplishments I’ve made in my short years of life.
I created Refreshed Nutrition under the belief and passion to educate individuals that their HEALTH MATTERS and that it doesn’t have to be complicated.That calories in vs. calories out is not the way to health, that less is not morewhen it comes to our food, and that we all have our own individual needs both nutritionally and spiritually to achieve a positive mindset and body that works for us. When we aren’t focusing on how we feel we lose our innate ability to really tune into our bodies needs by turning off how we feel. This includes when it’s asking for more, when it’s asking for less and when something doesn’t align with us on a more personal level. These aspects of our health are crucial when addressing health issues which are always the symptom of some deficiency, nutritionally or mentally that needs our loving & caring support.
With that being said I also believe that calorie counting is a result of something deeper, either from immersion from our shitty media in the US that is subconsciously telling us we are not enough as we are, or from a deep rooted emotional issue that we need to address, like lack of self worth and love or as a coping mechanism for various reasons.
And while this calorie counting dogma is not part of my belief system it does not mean it is wrong, or that it doesn’t have it’s benefits in some situations. It’s to share with you my experience, and to encourage you to dig deeper to find the ‘why’ behind it for you. Because there is so much more to life than obsessing over the calorie count of a cookie at the holiday table.