Don’t get me wrong… there are a zillion diet fads all on the go at anyone time – Paleo, Whole30, Keto, WW, Slimming World, The Body Coach. The list is seemingly endless and no single diet is to blame. However, with these diets comes the promises of eternal happiness, flawless health and the promise of a six pack. We will instantly become inclined to be a ‘yogi’ and throw out all our clothes and replace them with activewear.
I jest of course.
However, from my own personal experience, it is easy to get caught up in the hype. I did not quite find myself at the same level of extreme as above but I can see how others could quickly end up there.
With the ongoing research to suggest that the avocado possesses super fruit powers, that chia seeds will answer our fibre problems (which I kind of agree with) and that celery juice will cleanse our souls, it’s hard not to think that the foods in front of us are going to prevent us from every disease and medical condition out there. On top of this, we have the trustworthy influencers claiming that the seeds of a strawberry cured their acne or that they gave up coffee because it caused their liver to rot (I exaggerate of course). These influencers are bright eyed and bushy tailed and give a good sales pitch.
What no one is really promoting is moderation. As a health professional, I am a huge believer in early intervention and prevention and I see the consequences of this every day at work. In addition to this I would love nothing more if a diet was going to rid me of my epilepsy or my chronic sinusitis, but as I am unwilling to sacrifice my mental health (and my physical health) for the sake of the above, I am still left relying on my medications to help me out.
Due to my yeast intolerance, my diet is already pretty ‘clean’ – apart from chocolate, cake and ice-cream – most processed foods contain some form of yeast. I rarely get cravings for cake and icecream and I openly put my hands up that I do have a significant weakness for chocolate. I drink diet fizzy drinks and we go out for dinner approximately once a month where I will have a mains and a dessert (often adapted to remove the yeast).
I do not drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs. I walk between 5000-6000 steps a day, which although isn’t the recommended 10,000, isn’t the worst. Depending on my week, I could also be in the pool for up to an hour.
I personally regard this as living in moderation. I could do more, but I could also do a lot less.
I definitely need to do more strength training. My muscle tone is shocking. But apart from that, I should be pretty happy with my lifestyle choices. Yet social media makes me feel like I’m morbidly obese and failing at ‘being my best self’.
I do not post daily photos of açai bowls (I don’t even eat açai bowls), I eat processed food on occasion and I can’t work out excessively because it puts me at a greater risk of having a seizure. As part of this ‘wellness’ movement, I do not fit in.
Nor do I want to.
I do not wish to put so much pressure on myself that I develop fears of processed food; That I feel like I have failed when my sinusitis flares up. I’m striving nothing more than for a healthy relationship with food and with myself, and trying to break into the ‘wellness’ industry isn’t going to help that.
So I’m going rogue.