What I Ate Wednesday: Don't Compare Yourself
What I Ate Wednesday is a popular link-up between food bloggers, started by Jenn at Peas and Crayons, to showcase what they typically eat in a day. After discussing having no food rules on Insta this past Monday, I thought it would be fun to get back to the discussion on intuitive/normal eating today. I've also discussed it here and here if you are interested!
I fear and know that at times it must happen...that someone looks at my What I Ate Wednesday posts and thinks "I should be eating like that" or "wow is that all she eats" or "wow she eats a lot" or "that's a lot of carbs" or "that's not enough carbs"...You get the point. I love WIAW posts because I like getting inspiration to meals and snacks and as a dietitian I am intrigued by other's meal structure and timing. But what we cannot allow these types of posts to do is dictate how we eat ourselves. Our own bodies must dictate that. If we truly LISTEN it will tell us what, how much and when to eat.
For some people this comes very naturally. While others, like myself, must re-learn this. Personally, I was never a normal eater. I grew up eating a healthy diet overall (I discussed more on this briefly here) but began at a very early age binge eating on foods that I thought I wasn't supposed to eat. Cookies, ice cream, chocolate, you name it- if I allowed myself to eat those type of foods I would eat ALL of it in one sitting. I thought this was normal eating until later in college when I lived with friends who had always been 'normal eaters' (and by no surprise, always maintained a healthy weight while I constantly struggled with my weight). Moving to Florida with my now husband was when I truly realized and embraced normal eating. Living with someone who truly eats when and what and how much they what was inspiring and a learning experience for me (here is a WIAW post by Nick). With time, and with the support of my husband and my sister (we would constantly email and talk about this struggle we had) I learned to stop binge eating and to just enjoy food with no food rules or thoughts of foods being "good" or "bad". It has taken YEARS to develop this habit and I am so glad my stubborn-self took the time to do so. Food no longer controls my thoughts. I am now able to look at food for the nourishment it provides me, as well as the pleasure it provides me too. I don't attach other emotions to food, like guilt or shame, or obsess over what I am eating constantly in my mind.
I say all this, because I think we can compare our eating habits constantly with each other. Reading these WIAW posts, on social media, even when you go to dinner with friends or Thanksgiving with family. We always compare our eating to others rather than thinking and recognizing our own internal cues to eat.
I want you to know that no day is the same for me. Each day is a little bit different nutritionally, as it should be!
This was from last Wednesday, which I thought would be a good comparison to my last WIAW post, as a lot of my eats are very similar because of food prep from the week and because these are back to back days. I had actually thought I might need more food on Tuesday, but ended up not needing a snack I had packed with me that day. But I didn't need it (I didn't feel hungry), so I didn't eat it.
But if you compare this WIAW to last Wednesday's post (which was from the day before), my eating frequency is much more this day. I was much more HUNGRY this day compared to the previous day and I listened!
So onto the eats...
I had my usual pint of water with lemon and shot of diluted apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning...and then enjoyed my new pre-workout coffee drink I am so excited about! Coffee blended with 1/2 tsp of maca blend, 1/2 scoop Slap Nutrition Salted Caramel BCAAs, 1 T coconut milk and a splash of almond milk. I am still drinking Jacked Up Java, but switched this to non-morning workout days. After doing research I have decided to add BCAA's to my diet pre-workout on days I strength train (especially because I workout in the morning). I can elaborate in another post more about this, if you would like! I also had a banana before heading to the gym.
When I got back from leg day, I was pretty hungry and after showering, I devoured an amazing smoothie bowl, per usual! The key to smoothie bowls: resist the urge to add more liquid! This was 1/4 large roasted sweet potato, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 2 T PB2, 1 scoop grass fed whey chocolate protein powder, 1/2 tsp maca blend and only 1/3 cup of almond milk. Topped with Puffins, 1 T cacao nibs and heaping T of peanut butter.
I ate breakfast around 6:45ish and by 10:30ish needed a snack to get me through until lunch. I had a few bites of some turkey jerky and an energy bite. I also had an unpictured homemade kombucha.
Lunch was the same as last week: spinach, tomatoes, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 cup millet, taco blend (made with ground chicken, carrots, kale and jalapeno and spices) topped with hot sauce, plain Greek yogurt and lime. Plus a small mandarin orange.
For an afternoon snack around 3:45pm I had a brown rice cake with Boar's head deli meat and spicy hummus.
Dinner was at 6:45pm and was the same as last week with the addition of beets and feta. Whole wheat pita bread, grass fed ground sirloin (with parsley and oregano) with kale, tomatoes, beets, a couple olives and a feta yogurt sauce.
And by about 7:30pm I still felt like I needed just a bit more, so I had an unusual but delicious concoction. I eat this all the time, I cannot believe it has not shown up on a WIAW post before! Chocolate PB2 mixed with kefir and almond milk, topped frozen blueberries, cacao nibs and Puffins. Portion was pretty small, but just what I needed!
Do you compare and ultimately decide your eating habits based on others? If not now, have you done this in the past?