I've noticed something lately: Lots of us girls (and I say us because I've done it too) post pictures of delicious meals and include a caption about it being "cheat day," or how it's worth all the working out they'll have to do to burn it off, or some comment about their summer/winter bod and what this tasty meal will do to it.
And you know what? I'm sick of it.
Eat your damn burger or pizza and enjoy the hell out of it.
Post about it if you want, but never, ever should you have to justify your food choices to anyone (okay, except maybe a doctor in some cases), but ESPECIALLY not to your social media followers.
Adding some explanation about why you deserve to eat this meal (or why you don't) simply doesn't matter to anyone but you, and this whole concept doesn't do much for the body positivity movement, does it?
Explaining that a milkshake topped with two donuts and a can of whipped cream is a "treat" is redundant. If you don't add a caption explaining how guilty you feel for having one or how it's your once-a-week treat meal isn't going to make anyone think you eat like that every day.
Because, let's face it, if you ate one of these every day you probably wouldn't still be alive to post about it.
We don't usually see men posting pictures of their meals with captions that have something to do with anything other than how delicious it is, and (for once - wink wink) we can learn something from guys:
Enjoy food you love without explaining to yourself or anyone else whether or not you deserve it!
Here are 3 good reasons for enjoying the shit out of whatever you eat with NO SHAME:
1) You Literally Need to Eat
We ALL need to eat. Of course, this doesn't mean we all need to eat milkshakes every day, but food of any sort is a staple in life. We should get to enjoy food without wondering if we deserve it, because - SPOILER ALERT - you DO deserve it. I'm sure you know how to take care of yourself and what your body needs, and that means you probably know you can't live off Doritos. No matter how big or small you are, you deserve delicious meals and YOU are the only person you need to answer to about how and what you're eating.
2) You're an Adult
I was a picky, picky, picky eater as a kid. Still am in many ways, actually. Dinner time would often be a battle between me and my parents as I cried to get out of eating things I didn't want to eat (vegetables, I'm sure! I also have quite an aversion to meatloaf) and begged for things I did want (grilled cheese - always and forever). This is a pretty commonplace issue that parents face with their kids, and I get why it is totally frustrating for both children and adults.
But when you're the adult, your parents probably aren't responsible for cooking every. single. meal. for you, and they don't sit across from you watching and waiting for you to eat every bite they carefully cut for you to make sure you're getting the nutrients you need - at least I hope not because YIKES.
You're the adult now and you can make food choices for yourself. Part of being an adult is gaining the freedom to make choices for yourself. Hopefully, you make choices that make you feel good, and part of feeling good is BALANCE. And what better way to balance out a healthy diet than with meals you crave that aren't as healthy as what you feel like you should be eating?
Imagine a young child eating a piece of pizza and commenting "this is going to make me fat but it's so worth it," or "it'll take four hours of playing tag to burn this hot dog off."
Don't you just want to reach out and hug them and tell them to just ENJOY their food? They deserve to eat food they enjoy without justifying it to anyone and so do you!
3) Do It For the Girls
By this point, I hope I got my opinion across that your food choices are about you and what make you feel good, but there are actually other important people to consider when it comes to justifying your food choices: YOUNG GIRLS.
Human beings are highly impressionable, and social media has provided platforms upon which millions and millions of people can MAKE an impression, as well as being influenced by the impressions others make. Take the Instagram model, for instance (although no matter how big or small of a following you have, there are impressionable people who see your content). There's a LOT of them. Most of them probably don't set out to be role models, but like it or not, many of them become just that, especially to the young people following them.
What do you think it does to a 14-year old girl who is insecure about a layer of "baby fat" she still has when she sees a size 00 Instagram model posting about how she needs to work off a meal or doesn't deserve it? Nothing good, I'd guess. And it isn't just children affected by this, it's adults too, and I know this because it's happened to me.
Like most people, I suffer from "comparisonitis" sometimes, and it often rears its ugly head the most when I'm on social media and people only depict their "best life." I've had thoughts like "if this gorgeous gal doesn't deserve to eat a Pizza Pop, who the hell am I to indulge in a Pop or two without feeling guilty?"
We know for sure there's a strong correlation between the food you eat and your overall health, My intention isn't to deter you from discussing your food choices with ANYONE because it can be incredibly useful information for health professionals in treating or preventing disease. But these conversations about what may or may not be good for you should be had, in my opinion, at certain times and places. And on social media, the same place we go to look at NSFW memes, MIGHT not be the right time or place.
This is obviously all just my own personal opinion, so what do you think, gals? Are you over girls feeling the need to justify their indulgences on social media or do you not think much of it?
I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts!
xo - C