Food Politics

Hey, diet police.

Choosing what to eat every day can be such a massive source of stress for us “adults.” Some of us have less choice than others. Whether it’s financial or dietary restrictions, or availability of food depending on where you live, you still bear the blame for not eating healthy, or going vegan. What activists don’t understand is that we are very privileged in this world if we are able to make the choice to eat plant-based. It doesn’t matter how many times you write graffiti in this city declaring that animals don’t want to die, it’s not that simple.

For years I underate, overexercised, and when I did eat it was probably crap. Going to school for fitness and health promotion showed me how crucial food is for EVERYTHING - building muscle, mood, and yes, even losing fat. There’s also an incredible amount of misinformation passed around because of food industries scared of losing their revenue. The dairy farmers, for example, have been aggressively advertising for years due to their sales declining. Milk products straight up aren’t digestible for most humans, yet many are convinced they are the best source of calcium. This is tricky because no one actively desires farmers to lose their livelihoods, but it’s debatable that their products are actually good for us.

It requires time and patience to take in the tough truth: You can’t out-train your diet. It doesn’t matter how many hours of exercise you log, if your body doesn’t have what it needs to recover, or if you can’t stop eating crap, you won’t reach your goals. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy some trash food on occasion, because you should. Life is for living. Everyone has a different ratio that works for them depending on their goals - for example, 80/20 healthy to “cheat” foods. If you want to see abs you’re going to have to clean up your diet quite a bit, especially if you’re female.

I did develop an unhealthy obsession with food that I am still working to balance out. When you start looking deeply into anything in this world you’re likely to find something unsavoury. The environmental impact of what we eat became an ocean of guilt that I drowned in for some time. There are still problems with sourcing ethical vegan foods though, like sustainable farming practices and fair trade. At first I felt guilty for being a “fitness professional” and not having my diet perfectly down, but one of my constant mental battles is keeping in mind that life often gives us no black and white, right or wrong choices. We can only do our best.

I disagree completely with defining who a person is based on what they put in their mouth. The amount of judgement rolling around pro or con veganism is getting louder, and both sides make excellent points, however… the key with consuming, whether it be food or drugs or products, is moderation. Being aware of your own values is the first step to deciding what to do in any given situation. The person who’s opinion matters most is your own, it’s your body, your life, your choice. Do your research, hear both sides, and form your own opinion. Indecision is still a decision, and in order to figure things out sometimes we must participate in trial and error. The most important thing to take in to account when it comes to food is recognizing it for what it is - fuel for your physical goals.

Wishing everyone luck and strength in meeting those goals! I encourage anyone to reach out anytime with questions, I’m always happy to share more and offer what advice I can.