28 Jan Finding the Balanced Meal by Danae Mercer
Finding the Balanced Meal
I’ve been thinking a lot about self love lately: what it means, how to embrace it, how to actually live it.
Food plays into that — in a big way.
There are plenty of adages that try to wrap this into a tidy little bundle — your body is your temple, you are what you eat, and so on. But for me, and for a lot of us, I think it’s a bit more complicated.
When we love ourselves, we treat our bodies and our mental health with respect. When there’s something off, something uneven, we don’t.
Let’s look at disordered eating. I’ll be talking from my own experience of restrictive eating, but this swings the other way too, through to binge and overeating.
When I was restricting strongly, I didn’t love myself.
I loved the idea of control. The idea of being the thinnest girl in the room. The idea of feeling there was something I could handle and excel at.
But I didn’t love myself.
Instead, I was slowly destroying myself. Bodies need food to function. Our brains need carbohydrates. Our organs need minerals. Fat is required to take vitamins from point A to point B. Protein builds our muscles. Oils keep our thoughts going — and on and on. This is a gross oversimplification, because this girl studied journalism, not nutrition, but it’s true. We need food.
We need food that fuels us.
Sometimes this can be a big old greasy burger, because those are great on the beach when the sun is shining and friends are around. But most of the time, this means food that’s close to nature, balanced and colorful, that brings us a range of things to keep all the parts of our body ticking.
When I was restricting, I wasn’t giving my body this. I wasn’t giving my brain this. I wasn’t treating myself with love.
I know that now, years and years on. I know how important it is to stay far away from extremes and instead focus on something that falls into my rhythm.
So here’s to food. Tasty food. Balanced food.
And most of all, here’s to food that fuels us, mind and body and love and all.
By Danae Mercer, Ex Editor of Women’s Health ME, Wellness Influencer & Beast Mode Nutrition Fan. Follow her fitness and wellness journey @danaemercer on Instagram.