You Are What You Eat

When that drilling noise of alarm goes off, I roll on to my side, stretch out my arm, grab the phone turn off that noise and then start scrolling. I’ve read and heard countless time that a ‘perfect’ morning routine goes something along the lines of … waking up bright and early , jumping out of bed , (‘Rise and Shine’ by Kylie Jenner anyone) saluting the sun and setting my intentions for the day whilst avoiding social media and any source of blue light.

Admittedly, I haven’t got ‘mindful’ morning routine down yet and instead, I begin swiping through Instagram.

Between the top trending accounts, models, or the most aesthetically pleasing interior design pages, I will undoubtedly be bombarded with this type of content the most …food.

Food and ‘health’ accounts are the type of content that I try to avoid these days. The images that annoy me the most to will have a heading something along the lines of ‘try this, not that’ or ‘eat this , not that’ followed by lists or images of ‘bad’ food and what you can swap them for to live a happier/healthier life. I went on an unfollow spree to cleanse ( for lack of a better term) my feed from annoying or triggering content. Doing this, I noticed just how many diet accounts were created to tell people how to / what to and when to eat. These accounts all contradicted each other and all the avoided the word ‘diet’ opting for ‘lifestyle’- a term that’s easier to swallow, leaves a sweeter taste cause after all we don’t do diets in anymore, right?

2018/19 has been such a shift in beauty standards and what we define as ‘healthy’ . We have banned FAD diets and embraced better and new ways of working out – think way more woman lifting weights and the increase in weight training has risen in general.

But have we really got rid of diet culture?

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It got me thinking about all the new terms and what the replacements for Fad diets that we have created. I’ve found myself falling into the trap of looking at trends such as ‘intermittent Fasting, looking at before and after pictures of vegan diet, googling all about gluten free benefits.

According to the National Eating Disorders , orthorexia is “an unhealthy obsession with otherwise healthy eating”, ‘As awareness of healthy eating grows and more consumers than ever before go vegan and gluten free, clinicians say they are encountering more patients presenting orthorexia symptoms’.

It was through my Instagram scrolling that I found an account all around ‘Flexitarians’ – Mr Niven, a strategic market intelligence manager for trade association Scotland Food & Drink, says “flexitarian is only eating meat and fish occasionally and opting for a more plant-focused diet ‘’. He claims there is a significant rise in this and ‘Intuitive Eating’ – ‘’eating when hungry and stopping when full with the mindset of not labelling any food good or bad and not allowing food to have labels or morals’’.

Reading this out to my sister, scrolling through the feed of tips and how to’s of intuitive eating that my Dad pointed something out. ‘That’s just called eating’. He looked at me with the expression a Labrador does when you said a word it doesn’t quite know (head tilt, raised brows) . ‘Isn’t that common sense’, he said, and when I thought about it he’s right. What we should do naturally is it when hungry and stop when full and have a range of things in our diet. So how have we now labelled it and put rules around this trend which is mean to be about having no rules and how have we given eating , a label ?

Instagram isn’t the only place where we can obsess about food, one of the most searched and most popular videos on YouTube is ‘what I eat in a Day’- (explaining this to anyone who isn’t a millennial is funny). Yes, you watched a video of what someone else eats throughout their day and of course it’s always perfectly presented and ‘healthy’.

You can find these for anyone from Doctors, Models, Post baby weight loss, Eating disorder recovery or just your Favourite fitness youtuber.

 What I Eat In a Day videos-

https://youtu.be/EPBwKJJL1b4  (Natasha Oceane – what I eat in a day) 17.k likes in two days – one of her most requested videos

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https://youtu.be/mknrIncksQk – Stephanie Buttermore – the science behind going ‘all in’- Eating until full regardless of calories and purposely gaining weight in order to stop ‘severe hunger’ after years of being in a calorie deficit.

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All of this may not make much sense to some people and , hey, maybe most people aren’t affected but for me having a good relationship with food is important and something that needs worked on, so I’m just a bit fed up of being told what to do.

You are more than what you eat.

some people to follow if you want to change up your feed too 🙂

@no.food.rules

Hi.Ur.Beautiful

Alexandra Cane

Megan is a final year student at Ulster University studying Communication Management & Public Relations . Find her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/missmegangillespie/ and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/megan-gillespie-29baa3180/