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/

No Direction

‘Write about something you’re interested in’!

That statement along with the likes of , ‘tell the class something interesting about yourself’ (thanks Conor for covering that one)  or ‘what does that degree get you…you know what do you do with that?’, should come with trigger warnings.

So, just write a blog post about a passionate of yours, ok! Umm, (thinks , thinks, gets distracted ..thinks…) For God sake, why can’t you just give me a topic?

 

This might make me sound completely mental or hopefully, be slightly relatable to at least one other person. I, genuinely, don’t have a passion, an interest, a hobby or the faintest idea of what I want / should be doing. I’ve battled with this for ages but now, in final year, it seems like I’m really going to have to face it and deal with it head on. Not only do I have to think of something that I can withstand writing 10,000 words about for dissertation but after that, this escape from the ‘real world’ we call uni is over and it’s every woman/man for themselves.…

 

After a failed attempt to think of my passion, I literally Goggled (and not for the first time) ‘how to find your passion?’ Alas, ‘8 ways to find your passion’. Brilliant! There it is, when this load, I’ll have it. Ok …off to a good start, I suppose I’m not the only own to fill a little lost or unmotivated, but none of these articles, forums or blogs are providing me with what I need. It’s all about how to quit your job and fulfil your passion, but I’m looking for how to find it. Anyway, after reading and scrolling through comments – I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a little when ‘tash83xo’ told us that ‘waking up at 6am for a 45-minute run and an expresso/vanilla protein shake before the kids got up changed her life’. I needed more depth, more meaning and insight… Audible!

Dusting of that old app paused in the middle of ‘The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations’ by Oprah I began listening again and fell in love with it. Honestly, it’s such a great listen and I’d recommend to anyone, even if you’re not going through some sort of quarter life crisis, which is what I’m calling it at this point. Philosophers, phycologists, monks, ex-criminals take on different chapters and talk about everything from food, loneliness, road rage to life’s purpose.

Inspiration comes in waves when listening to it in the car driving to and from work, Oprah calls these ‘ah-ha’ moments. When something is said and it resonates, hits you in the gut or you get little butterflies and I think ‘I do that’, ‘I get that’.  I write notes on my phone, saving quotes which provide momentary relief or revelations.

One of them, probably the most relevant when it comes to uni or going out into the world of work, would be from Alan Watts “If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing thing you don’t like doing, which is stupid.” Very Pinterest but Agreed! Ah-ha moment alert!

Image result for alan watts getting the money

I remember walking into placement on a Friday morning, Frappe Fridays to be specific, and me and the two other girls in the office began one of many Friday morning ‘deep chats’. What’s the point if everyone hates their job?’ ‘We literally live to work so shouldn’t we at least enjoy it’ ‘I think you should travel, and you’ll just figure it out’. After being so inspired on the way into work, I’m stuck again. Coffees finished, wisdom running out we contradicted everything we said and got back to the mundane tasks we didn’t care about until 5pm.

Now, I understand that nobody loves every aspect of their job and that not a single person has a perfect life where everyday is all sunshine and lollipops, but I also reject this idea that everyone completely hates their job and that’s just life because that’s bloody depressing. I want to have a job I’m passionate about. I refuse to be part of a ‘eat, sleep, work, live unconsciously, repeat’ society, at least, not forever . I want to at least be working towards a life that I feel my skills and attributes contribute to. To make a tiniest bit of difference to something would be quite cool.

So, I’m left still searching for what I love. For what I care enough about to dedicate a quite huge chunk of my life to. And, if it’s not going to come to me in an ‘That’s so Raven’ like vision, I’m going to need to figure it out and fast .. there’s another blog to write!

 

Megan Gillespie,  final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be found on: InstagramFacebookLinkedIn