Why I Don’t Do “Clean Eating”

I really have no excuse for blogging this week. It was finals week, but I got all of my stuff done for it on Monday, and have only had to work this week. Today was my last day of work which was spent laughing with my coworkers and eating ice cream (a manager gave it to us, we didn’t steal it). The challenge I was doing just got terrible prompts so I didn’t feel like doing them. Today’s is to write about something that happened to me this week. I just did.

I want to get into something that’s been bothering me lately. Former Moves N Munchie’s blogger, Carrie, who now is a certified personal trainer and has her own business at thisfitchick.net has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I bought one of her programs earlier this year which helped me get into heavy lifting and a more enjoyable and sane workout program. I’ve since learned a lot through my personal training certification course and doing research on my own, and I’ve found something that I enjoy and works for me. I’m still developing my own personal program and working on things (it’s hard to do over the holidays), but specifically, I’ve learned lately that the whole “clean eating” diet out there just doesn’t work for me. At all. I can’t eat just egg whites and oatmeal made with water and a banana for breakfast. I can’t have some lean protein and a cup of broccoli for lunch every day. I can’t do that for dinner either. I really enjoy my spaghetti, my peanut butter pop tarts, peanut butter in general, fruit smoothies, chocolate, holiday treats, garden burgers, tater tots, etc. And I’ve learned that as someone with such a delicate mental disorder that revolves so much around restriction, telling myself I can’t have certain foods because they aren’t “clean” is just stupid. It’s kind of a crazy diet idea, anyway.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately (1, 2, 3, 4) about “clean eating” and fitness and all that, and have just decided that trying to eat “clean” is just stupid for me. Maybe it works for other people, but I find the idea of it off putting, and I always have. The definition of what a “clean” food is is different for every person. It’s important to eat healthy, yes. You shouldn’t just eat pop tarts and tater tots all the time, but that doesn’t mean you can never eat them. I had like 3 tater tots today at work. Just 3 because they were at the burger station and I work over at pasta and it’s hard to carry over more than 3 in my teeny tiny little hands, but it was enough to tide me over. I enjoyed them, and I didn’t feel like having more. Why? Because I knew I could have them whenever I wanted anyway. I knew this wasn’t like my “cheat” meal for the next week; that since I had that I couldn’t ever have anything else that wasn’t “clean” for the next 7 days. I’m not a binge eater. I never have been, but eating like this removes any guilt of eating in general. I don’t have to feel terrible for eating something I wanted.

I’m getting into IIFYM but I’m not being crazy about it right now because I don’t have a food scale atm. It’s nice to know I’m getting what I need, not overeating, eating enough actually, and enjoying what I eat without freaking out because I didn’t eat five cups of spinach for dinner.

I don’t believe in the “clean eating” diet. Maybe it works for some people, and I do think it’s important to not eat processed foods all the time, I’m just saying that it’s ok to eat your “cheat” foods more than once a week.


6 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Do “Clean Eating”

    • I’m actually kind of sick of the whole “clean eating” thing that I see everywhere. But it is nice to know you’re not a blind sheep just following something.

  1. I definitely agree with you. I tried clean eating for a long time because it made me feel like I was in control, when in reality I was only using it to mask other things that I couldn’t directly control (like grades). It’s a lot nicer now to be able to bake cupcakes with my sister and know that if I want to eat one, it’s perfectly okay because there will be more for tomorrow. If I want to eat more than one because I’m hungry and they taste delicious, that’s okay too. Looking at desserts in terms of quick energy instead of sinful treats really helps prevent restricting/guilt.

  2. Hi Aja! So glad that you have realized the clean eating style isn’t for you. It really isn’t a sustainable lifestyle for anyone and it certainly doesn’t promote a good mental relationship with food. Its so nice to feel that you can live and be free without being confined to certain foods– life shouldn’t be about that!

    • I found this in my spam filter. Weird.

      Anyway, I owe it partly to you. I didn’t even know that there were other ways, which sounds silly, but I guess I was brain washed by all that stuff that’s out there. It’s especially nice considering my ED history.

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