What They Don't Tell You About "Clean Eating"
I have NEVER been a dieter. I’ve never found a staple diet to put myself through or was able to stay strong on a 30-day diet-slash-cleanse combo. For me and my mentality, they do more damage than good. They wear on me mentally and make me feel like I am living my life in a box unhappily, trying to fit into a mold that just isn't me. I’ve never obsessed about my weight and my least favorite saying in the world is “nothing tastes as good as it feels to be thin.” I think it's a motto for the vapid and hollow and blankets a breeding ground of self-loathing when enjoying anything slightly off course. Life is too short, but it is important to be healthy. Losing my Father so unexpectedly inspired a new leaf, not for the lost pounds (those are more of a bonus) but for better habits. I started eating clean, or at least my version of it. I’ve pretty much cut out anything that wasn't once living, either born or grown (which means bye bye processed sugary foods and drinks) as well as processed flour and dairy (personal intolerance - can show you the photos if you don’t believe me). Trying to eat as many natural foods as possible which have surprisingly been easy, or perhaps I’m just mentally ready to commit myself to a new lifestyle. Plus making dinner has suddenly become so much easier. Either way, I seriously love it, and I can’t rave enough about how much better I feel.
But this isn’t a blog post about that…
If you are looking for the positives about jumping ship and abandoning all hope and sugar, then you can do a quick google search, and you will be overwhelmed with tips and praises for this healthier, lighter diet. What they won’t tell you are the dirty little secrets that you learn along the way. I don’t like to hoard information so I think it's important to share and spread the wealth, and I am here to tell you like it is.
There's a good chance your skin is going to have a freakout
About two weeks into my new life of eating I got the worst hormonal zit of my life, square in the middle of my forehead. And then another. And then two more. All in all, it was the worst breakout I can remember in my adult life. My skincare regime hadn't been altered, and I stopped wearing any and all makeup, so I turned to my clean eating friend and asked her. “Legit your skin will hate you 10000%.” I wasn’t alone which didn’t make me feel any better but if you’re out there going through this then know you too aren't alone. I changed a balance of my system, and it was showing up like a constellation on my face. I was able to fight it with a Neutrogena acne wash, Herbivore Lapis oil and a gallon of lemon water a day so getting over the hump is entirely possible. But legit, your skin will hate you 10000%.
Craving induced grumpiness will probably take place
Again, the first few weeks I was a bit snappy. Meaning, anyone asking if I wanted soda was responded with a short, loud, curt NO. Of course, I wanted soda but couldn’t they see I was TRYING NOT TO DRINK SODA!? The cravings were real and the grumpiness that followed the cravings were equally as real and painful. My best suggestion for you is to find a substitute for whatever it is you're wanting to eat and eventually you’ll stop wishing for that Sprite. Unless it’s a hot summers day if that's the case just find some AC and water.
Favorite Pants will start to look saggy in the butt
This one is my biggest annoyance which I know will make me sound like a crazy person but MY CLOTHES HAVE STOPPED FITTING IN THE BUTT. Yea, great, shedding pounds but my beautiful wardrobe suddenly is very saggy in all the wrong places. It’s too hard to rebuild a wardrobe so finding a good tailor is on my to-do list. I'm not giving up on my jeans just yet.
Breaking the habit = pain and discomfort
I have always enjoyed a small cold glass of ginger ale on flights. It’s a ritual and one I have enjoyed ever since I can remember. HOWEVER. The last time I was on a flight, post diet change, about 30 minutes after enjoying my sweet cup o’ sugar it felt like I had poured acid down into my stomach. I thought it was a fluke so at my layover, I decided “what the hell, I'll have a coke...I'M ON VACATION.” That's when the pain started. The stomach cramping and bloating plus the tight pants I was wearing made the flight as enjoyable as having my nails slowly pulled off. It makes you wonder if this was the pain you live with all the time when you include that stuff in your diet. Safest bet - take it easy when you cheat and even on your bad days avoid the super processed foods. Your gut will thank you.
Old stigmas are hard to shake
I have always had a sweet tooth. My mom calls me her hummingbird because of my love for sweet drinks. My boyfriend's mom has made it a habit of giving me cupcake themed gifts (which by the way, I absolutely love - her cupcake ornament sits on my desk year round) but the fact remains, I am known on the streets for being the sweets girl. If I could live in any animated world, it would be Wreck it Ralphs Sugar Rush Racers. One - for the sweet ass rides and two - for the sweets in general. Even though I am no longer bringing cupcakes home and have banned all sugar nectars from my life, I am still the "sweets girl." I will probably continue getting cupcake themed gifts, gladly so and I will always be my mom's hummingbird. My favorite barista will probably always ask and assume “honey latte?” as I approach her stand, my boyfriend will always put his soda in the middle of the table within my grabbing reach and I will always salivate at instant someone mentions “Extraordinary Desserts” in San Diego. Just because I will always be a sweets girl doesn't mean I have to partake in them or have hurt feelings over the personal stereotype. If you feel the stigma is particularly vicious, you can say so, but we are what we are. I am a "sweets girl" who doesn’t eat sweets anymore but doesn’t change the fact I will always be me.