This afternoon, when our plans to go to the pool got rained out, my sis, Osh and I headed to the kitchen to make some cookies.
Some weeks I go days without eating dessert. Other days, like today, I bake in the middle of the day because there is nothing I want more than a gooey chocolate chip cookie (or 3).
For a long time I hesitated to share daily eats because I worried, with the day to day differences, that a single day just couldn’t tell the full story. But, a few weeks after Osh was born, my wonderful friend Alexis asked me to do a What I Ate Wednesday on her blog while she was traveling. I was sleep deprived, full of new baby love, and super honored that she asked me. I said “yes!”
Within hours of sharing a day of eats on her blog, my worries became a reality. One day didn’t tell the full story and there were a couple of people who had words for me about it. A few people commented that I didn’t eat enough, one telling me that I “should eat an afternoon snack” and another that I wasn’t a “good example of a healthy nursing mom” or something along those lines.
The comments hurt. Not because I thought they were true, but because as a new mom just trying my best, it seriously sucked to have someone tell me that I was falling short.
Once the sting wore off, I kept coming back to the comments. I kept coming back to the fact that food comparison and judgment are so prevalent in our culture that people feel comfortable telling a complete stranger what she “should” or “shouldn’t” eat.
I kept coming back to the fact that a day of eats doesn’t tell the whole story.
There is nothing wrong with an afternoon snack. But, the only time I am going to eat an afternoon snack is when it happens to be the afternoon and I simultaneously happen to be hungry. If I’m not hungry, then I am not going to eat an afternoon snack. If I am, I will eat until I feel satisfied.
There are some days when I eat 10 times a day (I’m not exaggerating. Today was one of those days). Other days, I eat closer to 3. I am totally comfortable with my days looking different because I know that on different days my body needs different things. I also know that when my body needs something I never deny her.
These are the things that a single “day of eats” can’t tell you.
A day of bad iPhone photos just doesn’t tell the full story. It doesn’t show you portion size or what a person ate the day before or how the person feels.
And you know what it definitely can’t tell you? It can’t tell you what YOU need.
It’s 100% OK if your body needs more or less than someone who you follow on Instagram. You don’t need to eat an afternoon snack because your favorite blogger did. Likewise, you don’t need to skip one if she did, either.
Daily eats posts, recipes, and food photos can be so fun and a great source of inspiration. But, they CANNOT tell you what your body needs. Only your body can tell you that!
If you find yourself making judgments about people’s daily eats posts, comparing what you ate to what she ate, or feeling like you need to ignore your body’s signals to be more like someone else, I would encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself, “What does MY body need today? And how can I give her that?”
Every body is different. Every day is different. You have permission to be different!
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