Once upon a Thursday morning, Beth, Jen, and Jana got together to talk about business stuff. Jana had to leave a bit early so she could go finish a project that falls right into our final workshop about Messiness & Organization. She had a friend come to help her clean and organize her house! They were in the depths of messiness and working toward creating organization. But Beth and Jen stayed on the call and the conversation naturally moved to food and how different types of diets and eating styles are actually a privilege to be able to participate in!
Did you ever consider yourself privileged just for being able to buy fresh organic veggies or special diet supplements?
We don’t usually talk about this side of the diet world. We have a good reason for choosing out of diet mentality, and we love to teach others that they can choose out of it too. But it was interesting to talk about how even choosing into a diet is a privilege that not everyone has.
It’s kinda mind blowing that diets, orthorexia, and even intuitive eating are all privileged forms of eating.
In the conversation, Beth and Jen both share experiences where these privileges are tested. Beth’s story is of when she was a young mom and money was scarce and her family was living off of government aid, church welfare, and help from her parents. There was no extra money to buy “good” foods like organic veggies and fruits or even fun foods. Food was scarce and they had to make do with what they had. But, because of Beth’s belief that she had to eat “good” healthy foods or she was in some way a “bad” person, she would spend the money on the more expensive “better” foods instead of using the money to supply more “good enough” food for her family. If she wouldn’t have been morally judging herself based on how healthy the food she bought was she could have had a fridge and cupboards that were less bare. Her family may have gone hungrier than they needed to because she wouldn’t allow herself to buy the cheaper “unworthy” foods.
Jen also talked about her experience with how orthorexia was expensive and it cost her more than just money. She spent well over her grocery budget each month to make sure she had the “best” supplements and foods possible. Jen also spent hours and hours and hours in the kitchen soaking grains, making her own yogurt, churning raw milk cream into butter, sprouting wheatgrass, juicing veggies, grinding grains into flour….etc.
She spent so much time fixing “perfect” food that she missed out on LIFE. Her kids were little and she missed out on so many moments because she had to feed her family as close to perfectly as possible. Their diet cost them money and priceless moments that she can’t get back. Jen was giving away her life in trying to create more of it later.
Now we both can see that living in fear of getting sick and spending time and money on foods to make us somehow morally “better” doesn’t make sense. We also see that not everyone has the privilege that we did to even try out new diets. Even the idea that we could get up right now and open our fridge and listen to our body to see what they want to eat is a privilege! That means that we have fridges filled with food to choose from, which is not available to many people. Being able to choose our diet is a beautiful privilege.
We want to remind you that what you have is good enough. You, as a child of God, are enough no matter what you eat, and what you eat is good enough. As we keep living on earth, making our rounds around the sun, our purpose of being here is not to be healthy, or lose weight, or live an extra 5 years because we started eating kale. Our purpose is to experience life!! We get to love, serve, and build relationships with ourselves and with our fellow humans. We are here for such a short time anyway and we never can be sure if God will let us live even through tomorrow.
Be where you are right now. Experience life. Enjoy the foods you have access to. It is good.
Keep eating. Keep living.
Let go of any food shame. What you have is enough.