My diet is none of your business. There, I said it.
This week alone I have been told to cut down my salt intake, count my calories, cut out corn and potatoes, limit rice and pasta, stop eating sugar (as if), eat anything I want as long as it is organic (organic donut anyone?) and cut out caffeine. None, I repeat none of this advice has come from my doctor.
This advice has come from a friend, a family member, another family member, yet another family member, a writer, another friend and a celebrity….in that order. Some has been to my face and the rest through dramatic articles and ‘news’ stories. I mean, really, the advice is constant and contradictory. It’s endless and confusing. Apple juice contains arsenic (thanks Doctor Oz)…even dieticians and doctors can’t decide what is right.
Every few weeks I have a panic attack about what is in my fridge and pantry. I’m killing myself and my kids. It’s my fault. I have to take control. But which advice do I follow? If my kids and I are mostly healthy and at a reasonable weight do I really need to do anything at all?
There’s something to be said about society when we can critique each other’s eating habits. Eating is very personal. When did we become so comfortable with commenting about what we are eating? At least fifty per cent of the advice I’ve received in recent week has been from people who could frankly stand to lose a few kilos themselves.
I’m not innocent. I give diet and exercise advice. But only if asked. And then I feel guilty for preaching. If asked how I maintain my weight I describe what I do but I always make sure to explain that this is what works for me, it won’t work for everyone and we all have different habits, cravings and lifestyles. It’s really about eating what we like but not too much, exercising when we can and shaking off all the terrifying food advice we’re bombarded with. Do your best. There’s no need for extremes. I might decide to reduce my salt intake if I’m feeling unwell, count my calories if I want to lose a couple of kilos for an event, cut out corn and potatoes if they becomes too expensive, limit rice and pasta but not cut it out completely, reduce my sugar intake (sugar is my drug of choice but I am only a recreational user), eat organic if I can find affordable quality produce and reduce my caffeine intake if my children ever decide to let me have a proper night’s sleep.