Okay so this months ‘Let’s talk about…’ is a little bit different. Usually it involves some kind of health or wellness related topic and some tips and tricks on how to include it (or not include it) in your lives. This month though I thought it was time for a bit of a reality check.
Let’s talk about… Reality.
So I am fully holding my hands up I am a bit of an instagram-facebook-twitter-pinterest-snapchat-blog fanatic. Don’t get me wrong I know people who are far more addicted to social media than I am but I am also completely partial to a good old scroll through a news feed. One thing is for sure, life is very shiny through the lens of a camera phone. Food looks tastier; yogi’s look more flexible; sun sets look prettier; holidays look never ending; gym bunnies look ever energetic; couples look madly in love and energy balls look like they just appear out of magic hole in the fridge.
The same can be said about some of our favourite food and fitness inspirations. There are so many ambassadors for healthy living, clean eating, gluten-free, sugar-free, green-tea, alkali diet, good gut, morning meditation and daily yoga; and they all make it look so bloody easy!
It’s so easy to get sucked in to this world where we become obsessed with following all these food rules so much that instead of making us feel better they simply make us feel inadequate or guilty for not being able to follow them. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I let clean eating take over my life. Every day revolved around food and fitness and ensuring only ‘clean’ foods went into my mouth. At first I loved it. Lowering my sugar content and cutting out starchy carbohydrates made me feel great. It’s part of the reason I started ‘Living Energetically’. The problem is the more I learned, the more I became obsessed. I was adamant that if I just kept sticking to certain food rules and gruelling workouts it would continue to make me happy.
There would be days though where it would all seem completely overwhelming. On these days I would see my food heroes on book covers or instagram feeds with their glowing skin, delicious looking foods and mountains or energy balls (which again seemed to just appear as opposed to actually taking some effort) and wonder how they stayed so perfect all the time. Now here’s the important bit… Their not!
Now I know you might be sat there going ‘well obviously their not perfect’ but in a world of social media it is so easy to start believing that everyone else’s grass is always greener.
Recently some of our favourite food bloggers and personalities have come under scrutiny for pushing ‘clean eating’. Famous foodies such and the Hemsley sisters, Madeleine Shaw and Deliciously Ella have all been in the spotlight for their clean eating lifestyles. Tabloids are suggesting that their ideal lifestyles are encouraging people to do the same but at extreme levels. Their perfect lifestyles are making people feel inadequate if they can’t do the same.
The problem is these peoples lives are not as airbrushed as they seem, nobodies is. Ella Woodward has since referred to this on her blog. Yes there are parts of people’s lives that are amazing and shiny, but there are also parts which are difficult and most definitely not perfect. The difference is no body shares their bad moments all over social media. Foodies and fitness bloggers are essentially selling you a lifestyles to try and help make you happier but this doesn’t mean they are happy ALL the time. The chances are though people would not be as willing to buy into a lifestyle if people posted pictures of all the difficult moments in their lives.
So let’s get things in perspective in terms of how to life your life:-
- Life is not perfect – and it definitely doesn’t need to be. No bodies life is a sparkly and perfect as it appears on social media (and if it is then they are ridiculously lucky). So don’t stress yourself with trying to live up to an ideal.
- Enjoy little indulgences – If you read any foodies blogs, we are all partial to a little treat. The problem is on social media it can seem like we all spend hours baking sugar-free crumbles and raw brownies. Some of the time we do but this is not always possible. Madeleine Shaw has even admitted her self that although she promotes a sugar-free lifestyle for most of the time she still loves the occasional croissant (and yes that is the full butter, full sugar, full flour version). It’s all about balance. Even more importantly don’t beat yourself up when you do have some of your favourite foods.
- Clean eating does NOT make all other foods ‘dirty’ – Yes there are foods out there that are clearly healthier than others, but this doesn’t mean they should NEVER be consumed. There are some foods that I would personally never eat but then there are other ‘dirty’ foods that I occasionally love. It’s all about personal preference.
- Filters can fix massive flaws – Here’s another confession from a food blogger – we all use filters! No picture goes up with out some minor tweaking and yes this includes photos of ourselves. This months cover photo is one I took on a recent night out but it’s defo been subject to a filter.
- Don’t compare yourself to others – Yes your favourite instagramers look like they have fantastic lives but remember part of that is their job. It’s their job to cook all day and spend time looking fantastic and endorsing gyms. It’s not realistic to think that you can work a full time job, maybe have a family and all the other commitments we have and still expect to be able to keep up with them.
- Make it work for you – Clean eating and exercise are always a good idea but it shouldn’t be something that runs your life and gets in the way of the other things that make you happy. So do what you can, indulge occasionally, and do what is right for you.
As a final note I just want to recommend a couple of wellbeing websites and reads for you to try. Their all about embracing your inner goddess and enjoying life without obsessing about what you eat and how much you work out.
First up is the fabulous Madelyn Moon – a recognised empowerment coach who used to be an ex fitness model who now spends her days empowering women to embrace life and not obsess on every last thing that you eat and do. She is also an avid instagramer and gives motivational talks daily.
Secondly is Mel Wells – The actress is now the leader to the ‘Goddess Revolution’. Her book is literally one of my favourite reads. It’s so empowering and shares stories of different goddesses stories with food and wellbeing.
So remember social media is not reality and clean eating should be something that makes you feel good not something that stresses you out. Do what is right for you and embrace your own happy moment.