I think before I even start this post, you all should know this:
I eat. A lot. All the time.
And I'm not ashamed of it.
It seems that in today's world, people are ashamed of eating. It's almost as if it's a competition about who can starve themselves or eat the least for the longest.
I've watched as one friend has made the choice to skip a meal and the rest of my friends deliberate whether they should too. I can see in their eyes the pain staking thoughts that are running through their heads as they carefully calculate if they could survive without that meal. If they could skip the meal and not have to snack later. If they skipped this meal would it mean they would lose weight faster? If they didn't skipped the meal does that mean that they're fat or that they're greedy?
And trust me, its not only them thinking that.
I mirror their thoughts exactly when one of my friends announces almost somewhat proudly that they are most definitely not hungry and are not going to go lunch. My mind goes round and round in circles arguing against itself. If they're skipping a meal, and they're skinny, do I have to skip a meal to be skinny? Or even worse, does me going to meal when they don't mean that I'm greedy or that I overeat? But if I don't go, I'll be hungry all day and tired and grumpy won't I? And anyways eating is good for me.
I'm no nutritionist, or doctor, or personal trainer, but I know that you need to eat.
I do around 2 hours of high intensity sports everyday. It might be swimming or ballet or fencing or rowing, but I try hard and I work hard during the sessions. And of course, when I finish I'm hungry.
Surely when your body is telling you your hungry you should eat?
Surely when your body is telling you it needs refuelling you should refuel it?
Surely we should not feel guilty about eating?
But we do. Others make us feel guilty about eating because they don't. But what you need to get into your head is that YOU are the sensible one, YOU are the one making the right choice and YOU are being healthy.
By eating a meal I don't mean going to a fast food restaurant and stuffing your face with chips (obviously you can do that sometimes, everything in moderation, but more about that in a different post). By meal I mean eating rice or bread or pasta and some vegetables and some meat. You know, the things your body needs to refuel, a healthy balanced meal. Because the thing is your body needs this to live. It's how you get energy.
Food contains chemical energy which when consumed your body turns into the energy that you need to carry out daily functions. Eating is not a option, it's a necessity. You have to eat to survive.
Also, skipping meals can really mess with your metabolism. From personal experience, after skipping meals your body becomes less able to process food as fast as it could before you began skipping meals, and in the end you just end up putting on more weight as your body goes into what I like to call 'survival mode' and stores up any sort of food it can as it becomes unsure of when your next meal will be. This also means that the instant you begin eating as much as you did before, your body doesn't process and use it like it used to because its used to living off less and clinging onto whatever it gets. So basically, by skipping meals you're completely wrecking your metabolism and messing it up completely. Just don't do it, please.
When all my friends began to skip meals, I can tell you without hesitation that I considered doing it too because I felt guilty and horrible about eating when they didn't. It made me feel like the fat , greedy friend and that something was wrong with me because I ate.
How ridiculous is that?
So please, if you're feeling like that don't. Go to meals, eat until you're full and eat right. Looking back, I think that I was such a fool for ever feeling like that, but I actually do understand why I felt like that. But I was lucky enough to have friends who excelled in sports who told me when I felt like this that I needed to eat, that I had to eat, when my other friends weren't. They knew about what was the right thing to eat and what I should be eating to be healthy and they helped me become healthy again. They knew that to function properly you needed food, and I'm so grateful that they made me see the truth and that they didn't let me feel pressured into skipping meals. And so, I hope that I can do the same for you.
Don't let people pressurise or guilt you into missing meals. If you're hungry, eat. Make yourself a healthy meal, or go to your school/work's canteen. And if none of your friends are going, find some friends who are sporty and know the importance of eating or who you know will always eat and make plans to go with them.
Don't let them get to you. YOU are doing the right thing by eating. YOU are being the healthy one.
YOU are making the right choice.
*Please note that by eating meals, I don't mean junk or unhealthy meals. I mean healthy balanced meals (which of course includes some treats because to be honest who can't resist a good bit of chocolate!) and eating right.