I'm not sure I'd even call this a coherent piece of writing, more a collection of thoughts. I have now tried to write this about three times and now I'm sitting in Joe and The Juice (who on earth do I think I am?) feeling like there are things that just need saying and I just need to get on with it.
Off the back of Emma Gannon's podcast with so sad today and BBC 3's Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets, my hunch that everyone is addicted to something has all but been confirmed.
I'll stop mentioning Emma Gannon now I promise, she just makes me think about ALL OF THE THINGS and I love it. Anyway, go listen to her podcast for yourself, you'll enjoy it, I promise.
While I was watching the clean eating documentary, there was this woman who *actually* knows what she's talking about and she said that she would say most of the people who have clean eating blogs probably have an eating disorder. Which is pretty much what I've been saying since I read Naturally Ella's 'about me' page, so that basically makes me a genius, right?
Eating Disorders are the worst, we know this. I fear that what we don't know, is how dangerous it is to move one food related obsession to another 'socially acceptable' food related obsession.
Which brings me to: Orthorexia is a real thing, it can take over your life, it can have a very serious impact on quality of life, and it should not be glorified, but gosh it looks good on Instagram.
I feel a lot of sadness for the people who publish their back stories of histories of eating disorders and mental health problems only to continue, it seems, to find very little joy in food itself, and restrict their diet to a specific food group, with no real scientific knowledge. Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets successfully debunked a LOT of food myths which are widely accepted in the 'wellness blogger' world.
But also I'm cross. I'm angry that people have taken their obsessions and, facilitated by the internet, published them to hundreds of thousands of impressionable people. If you're a blogger, or you have a really popular Instagram account, you have a responsibility. You have a responsibility to present opinions as simply opinions and nothing more. You have a responsibility not to outright lie to your following. You have a responsibility to do everything you can to make sure that what YOU post on the internet, and what YOU send out in your emails, or write in your books, is promoting nothing but actual real life health.
I completely understand that everyone has to make a living, and there are people who write wonderful blogs and make a wonderful living doing exactly that. There are, however, also a lot of people that make a lot of money by lying to the internet, while damaging their own physical and mental health in the process, while also validating the same behaviours in a lot of other similar people.
As a Christian, I hold the view that we can't ever be completely satisfied until we know God. I don't think that anything that humans come up with can fill the void that we all so often feel. You know the feeling that something is missing, or that no matter how good you get at something or how much weight you lose or how much money you earn you still won't be happy? That's the feeling I'm talking about. Even without that faith though, I think it's possible to see this concept that people are just moving from one addiction to the other - and anything that takes over your life or that you feel compelled to do or comply with, can't be a good thing.
I haven't got this right yet, but for once in my life I actually think my logic is pretty good: eat well, eat a bit of what you fancy, eat things that are good for you and things that make you feel good, don't cut out entire food groups, not processed is always better than processed but DO YOU KNOW how clever your body is?! It can absolutely 100% cope with processed food, and it tastes really good so for goodness sake have some.