Two Years of Blogging: From Paleo Recipes to Breaking the Diet Cycle
This lovely bloggity-blog has come a long way since I first started it the summer after my freshman year of college....which was two years ago this month!! What began as a paleo-only recipe site in August 2015 (In Hannah's Kitchen...who remembers those days?) has been slowly evolving into an honest body-acceptance, non-restrictive food and wellness space with the underlying, deep focus being this:
find what makes you happy and go do that with gusto; life is far too short to do anything else.
And this most certainly includes, but is definitely not limited to, intuitive eating and exercise freedom.
Of course, this means I've changed over these two years as well. My definition of health has been altered in very big, very positive ways. Would I have eaten gluten, let alone post about gluten on this platform, a year or even a few months back? The answer is a resounding hell no.
In my past, I loved being thought of as different, as "healthy" to others because of the fact that I only ate certain foods. Comments like, “Oh yeah, Hannah eats really healthy,” would circulate through my friend and family circles at meals and holidays.
Slowly but surely, this is changing...for good. Because labelling my diet and following specific protocols month after month did not make me healthier -- it was one of the unhealthiest times of my life.
I’ve written on the blog here, here, and here about how I became restrictive with food, and only until this spring while living in California did I fully realize that my “healthy” eating habits and initiatives were keeping me on the diet hamster wheel. They were not healthy. They were restrictive, rigid, unforgiving, and shaming (if I didn’t follow the certain, self-administered “plan”).
And now, as I enter into my fourth year of college and my third year of this blog, I simply would like to eat kale and peanut butter pretzel bites and quinoa-black-bean-sweet potato salads and chocolate-fudge-gluten brownies and Ben & Jerry's and vanilla lattes and spinach-banana smoothies and pumpkin pie and Chik-Fil-A and sweetgreen and not. give. a. flying f!ck.
I’m done looking up calories and inputting macros into some completely arbitrary calculator on my iPhone. I’m over looking up ingredients and asking waiters tons of unnecessary (for me) questions. And I’ll never push away the bread at the dinner table again when I actually want to eat it.
I no longer want to only nourish my organs with spinach and Brussels sprouts and salmon. Sure, I like these foods, but I also want to honor and feed my soul with ice-cream, chocolates chip cookies, sangria, and bagels...as well as totally non-food-related things, such as quality time with friends & family, reading for pleasure, sleeping, meditating, yoga-ing, and laughing.
Lots of laughing. Lots of bagels.
I aspire to get back to a place of just being normal with food again. I know that this is a first-world problem; the fact that we have the freedom to restrict foods and eat less for aesthetic purposes is another concept and article entirely. I understand that this is an issue that I created for myself. I know that families and individuals in various parts of the US and the world do not think twice about the sustenance that they’re eating, for they are purely grateful they have access to food. But I also know that this food obessesion and rigidity has been an issue for me, and it's something I’m finally ready to be honest about, recognize, and reconcile.
I never discussed my diet mentality on the blog while I was in the diet mentality...purely because I didn’t recognize it as that! All the while, I’d been thinking I was doing All the Diet Things for my health, when really, I was in the pursuit of something else.
Weight loss (weight that I literally have no business losing, by the way -- hello, HAES), was a part of it, yes, but it was also a lot of fear. For more than three years, I scared myself into believing that certain foods would really "wreck" me.
I feared not maintaining a perfect diet.
I think that this fear came from having annoying digestive issues in my freshman year of college (such as acid reflux and indigestion), but once I learned what my sensitives were and honored them, those digestive issues began to clear up.
My fears, however, did not. My fears only grew, and when the mind is scared, it is a wild, uncontrollable, unstoppable, and massively growing beast.
I'm not going to go into all of my old and rigid food tendencies because I know that reading those can be triggering. What I will say, though, is that the habits that I used to hone -- the habits that I thought completed my identity as a “healthy” person, Instagrammer, and blogger -- were not health-promoting, but rather fear-based and orthorexic. No longer do I want to care if the delicious chocolate buttercream birthday cake has dairy in it, or if the honey balsamic dressing contains a bit of soybean oil.
I am over it and ready to move on. Which means that this blog is, too.
I hope to never catapult anyone into eating restrictively or exercising rigidly, and I genuinely apologize if I ever did that for you in the past. Moving forward with Wholesome (and my and Holly’s new media platform, Nut Butter Radio), I hope to empower you to eat what you want. I wish for you to move in ways you enjoy, whenever you feel like it -- it could be once a week or once a month and that’s just fantastic. I hope that you can find gratitude for you simply as you are and recognize that you don’t need to change your body to become happier. It’s all in the mind. And once you start to change your perception of food, diet media, and your body, your entire world will shift. Try it and see what happens.
Thank you for being here through all phases of this journey; here's to two years in the books and many more to come. I’ll love you more than almond butter, always!!