Thinking Out Loud- Labels

Hello friends! Long time no talk, once again. I’ve been a bad blogger ever since I returned from Europe and I apologize but sometimes life just happens. Between getting ready for college and going up to Lake George, Monday- Wednesday, I didn’t have time to blog. I could’ve brought my computer with me upstate and tried to blog but there was honestly no time, we kept ourselves busy everyday since we were only there for half a day Monday and Wednesday and only one full day Tuesday. I wanted to relax, enjoy, and be present with everyone, rather than stressing about posting content on here.

The trip was short but great! It’s so beautiful up there, I love going. We have been going every year for Labor Day Weekend for about the past 5 years for a triathlon but this year we couldn’t do Labor Day Weekend because I’m moving into school! We weren’t going to go at all originally, but since my sister moved up there for the summer, we decided we had to go up and visit! We went to the Northern part of the lake, which we had never been to before, because that’s where her boyfriend’s family lives and where they were working. The town was so small and cute! There is almost no cell service up there so it was another great opportunity to unplug! I wasn’t on my phone much and barely carried it with me at all, which is actually kind of unfortunate because I didn’t take any pictures! ūüė¶ The town only had one restaurant in it and one small little market/ deli. It reminded me of Stars Hallow from Gilmore Girls (can’t you tell by now? I’m obsessed!) because everyone knows everyone and it just had that small town charm! Except this town was a lot smaller and more quaint. I loved being on the Northern part of the lake because it was so much quieter and laid back than the village at the Southern point of the lake, where we usually stay for the race. It was a great way to end my summer, relaxing by the lake, boating, paddling boarding, and spending time with family!

Anyway, onto the actual point of this post, labels.¬†I don’t know if it’s just me, but everyone these days seems to label themselves in some way regarding what or how they eat. This post was actually triggered by a comment made to me last night at dinner. After we finished eating, we were talking about my brother and it came up how he is vegan. Then, someone at the table asked me, “So what do you eat? I would’ve looked and paid more attention while we were eating but I was too hungry, I forgot to look!” I was honestly caught off guard by this question. I had no ides how to answer because I don’t have anyway to answer it, no labels, I just¬†eat.¬†

My sister saw that the question made me uncomfortable, coming from my background and I just had no clue how to answer, so she came in and tried to help me. I didn’t really know what to say, I just said to them “I don’t know, I just eat!” Her boyfriend was also a help because he was like “What are you asking her? How is she supposed to answer that?” We all laughed it off and the subject changed quickly, and that was the end of that conversation.

This stuck with me though. Why does everyone label the way they eat lately? Why do people feel like they have¬†to label the way they eat? There are¬†SO MANY¬†labels out there these days. There are vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, dairy free, low-carb, low-fat, flexible dieter/IIFYMer, paleo, clean eaters, organic, grass-fed and probably 100 others that I’m forgetting. Now, I don’t judge anyone for following a certain diet and I know some people have genuine dietary restrictions and don’t have a choice. My problem is, why do people feel the need to categorize themselves? Why was is assumed that I have some kind of label on the way I eat and if I do, why is that of any relevance? The way I eat does’t define¬†me.¬†It does’t define¬†anyone!¬†

So many people hear about the latest food/ diest trend and jump on the bandwagon, feeling they¬†have¬†to eat that way and it is the only way to eat. For example, gluten free. So many people have started to go gluten free and believe that it has a horrible effect on them when it is in their diet. I don’t know the exact statistic but the percentage of people who actually have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac’s disease is so low! For a lot of people, it’s all in their head. They heard that cutting gluten, or whatever food product, out of their diet will make them feel better and solve all their problems and they listen, try it, and believe that it worked and they feel “so much better!” When in reality, it’s basically just the placebo effect working on them.

We shouldn’t feel the need to put a label on the way we eat. If you want to follow one of these diets, then great! My brother follows a plant based diet because that’s how he¬†wants¬†to eat. He does’t eat that way because he feels he has to or that it;s the latest trend. He’s actually never eaten meat his whole life! But you know what else? He does’t go around telling everyone that he is vegan. He doesn’t introduce himself to new people saying “Hi my name is ___! Oh and by the way, I’m vegan!” You know why? Because it doesn’t matter! It does’t define who my brother is! You can’t tell anything about his personality, sense of humor, talents, passions, or anything that actually matters, from the fact that he follows a vegan diet.

Let’s drop these food labels. Like I said, I’m not saying that people need to stop eating a certain way, but they don’t need to label it. Labels add pressure and expectations to the whole situation because God forbid, you say you are vegan but want to have pizza one night or ice cream! That’s where restriction comes in. We start restricting things from our diets because we feel pressured into keeping up with this label that we placed on ourselves.

I can’t label the way I eat because there really isn’t a a label that matches the way I eat, anyway! I like to eat a lot of things. There are also a lot of things I don’t like to eat. But those things don’t matter. I like to eat healthy but I won’t label myself as a healthy eater because I also like “unhealthy” foods too! I like to eat a well rounded, balanced diet. I eat whatever I want. In the end, it’s just food. We all as a society place way too much emphasis and importance on what we eat. I’ve fallen victim to it in the past with my eating disorder, and so have so many other people. Maybe, if we just stopped caring so much about what we do and don’t eat, people would’t feel the need to place themselves under a silly little label!

I think I rambled on long enough and got my point across. Well, at least I hope I did. I hope this was’t too all over the place and is somewhat cohesive. I tend to go off on tangents sometimes ūüôā

I hope you enjoy this post! Let me know what you think about this topic. Do you agree or disagree?

Thank you to Amanda for allowing me to think out loud and share my thoughts with all of you! 

Talk you you tomorrow!

xoxo

Michelle

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Polyglot Jot says:

    I definitely agree with this and I mentioned it in a post I did last week! If I really think about it I eat mostly vegan but not 100%. I dont think its necessary to put labels on you and I think that makes a person feel more pressured for no reason!

    Like

    1. Exactly! The label isn’t needed, we can eat any way we want without feeling the need to categorize ourselves and make it known to everyone. My brother who eats a vegan diet is so healthy in his mindset, he’s like the model person! He isn’t rigid with his eating and make a fuss. If there’s cheese in something he orders at a restaurant he eats it. If he wants pizza once in a while, he will eat the damn pizza!

      Like

  2. Lyss says:

    totally feel the same way. I get really annoyed with labels, which is why I would never want to label myself as any sort of eater. I don’t want that to become my identity! Great post love. And I feel ya with being a bad blogger lately, life does just happen! xoxo

    Like

    1. I remember you mentioning that you felt the same way before. As I wrote this post I was thinking of that shirt you have and saying I should get one!

      Like

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