I feel like I have started and stopped, written and deleted, pondered and given up on this blog post so many times. Its content and original message has changed and evolved into something I wasn’t planning, but that seems to be how I cook and write best. So here it goes, from the top! My name is Taesha, and while I try my damnedest to eat and live a whole, organic lifestyle, I am not perfect. In fact, I am far from it.
So why am I telling you this? Because I think you all deserve to know that. During a lovely chat with a friend this past weekend, she mentioned that seeing people’s lives on social networks made her feel frustrated about her own perceived short commings. She recognized that on Facebook and Instagram, people have the control to show you just their best parts. Their best hair day. The perfect romantic moment with their significant other. The perfectly prepared meal. And so on. We joked about how we wanted to see all of our friends post pictures of themselves in the middle of a knock-down-drag-em-out-fight with bedhead and a pile of empty take-out pizza boxes piled behind them just so their life felt more realistic. But, as I got into my car after our visit, it got me thinking about how people percive me. Was I giving the people the impression I was a super mom who never felt like a failure or who never battled with her daughter about why she couldn’t have a bowl of ice cream for dinner? Did people think I judge those who don’t do things exactly the way I do? Did people think I was on a high, organically grass-fed horse looking down on them? I certainly hope not, but I felt it was time to give all my lovely readers a reality check of who I really am.
Imperfection #1: I don’t buy absolutely everything organic
A while back, I came across a Facebook post entitled “10 Types of Moms Who Suck.” #2 on that list was “The Mom Who Makes and Eats Everything Organic,” which was described as a mom who has a holier-than-thou attitude about buying organic and force feeding her child kale smoothies. While I certainly do not see myself as fitting into that stereotype (my daughter begs for more kale smoothie, by the way.), I am sure there are others who would disagree. I am open and, sometimes, vocal about my passion for healthy, homemade, whole, and as-much-as-possible organic food being part of my family’s diet. I recognize that is not everyone’s belief, priority and/or ability, and make a strong point to let the people in my life know I don’t judge them for that. We all come from different family situations, upbringings, beliefs, dietary needs, and financial profiles. Most importantly, most of us are just doing the best that we can with what we have, I myself am included with that. In a perfect world, I would be wealthy enough that I could buy organic everything, right down to my toliet paper. Unfortunately, a preschool teacher and Navy Corpsman do not make the kind of money that leading that kind of lifestyle requires. Thus, my husband and I have to make choices about what is top priority to buy organic and what we can settle for being conventional. In my (humble) opinion, conventional fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins are better than none at all. Leading a whole, organically driven lifestyle should never leave you wondering how you are going to afford your morgage payment.
Imperfection #2: I do buy, eat (and enjoy) take-out
Yeah, this totally happens. Usually on a Friday after the week has left me feeling a little frayed around the edges. It happenes and everyone (includng me) needs an occasional break from the kitchen. Do I run to McDonalds? Not so much. Even when indulging in take-out I try to practice my food beliefs and seak out as-healthy-as-I-can options. I’ve discovered a pizza joint we enjoy that provides a whole wheat crust option or we hit up Chipotle in a pinch. But I am also lucky enough to have those options near me! Not everyone does and they should not feel bad for occassional hitting a drive-thru after a day that has left them so tired they can hardly see straight. Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t about never eating junky food. Its about eatting nourishing food so much that when you do eat the junk, it matters less.
Imperfection #3: My daughter doesn’t love everything that I make
I can especially attest to this fact as of late. Alice is going through this “lovely” phase of rejecting today what she loved yesterday simply as an experssion of her power. As an early chilhood educator, I knew this phase was coming and braced myself for it. Just because I know why she is doing it doesn’t make it any easier. We had an epic, drop-down-drag-em out battle at dinner the other night. I made pasta with a cheesey caulflower sauce. As soon as Alice sat down at the table, she turned her adorable little nose up and refused to eat it. Fine, but I am one of those moms who refuses to be a short-order cook and informed her that she could leave the table then. “But I’m hungry!” she declared. Again I pointed to her dinner, upon which tears and screams of protests were likely heard throughout the neighborhood. This went on for (what my husband and I are sure of) a record breaking amount of time. Even I am fighting the good fight at meal time, folks.
Imperfection #4: I sometimes slip into old (bad) habits
I had a rough day at work last week. When I got home, I felt exhausted, drained, and like I’d just finished walking a thousand miles. I was longing for something comforting and decedent as a “reward” for surviving the day in one piece. I turned to my husband, “I want ice cream,” I said in a pitiful voice. Emotional eating is a big no-no in my book but something I still struggle with even years after my “healthy reform.” I’m human and I embrace that expecting myself to be perfect is an unrealistic expectation.
So there it is. I’m clearly not perfect. Nor do I want to be. No one is. People who claim to perfect in their eating habits and exercise routine 100% of the time are is just trying to mask their own insecurities. Imperfection is the beautiful part about being human. It allows you to grow and learn. It makes you relateable. Embrace your bumpy healthy lifestyle journey! Enjoy (and learn from) a few derailments. Remember that oh-so famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “life is a journey, not a destination.” Run with that, folks.