The Hurricane Diet
Thanks to all of you who reached out to me to ask about how I was doing during the Hurricane. We chose to stay in our house. We put up hurricane protection over all windows and doors and prepared as best we could. Thankfully, the storm had weakened somewhat by the time it reached us. We have some minor external damage, but we are fine. We didn’t lose power during the storm, although it has been flickering on and off since then as crews work to restore power to millions of homes in the state (apparently this is the largest power outage ever recorded in the US).
Normally I’m a pretty calm person, but during this event (including the days leading up to it and the days after), I found myself operating at an elevated level of anxiety. Watching the news and reading the social media definitely contributed. Plus, I tend to absorb the energy of those around me. I tried to maintain my regular routines as much as possible – still eating the way I normally would, still sticking to my regular morning and evening routines. But life felt somewhat surreal. Grocery store shelves empty. Gas stations without gasoline. And as I am writing this, it will still be some time before things return to normal.
As a Food Freedom Coach, I admit I have been amused by some of the comments I have heard and seen on social media about food during the hurricane. Take for example this meme that’s been passed around on social media channels:
From what I gather, people are elated that this hurricane event is an opportunity to go off their diet!
If your “diet” is such that you get excited when an impending unwelcome event gives you an excuse to eat differently, shouldn’t you re-examine what you are doing regularly?
Now, I’m not talking about taking comfort from food during difficult times. There are times when I do believe that needs to happen. Even when we normally have other tools at our disposal to help us handle difficult emotions, sometimes those tools (like going to the gym) just aren’t available to us.
I’m talking about the sentiment that the way I’m eating feels restrictive and depriving, so let me jump on this opportunity to suspend that.
And yes, this meme could also be taken as humor during a difficult time. But where does that humor come from? From the notion that we should all be dieting, restricting, and depriving ourselves.
And that’s sooooo not true! Or at least that’s not the way I choose to live.
I consider myself to be a healthy eater, but definitely not a dieter. I eat the way I do because I like to feel good – I like having good energy, feeling balanced and satisfied, not suffering from cravings and deprivation. I don’t deprive myself of foods that would give me pleasure. Nor do I deprive myself of feeling good!
Why would I not want to do the same during a time of crisis if I can? Why would I not want to feel my best during this time too?
I used to be a restrictive dieter. So I can appreciate the idea of “yay I can throw my diet out the window for a few days!”
But I have learned that feeling free is so much better.
I continuously hope that others can achieve the same peace and freedom that I now enjoy.
Wishing you continued vibrant health,