Life has been a little crazy lately. In the blogosphere, I’ve had a wave of people contacting me since my appearance in The Sunday Times magazine last weekend. What has really struck me as crazy is the sheer number of people who have come out saying they have felt that pressure too – to eat perfect meals, to blog with perfect photos, and to deny and shamefully hide away those naughty treats we all like to eat on the side.
To give you a bit of background, it all started when I came across the term ‘orthorexia‘ online. Not officially recognised as a medical condition, orthorexia defines itself as a mental illness with eating perfectly healthily, to the point of obsession. If you’re as immersed in the healthy living world as much as I am, you’ll be familiar with a few aspects of it: how far do you restrict your diet? Vegetarian? Vegan? Plant-based vegan? Fruitarian?
And then of course, how perfect is your food? When your newsfeed is flooded with beautiful images of smoothie bowls, green juices, slim bodies and beach-babe hair, it doesn’t take long for you to start noticing how your life is nothing like this. I’ve been there, and I’ve done the whole plant-based food obsession, the three-day juice cleanses, the moping about how I’ll never be a tanned, blonde surfer girl with yoga-toned abs and the ability to eat out of shelled coconuts for the rest of my life…
All of this culminated in my feature in ‘The Clean Eating Myth’ written by Katie Glass. Alongside a few other bloggers, and a girl who identified as orthorexic, we set about showing how clean eating can actually become unhealthy in that it does become a mental problem.
Now, I have to say that I’m not – and never have been – orthorexic. However, I understand its pressures, and how there isn’t a platform for anyone, be it young girls, bloggers, Instagram foodies, or men, to come out and say they are feeling the pressure themselves. That really does make me upset, as wellness is a holistic approach combining eating healthily, exercising, and happiness. These are all vital to really achieving true wellness, where you’re fully aware of how wonderful you are, and everyone around you, is.
So, I’ve started to take a different approach to how I blog, and what I blog about. You may have noticed this already – my Instagram feed is no longer a catalogue of gleaming white, minimalist images, and my videos show how I genuinely make food, rather than a staged video shot and edited to perfection. It’s taken a while for me to join all these dots myself, but I cannot continue to pretend my life is just as beautiful as all the pins on my Pinterest. Basically, I live in a pretty little run-down London flat, I love a bag of Malteasers every now and again, and I get my juicer out a maximum of once a week. Should I be ashamed of that? Of course not.
I’m hoping that this will resonate with the community of bloggers I’ve come to know and love, and also give anyone who needs it the opportunity to express their true selves, show that we’re not all superhuman, and aspire to be real, genuine people without the need to edit our lives to perfection online. Curiously Conscious has always been about sharing new discoveries in the field of wellness that I enjoy and want to share with you, and in this sense, it continues with this same purpose. It’s surprising how things have changed so much in the last two years – both in my life, and in the field of healthy living – but this resolve remains. Be true to yourself, eat mindfully, and enjoy the little things, whether it’s a lay-in, a run around the block, or a late-night jam on toast!