Living a Life of Food Freedom and How That Looks in a World of Comparison


The internet is a crazy thing, isn’t it? I mean, I am a big fan of social media and blogging (obviously) and Facebook, etc. but man it is a comparison trap if I don’t watch it. I feel like as women, it is even harder to surf through the countless perfect posts, endless selfies of beautiful people and not feel a twinge of that unwanted feeling of comparison. I find myself doing this often and in ways that I don’t even expect, like “Oh man, they get all of their groceries at Whole Foods, I should shop there more…” or “That dress is adorable, I think I need that too.” or “How is she running faster than me and I’ve trained way longer than she has…” blah blah blah.

I also feel like this sometimes, when I look at what others are eating. Comparison doesn’t always show up in body image or style, but can more subtly come in the form of food comparison.

And that’s what I want to touch on today.


If you didn’t know already, I struggled and went through – conquered an eating disorder when I was in my junior/senior year of high school. It was all through Jesus’ power that He freed me from that mindset and brought me into a place of abundance. I remember back in the depths of my eating disorder, I would routinely, hourly, etc. compare what I was eating with what other people were eating. If I wasn’t eating the healthiest option or the smallest portion, I was NOT happy and it literally ruined my breakfast/lunch/dinner.


Looking back, I can see just how sick of a mindset that is and how ridiculous it sounds to compare what I am eating to what everyone else is.

But, I wonder, how often time it shows up in a more subtle way in my life, our lives. Now that I am free from an eating disorder (praise to Jesus!) I don’t live minute by minute for food.  I don’t continually dwell on what I am going to eat next or how many calories that cookie has in it. However, I’ve noticed through social media and blogs, I can feel that sense of ‘guilt’ or food comparison creep back into my heart and I don’t want that.


It is easy to look at all of these beautiful, healthy, amazing, nutritious meals and feel like, ‘I should be making/eating/ cooking that instead of my fun treat meal I was making for my husband and I.” BUT that is not true freedom, and I want to beware of that.

So, how do we navigate through these sticky situations and find true freedom and balance in a world of food comparison?


For me, I find it helpful to remember what my own personal, nutritional goals are and not let what others are doing make me do something else. That may sound vague, so I want to clarify.


Food freedom (for me) doesn’t mean I throw out all my desire for and knowledge of good, healthy nutrition and just eat whatever I want. It doesn’t mean I just throw in the towel and live off canisters of Pringle’s. It doesn’t mean that I don’t allow myself to have the freedom (yes, freedom) to try out different forms of nutrition strategy (i.e. Carb cycling, Paleo, etc.).


It DOES ME (for me), however, that I do not live in fear of foods, for foods, compare foods or feel like I have to justify a bowl of ice cream. It means that I can and want to allow myself to eat my favorite, treat foods, but in the best timing.


What do I mean by best timing?


A practical example is my current popcorn addiction. Guys, I seriously love munching on big bowls of popcorn and thoroughly enjoy it as an evening snack. But, before a long run, all the fiber that comes with popcorn is not the best choice right before the morning of a long run. So, instead of eating popcorn I can have the freedom to say ‘No,’ because I am choosing to have it at another time. I am choosing to enjoy one of my favorite foods at a later time because it impacts my running in a negative way.


Food freedom means that I am able to enjoy anything I want, but in moderation and with my nutrition/ fitness goals in mind. And if I see someone eating something a bit healthier than me, I cheer them on. If Grandma offers me a cookie that she spent time making, I choose to say yes.

Everyone has different food strategies and beliefs and opinions, but I hope that you can enjoy life. I hope you are able to savor that piece of pie with your sister, I hope you are able to say no to foods you know are not good for your body, and learn to enjoy fresh, local, and natural foods. I hope you are able to create a delicious batch of homemade ice cream, while also loving your fresh grilled chicken salad.

I hope you have goals for your nutrition and an idea of why you eat what you eat, but more than that, I hope you live a life of freedom – the freedom to say ‘Yes,’ and, in contrast, the freedom to say, ‘No.’


Questions of the Day 

  1. What are your thoughts on food comparison? 
  2. Do you have any food philosophies?
  3. What is the best part of your Wednesday!?