Femininity: Authenticity in Health

I’m sitting here with eggs on toast and a blanket on my lap. The days have been sunny and warm compared to the early mornings, but sometimes it’s nice to feel cosy. I finished sewing my Christmas blanket, which is very exciting! It’s ready in time to use as winter creeps in, and I’m so happy with it. Completing a creative project is so fulfilling.

Something that’s been on my mind lately, but I haven’t known how to articulate, is being authentic with my health.

This past month I haven’t been completely well and my skin is also the worst it’s ever been. These are signals that something isn’t right. While I would love to have clear skin, part of me is thankful I have such a visible sign that my health isn’t what it should be. It’s a motivator to look after myself.

Health, and what we eat, can be such a sensitive issue, which is why I haven’t known quite how to write about it. In everything I talk about here, know it isn’t me judging anyone else, or thinking I’m better than anyone else. I’m just motivated to do what I can to be healthy and to feel well. My mindset going into this is not to tell anyone what to do, or to shame them. I am simply doing what I need to do for my own body.

I have noticed, and have been reading and talking to my family about this, that certain food causes my acne to get worse as well as affecting my cycle. I won’t get into that side of things too much as it is very personal, nor will I name what food causes the issues, just because I’m not going to discuss the science of it all. But it is based upon proper research, and not me just choosing to cut things out without properly looking into it.

During lockdown last year it was relatively easy for me to cut out certain things because I was cooking dinner with mostly whole ingredients and I had the time and energy to do so. It got more difficult this year when I started to eat out more to socialise and then when I began a new job which meant I didn’t always feel like cooking. I think I’ve gotten into a better rhythm with work now that I’m used to it, so that shouldn’t be as much of a hurdle anymore.

I’m not saying that eating out is bad, and I don’t want to reject every dinner invitation from here on out. But it is difficult to find places that have food available based on what I do and don’t want to have. I’m trying to think of creative alternatives, even something like going out for a cup of tea instead of for a full meal. I want to be authentic to my health but I also don’t want to offend my friends or come off as a snob. As I said, food can be such a sensitive topic and we all have a different way of viewing it, and I don’t want to unintentionally hurt someone else through my eating decisions.

I think at this stage, I will say what I feel is appropriate to the person and situation, but will also try to host more. Instead of immediately suggesting we go out for dinner, I want to invite them into my home for a meal. It allows for that quality time and eating together whilst also letting me buy ingredients that won’t negatively affect me.

I hope in reading this, the gentleness to which I am treating the topic came through, as opposed to any sort of judgement. My hope in all of this is to look after myself. Let’s see how it goes!

Sarah xx

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