May 11th is Eat What You Want Day and, as a lover and advocate of stuffing your face with good food, it makes me excited to think about the day ahead. However, it also makes me think about why we would need such a day. Obviously, it’s just a fun made-up holiday that’s not actually recognized, but it still begs the question…why would someone feel the need to make up such a day in the first place?
If you’re specifically on a diet that’s requested by your doctor or you have a health condition limiting you to or from certain foods, this isn’t towards you at all, but this is towards the awful diet culture most of us have known to learn about and even adopt ourselves. Diet culture comes from fatphobia and what we’ve seen on tv, social media, and magazines. It’s the bodies that are represented alongside with words that “skinny is best” or that you can “lose 30lbs in ten days for that summer body”.
There are people that restrict themselves from eating delicious food because they feel the need to in order to be healthy, otherwise they’ll be punished with a disease and an instant overweight body. Of course, just like it takes to lose weight at a healthy rate, it takes time to gain the weight in the first place (even if it feels like it happened overnight). I promise you that eating one cookie (or three) won’t instantly make you gain 100 lbs.
Again, if your doctor states that you have to be careful or strict with what you eat, please follow that, but there are even foods that you can find or make that allow you to enjoy a treat but still stays on your diet. That said, I don’t think an Eat What You Want Day is necessary altogether because you deserve to treat yourself without a special day. Being healthy is important, but whatever you eat, you need to love it and enjoy it. This doesn’t just go for treats and sweets but your everyday meals…healthy and all. Life is too short to suffer by eating food you don’t like, yet alone love, when there are so many different delicious alternatives that are just as delicious.
Just as you wouldn’t do something you don’t love or hang around people that you dislike, you shouldn’t eat foods that you don’t love. Show yourself and your body some love by taking in the delicious foods that life has to offer and treat yourself every day, not just later this week.