Despite all my efforts, I often find myself underestimating how weirded out the general public gets by acts of health. This weeks case in point is courtesy of a client of mine, who mentioned casually that she was using a meal prep service. Almost immediately, someone pointed out how obsessive tracking food was and how unreasonable prepping your meals ahead of time was. When countered about how its not really that hard, she was diagnosed as orthorexic. (It went zero to a hunnid, real quick)
Im going to gloss over the fact that diagnosing people with eating disorders based on prepping food is a dick move. Planning your meals ahead of time and preparing them is pretty far from obsessive behavior. You wouldn’t criticize someone for organizing their week in their planner prior to the week beginning. You don’t demonize making appointments and scheduling your days activities around productivity. So why organizing your meals suddenly crossing the line?
The truth is, I feel like spending each day on the prowl for your next meal takes more energy than just having it all figured out in one lump in the beginning of the week. Meal prep isn’t really the worst thing in the world. Do you have to cook for a couple hours? Sure. I estimate that the 4 hours I used to spend cooking on my off day saved me 10 hours I truly don’t have during the week. Even easier is ordering from a meal prep company, having them deliver it to my fridge, and letting professionals handle the cooking/weighing/packaging/labeling.
So let me lay out exactly what occurs when I order my food, and you tell me if this sounds like an eating disorder…
1.) Amplified Meal Prep sends their menu to each client on Monday of every week
2.) Sometime between Monday and Thursday, I decide what/how much I want to eat, and I send that to Amp.
3.) On Sunday, Amplified Meal Prep delivers my food to my fridge and I give them money. I put the food in my fridge and I cook almost nothing the rest of the week. It is properly weighed, cooked, packaged and labeled. I then eat appropriately the entire week.
THAT IS NOT AN EATING DISORDER. That is getting your shit together and utilizing professional services to make it easier.
Now let me lay out A SINGLE DAY of “reactive eating,” or eating with no sort of plan.
1.) Wake up. Stare aimlessly into the fridge. Grab nothing. Mosey over to cabinets. Grab nothing. Repeat several times.
2.) Finally decide to drink a protein shake and some kind of bagel.
3.) Get to work, get caught up in work. Forget to eat until hunger wrestles me from my day. Ravenously decide to make my way over to Panera.
4.) Google healthy options at Panera. Find that the internet result was a seasonal offering and re-google. Find something close to what I need. Am now STARVING. Get the option of chips or an apple as my side. Obviously go with the chips because I am PRETTY SURE I am withering away and need all the calories I can get. (spend about 12.00-15.00 here)
5.) Eat a protein bar from Kroger that I picked up WHO KNOWS WHEN. Protein bar, yanno. No way its just loaded with sugar. (it is, btw)
6.) Realize that a protein bar is childs play, and im actually hungry. Start looking at the clock and planning my next move. If there’s more than two hours left of work, I am going to have to venture out again or risk eating one of Christians meals. If I choose the former option, I have to brave Germantown Parkway and its traffic. In the latter, I have upset Christian and am left no choice but to blame Bobby. Also, I have overconsumed, as Christians caloric requirements are waaay inappropriate for me.
7.) I AM MISERABLE. I have blown my diet and spent like 50 bucks. I go back to work.
8.) From the corner of my eye, I notice David has left a box of rice crispie treats unattended. Though I am NOT hungry, I’m taking some of those for the road. Once again, I blame Bobby. Bobby gets written up. I feel terrible, but hey, that’s life.
9.) I do a check in with my coach, and have to list all my deviations. He is painfully disappointed and lets me know.
10.) I increase my fat mass, and effectively end my stream of Instagram material as its currently just selfie city over there (@anniegunshow)