Opinion | Sexuality

Whole As Whole Can Be: Dieting While Loving Ourselves and Our Neighbors

The challenge of clean eating and community.
Whole As Whole Can Be: Dieting While Loving Ourselves and Our Neighbors
Image: anandaBGD / iStock

Day 1

I am hungry.

For lunch I had sweet potato hash with kale and eggs. It looked so pretty, so real and pristine on my plate, I barely restrained myself from snapping an Instagram. My meal was inspired by the Whole30 challenge, a month-long eating program focused on fruits, veggies, and protein—no dairy, corn, soy, grains, or sugar. It was “clean.” It was healthy. It made me feel proud of myself, if only for a moment.

Two hours after my artfully arranged lunch and here I am, miserably hungry, sipping iced green tea and dreaming about scones. I smooth my T-shirt over my shorts and try to think loving thoughts about my overweight body. I don’t want to dwell on how I’ve landed smack-dab in the middle of America’s complicated tension over food and bodies. We are a nation of overeaters and dieters, of workout obsessives and “fat acceptance” advocates, and I find myself somewhat lost in the perspectives on what it means to feel good ...

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