We Shouldn't Feel Guilty About What Or How Much We Eat

It's 2019, Let's Please Take The Unnecessary And Harmful Guilt Out Of Eating Food

Food is fuel and it doesn't have moral value.

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"An apple didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize and a cookie didn't rob a bank. Food has no moral value."

This is something we like to say in Embody Carolina, a Campus Y committee, especially during our trainings, in which we help people learn how to be compassionate and effective allies to those struggling with eating disorders.

The thing is, you don't have to be struggling with a full-blown eating disorder to have thoughts or hear other people moralize food as "good" or "bad," and therein categorize themselves as "good" or "bad," depending on what they ate. These comments aren't helpful and can be hurtful, creating a sense of guilt that's not necessary for us simply listening to, feeding and fueling our bodies.

I find it interesting -- and more than that, upsetting -- that so much guilt and shame is placed on food: how much, how many calories, what food group, and other aspects of that nature. We need food to live; we need fat to live. "Calories" really just tell us how much energy something will give us, and our bodies were created to tell us what they want and create homeostasis within us. Andy Dwyer in Parks and Rec explains it best in this clip.

We shouldn't feel guilty or shameful about being full, overeating sometimes, getting a second serving, being more hungry than someone else, eating a cookie, or anything of that nature. We are human beings. Our bodies are different and need different kinds of amounts of food at different times. Nothing is wrong with this. No excuses like "I haven't eaten since x" or "I ran x miles today" are necessary.

By attributing moral value to food, we attribute it to ourselves, which is simply inaccurate. We are not good or bad people based on what we eat, and what we eat or how we look doesn't change who we are as a friend, sister, brother, student, athlete, or any other identity we identify with.

Further, attributing moral value to food can cause us to have an unhealthy relationship with food. For example, we may restrict our food intake, at which point, our body will compel us to binge. Or we may binge because, by eating a certain food, we've "blown it anyway and might as well." I think that sometimes we think that moralizing food and "acting accordingly" is helpful to our health, but it's actually detrimental, having the opposite effect than what we desire.

The next time you're out eating with friends or talking about food, I suggest talking about how good it tastes or what your favorite item on the menu is. More than that, I encourage you to listen to your cravings and talk to people about how they're doing, not what they or you are eating. Time spent with people should be about people, not the food. Food can rule our lives in a way that takes away from how great it can be, and I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Once you put aside those conversations, you will be much happier and more content, believe me. Your body thanks you and so do I.

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The Unspoken Dangers of 'Mukbang' Culture

Ever wondered why you can't stop clicking on these addictive, self-made eating shows?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you've probably heard of the internet trend commonly referred to as a mukbang, or "eating show." These self-produced video clips typically involve one hungry individual, their filming device, and an obscene amount of delicious foods.

Though these broadcasts originated all the way from South Korea (hence the foreign vocabulary), the growing popularity of eating videos has taken the internet by storm. Nowadays as you scroll through YouTube, you'll find an outrageous amount of uploads with titles like "10,000 CALORIE PASTA MUKBANG," "EATING EVERYTHING ON THE MCDONALD'S MENU," or "THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE."

Popular 'mukbangers' such as Peggie Neo, Megan McCullom, and Steven Sushi have made a sizable profit off of their viral eating shows, some collecting tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

So, what's the big deal you say? You order a large quantity of food, indulge in said food, film yourself completing this menial task, and upload to the internet for money and fame. On the outside, this may seem like a luxurious lifestyle, but behind the camera lens sits an individual battling their own demons and influencing the world of social media to partake in their harmful behaviors.

Mukbanger Livia Adams ("Alwayshungry" on YouTube) has opened up about her unhealthy relationship with food in the past, praising herself for fasting several hours in order to justify her over-indulgence on camera.

Similarly, internet sensation Trisha Paytas claims to diet and starve herself for weeks just to be able to satisfy her subscribers with epic mukbangs, which are essentially binges.

In all actuality, these social media celebrities are negatively impacting (and possibly triggering) vulnerable viewers.

Many fans only see the highlight reel of YouTubers shoveling bowls of cereal or boxes of doughnuts into their mouths, yet remain completely unaware of what truly goes on behind-the-scenes. Messages saying:

"I'm on a diet... watching this is giving me some sort of satisfaction, like as tho I ate, you know?"
"I watch these videos because I know I physically can't afford to eat like this because I gain weight too easily."
"When having an eating disorder, watching Trisha's mukbangs is sorta comforting in a way omg"

flood the comments sections of Paytas' videos. Quite obviously, fans young and old are heavily influenced by this content and continue to support these creators to fulfill a self-destructive need.

Additionally, famous mukbang accounts never seem to include the painful after-effects of their ginormous feasts in videos. Fitness model Stephanie Buttermore flaunts her slim physique just days after consuming over 10,000 calories for a challenge, giving the impression that her previous overindulgence had no repercussions on her health whatsoever. Because Buttermore is a trained, athletic young woman, she was able to quickly bounce back after a series of workouts and low-calorie meals.

On the contrary, if a sedentary woman of about the same age were to attempt this challenge, she would most likely feel sluggish, irritable, bloated, stomach discomfort, and even vomitous post challenge. Eating regularly like this could lead to bigger issues such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, because topics like these aren't glamorous and attractive to subscribers, mukbangers often edit them out.

Now don't get me wrong. Though not everyone who uploads a mukbang to the internet has an eating disorder or an evil agenda, they have to realize the kind of audience they're appealing to. This generation is more susceptible than ever to emulate the actions and words of their favorite celebrities. Young boys and girls look up to successful adults, and influencers should be remembered for the change they inspired, not the disease they encouraged.

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5 Charleston Brunch Spots You HAVE To Try

You had me at brunch!

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Who doesn't love a BIG chicken biscuit, home fries, and bottomless mimosas?? If you live in Charleston, you know it's the hot spot for brunch! Whether you just want a good meal, a good insta picture, or both, here are 5 brunch spots you have to try!

1. Poogans Porch

Lindsey Ramsey

Tucked away on Queen Street is a beautifully restored Victorian house that serves brunch and dinner daily. By far the best Chicken & Waffles I've ever had! But, if you're not a fan of that, then I highly recommend the Down Home Breakfast. The service is always amazing and you get fresh biscuits while you wait for your food!

2. Millers All Day

Lindsey Ramsey

Located on lower King Street, Millers All Day server's breakfast ALL day. The restaurant opened in 2018 and it's been busy ever since. I HIGHLY recommend you check this place out! I always get the Millers Plate, which has two eggs, bacon, home fries, and a biscuit.

3. Toast!

Emily Christian

Now I've only been here once, but it was SOOO good! It's located at the corner of Horlbeck Aly and Meeting Street and is always popping! When I went I got the chicken biscuit with home fries, and let me tell you I was blown away. It comes with a sweet tea glaze to dip the chicken in AND the biscuit is HUGE!

4. Caviar and Bananas

Emily Christian

Located right in the heart of College of Charleston's campus is every college students favorite restaurant. They serve anything and everything. Before class every morning my friend and I get a bagel, but on the weekends we get brunch. Now their brunch menu has all sorts of things, but we always get a chicken biscuit and potatoes. No joke, their chicken biscuit is the size of your face!

5. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Lindsey Ramsey

Do you like biscuits?? Callie's has biscuits of any flavor or sandwich you want. My favorite is the cinnamon biscuit!! They're the perfect size for you to eat 4 at a time. Seriously once you have one you can't stop.

If you haven't noticed I love biscuits and I never stray away from it, but I hope you get to try some biscuits and other things when you visit these places!! Enjoy your brunch!!

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