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Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: Are food selfies really motivating?

Looking at social media pictures of a healthy or “clean” plate of food sometimes does the opposite of motivating me.

I recently read an article online about how country singer Martina McBride’s home cooking has led to her husband’s lifestyle change. Under the picture she posted of salmon and salad was a caption that read:

“I don’t know why we like to post pictures of our food. Maybe to encourage ourselves or others. Or maybe just because we like sharing that part of our lives. I know I love posting pictures of something decadent as much as I love posting pics of something healthy … because I believe there is room for both in life and it should be a balance.”

McBride says she posted the pic for several reasons.

“One … because it is my first really healthy meal after a whole weekend of decadence and I’m proud of it. Two because I’ve never really cooked much fish and I’ve always been somewhat intimidated by cooking it … but I made this super delicious salmon in less than 20 minutes with just a few ingredients.”

I don’t know why seeing videos of people sharing their workouts on social media or delicious perfectly portioned macro-balanced meals makes me roll my eyes. I guess it’s mostly out of insecurity for my lack of self-discipline. It’s not that I don’t like people who like being healthy. But healthy people are on a mission. They want to “encourage others,” as McBride said. And they do that by trying to make everyone else around them healthy, too. It’s like they can’t not talk about their last high-intensity interval training (known as HIIT) workout or piece of avocado toast with roasted veggies.

But I really love that McBride also included decadence. I need a treat every night — strike that — every now and then to reward myself for making it through another day of keeping my boys alive after they slid down the banister or used the toilet water to brush their teeth (true story). I fall into bed at night grateful that no one went to the ER and celebrate with a brownie from Kneaders or sugar cookie from Parsons’ Bakery.

I have a major sweet tooth. But a recent Feel Great in 8 food and exercise challenge has slowly been changing the way I look at clean eating — and clean eating pictures.

In…

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