Fitness, Food, Health and Wellness, Inspiration, lifestyle, Mental Health, motivation, Uncategorized

My Relationship With Food

Like most relationships, it is a ridiculously complicated one. Well, it used to be. I saw that a few weeks ago it was National Eating Disorder Week and I went back and forth about posting something about my own experience with the subject. I am not sure exactly why I waivered, other than it is a really sensitive subject for a lot of people, myself included. In sitting here today thinking about what I wanted my next post to be about though, I came back to this topic. I want to be as open, honest, and transparent on here with you all as I possibly can be and my relationship with food is definitely part of my story.

Before I begin, I want to be upfront about the fact that I will be talking about my struggles with eating in the following post so if that is a trigger for anyone this might be a good time to jump off this particular post! I also want to be upfront about the fact I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, nor have I ever sought treatment for one. This is just my story that I thought I would share in case someone out there can relate and might find some hope that things can get better as they have for me!

Back when I was in my mid-twenties, I was, as they say, trying to find myself. I had graduated college, was working a super boring but steady 9-5 job, was in a relationship of 5 years that I knew I wanted out of, and was waking up each morning feeling more and more out of control of my own life. I felt stuck. I knew the life I was living wasn’t the life I wanted but I wasn’t sure exactly what I did want or how to go about getting there without disappointing people, letting people down, or taking big risks that I wasn’t sure would pay off. 

Not knowing the next move to make, I stood still. I convinced myself I was being ridiculous because after all, I was checking all the boxes of what a responsible adult’s life should look like. But man, was I unhappy. Feeling like I couldn’t control the larger things in my life, I turned to “over” controlling the smaller things. It started with joining the gym. Innocent enough. I hired a personal trainer. Ok, not unusual. Then I started going to the gym two times a day, seven days a week. Problem loading.

I started waking up each morning thinking about when I was going to be getting to the gym. I beat myself up if I missed one workout. And of course, at the gym, I was primarily doing nothing but cardio. My only goal was of course to be as skinny as physically possible. I don’t think the word healthy was even in my vocabulary at the time, just skinny. I even fired my trainer because he kept trying to drag me into the weight section and I wanted nothing to do with it for the fear of getting “bulky”. Oh man, how misguided was I?!   

Naturally, this obsession with working out and being skinny quickly spilled over into what I was eating. No matter that I was working out several hours a day, just about every day of the week, I began to restrict my calories like a crazy person. Back then I would have told you it was all part of my quest for the “perfect” size zero body, but in reality, it was me trying so desperately to be in control of something in my life that I was willing my make myself sick to do it.  

My daily meal plan consisted of something like a handful of plain cheerios for breakfast, fat-free saltine crackers with a dollop of French’s Yellow Mustard and a stick of fat-free processed cheese product for lunch, and usually an energy drink and protein bar for dinner. Sometimes I would allow myself some plain chicken breast and on really special occasions some fat-free fro-yo for dessert.  

What is even crazier, I never bought anything at the store that had over 3 grams of fat per serving in it. I didn’t pay attention to the sugar or calorie count or if there was any nutrition in these products whatsoever. As long as the total fat number came in under 3 grams it was good to go in my book. I know, I know. Utterly ridiculous and so beyond unhealthy. I am literally sitting here cringing that I am even telling you guys that.

But hey, I got myself down to about 90 lbs or so which was all I really cared about. Now I am about 5’4 which means at 90 lbs I was probably about 20 lbs underweight. I was skin and bones. I thought at the time I looked amazing. In reality, I looked sick. I looked sick enough for family and friends to start asking if I actually was sick. Wanna know the crazy part? Them asking that made me feel slightly elated and even accomplished. It actually fueled my desire to not only maintain that very unhealthy weight but maybe even lose more weight!

I “lived” like that for almost two years. Hovering right around 90lbs, feeling so weak most days it was hard to get up once I had sat down, and subconsciously resigning myself to the fact that if I couldn’t control what was going on around me, I would control what was looking back at me in the mirror. Steadily declining health, a near nervous breakdown, and a trip to the emergency room later, I finally snapped back into enough reality that I quit my job, broke up with my boyfriend, and decided to take my life back into my own hands. It wasn’t quite as quick and easy as that, but in general, that’s what ended up happening.  

I also didn’t magically find myself right after I did all those things, but I did find so much happiness in living on my own terms that my obsession with my weight and what I was eating no longer had a place in my life. So what are some things I did to help turn such a negative relationship with food into the much more positive one I have today? Well, the first thing I did was…

It didn’t happen overnight, but the good news is, it did happen. It took work and not every day was perfect and honestly, I still have some days when I look in the mirror and for a brief second, I think I need to start restricting again. You know, just for a few days to drop a few pounds but I am now quickly able to banish those thoughts as unhealthy and unnecessary. My relationship with food today is on solid ground and as healthy as it has ever been. I see food as an ally or a tool I have in my arsenal that I can use every single day to live the healthiest life possible. Being able to shift this relationship into such a positive one has made my life so much better in so many ways and may have even saved it.  

Stay healthy and safe everyone!!

xoxoxo,

Beth

157 thoughts on “My Relationship With Food”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Beth! You came a long way – good for you!
    I’ve been lucky to have a good relationship with most of my life, and even have a ig profile with tag line “food is good” 😅
    Who cares about weight, most important is to listen to your body and eat versatile to keep your guts happy! Hope you stay on your path 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so glad someone has finally put into words the struggle I have endured my whole life! Some may call it unlucky but at 23 I had a life altering experience (sepsis) that changed my whole outlook on how I was treating not just my body but my mind too! It started me on a journey I still learn on every day but what a fantastic way to inform inspire and encourage those still continuing on their journey whatever stage that may be! Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you and likewise! I think a huge part of this disease is mental before anyone realises it has become physical and those are the hardest obstacles to overcome!! Well done to you for speaking so positively on a subject that is rarely spoken about in such a way 🙂 thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post. I also for the years starved myself from the joy of eating just to feel worthy enough..all my attention was on dieting and it was the only milestone to achieve for me, moreoverI was always hungry, but having a fuller and satisfying diet changed me to a happier person and a lot of other avenues to put my energies to beopened to me. To have right food habits is very important, it is our fuel, it plays a major role in a creating a balanced mind and body. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Earlier I used to limit myself from eating with my girlfriend because I thought she would find it funny that I’m a gourmet or foodie but the pleasure of eating food for me now exceeds any other worldly pleasures and I still weight around 130 pounds.. so that’s my relationship with food!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for being so transparent in sharing your journey. I’m glad you have recovered. It isn’t overnight. But a process. I can relate to some of your story. I still have triggers especially with emotional eating. It’s a struggle but its nice to know I’m not alone in my struggles. Stay strong! In health, mind and body.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! YEah I still catch my brain sometimes sliding backward but I have gotten to a point I can really quickly dismiss those unhealthy feelings. Thank you again for stopping by and reading!! 🙂

      Like

  6. So well written. Many can relate to some or all of what you went through. Glad you took back actual control! Control can be such an illusion at times. It’s our daily choices that really help to define us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I have had my issues with food as well. It becomes an all consuming force that affects every aspect of life. Recognizing when we have a problem and then actively healing from it is so hard. Self loathing is a major player for me. I am always encouraged by other’s move toward a healthy approach toward food and fitness. 💖

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Can relate to this. It’s so important to truly understand one’s body and mind. And work towards a healthy combination of both. It’s never too late to set things right. Learning is life.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I stumbled on this post and I must say thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. It’s not easy to be so vulnerable especially on a public platform.
    May you continue to be healthy and inspire.
    Stay Safe&Smart

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The saltines and French’s hit home for me there… I have done that same thing thinking that once I saw a number I would be happy, and then wasn’t haha. Scary… Glad you made it out the other side and you are improving every day and enjoying what you eat more! Gorgeous. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can relate to your blog post about food and control over one’s life! I became anorexic as a teenager, and boy, was I miserable! I decided it was better to be a little overweight and be happy than to starve myself to death.Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This really resonates about the relationship with food and feeling guilty when eating. Thanks for sharing and it’s a journey to seeing good as a fuel not enemy

    Liked by 1 person

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