Food is an essential to every one’s life, obviously, but our relationship with food varies and can affect us in many different ways.
The past few months, I’ve been trying to eat healthier and be more mindful of what I put into my body. I started this journey in July and have lost 25 pounds so far, but I still have more to lose. Disclaimer, I’ve been losing this weight “the healthy way”, so to speak. I do not have an eating disorder. Through this journey, though, I’ve become more aware of my eating habits and my relationship with food. So, on that note…
I was a chaotic eater. I would not eat breakfast, or anything during the work day, so when I did eat, it would be unhealthy and more like a binge. This usually happens during school and work days, but on days I have off, I just graze and don’t have set meal plans, unless I’m eating with my family.
I ate particularly well throughout elementary and middle school, but then when high school rolled around, my meals became varied between eating too little and eating too much.
One example of this, is when I didn’t eat breakfast before school, and didn’t eat anything during the school day, but instead just chugged water all day. Then when tennis rolled around, and the team went to McDonald’s before the match, I would just eat a shit ton of fast food. The thing is, I did not feel hungry at all during the day, so I thought that it was OK. The second situation I can think of is more recent, as it happened last year during my first year at uni. The only thing I ate all day was a sleeve of Saltine crackers, which I just grazed on throughout the day. Needless to say, I ate like a 10 year old. Junk and snack foods were what I ate the majority of the time.
I was always brought up to finish my meals, even one’s I did not like, but I was a fighter. As a child, some nights I spent sitting at the dinner table looking at a plate full of food I did not want to eat (goulash and Hamburger Helper were the worst), missing my 8 o’clock episode of That’s So Raven. My mom wanted me to finish what I had on my plate, and I understand why one would want their child to finish their meals, but when I left the environment of structured eating, I adopted unhealthy eating habits.
It was during the spring of my freshman year in college when I got on the scale and was completely disgusted and disappointed with myself. I knew that I did not like what I saw on the scale, so I decided to change for the better. Alongside my mom during this past summer, we started to plan our meals around a healthy caloric intake diet, based on our age, height and weight. We did not have to count the calories and fruits and vegetables, which helped and made us eat healthier altogether.
I’ve become more in tune with my eating habits and have become more aware of what I put into my body. One of the things I love about my uni is that they have the nutritional facts on what they serve in the dining hall, so I’m able to plan my meals a week in advance if need be. I like tracking my meals ahead of time, so I don’t go into the dining hall wondering what I should and shouldn’t eat, but already have it planned. Before, I was afraid of food and thought of it more as a vice and now I’ve adopted a motto my grandfather told me about eating: Don’t live to eat, but eat to live.
Although I’m still a distance from my goal weight, I am more confident in myself about getting there, as I’ve learned how to maintain a healthy diet, but still be able to enjoy food.
So I guess this topic brings me to ask, what is your relationship with food? What do you like to eat? Are you adventurous or do you stick with what you know. Let me know in the comments below!