It’s no secret that my relationship with food has not always been the healthiest. Everyday I’m getting a little closer to where I want to be, but it’s something that I have to really put a lot of energy into, and it still causes me a lot of anxiety.
There are some days when I’m able to make really healthy decisions without having to think about it. More and more I am realizing that I actually really enjoy eating healthy, and that’s what I do.
But some days are more difficult. The decision of what I should eat for lunch and how much I should eat for lunch will stress me out to the point that I’m afraid to eat at all, because I don’t want to make the wrong decision.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve dealt with various forms of Eating Disorders since the age of 15.
I went from bulimia in high school to binge eating in college.At that point I gained over a hundred pounds in a matter of years. Since then, I’ve lost the hundred pounds I gained and at some point fell back into disordered eating.
People always ask me how I lost over a hundred pounds, and I never really know what to say. I THINK I did it by eating healthy and exercising. I know there was a good four years there when I wasn’t participating in my target behaviors. I wasn’t restricting, and I wasn’t doing anything that could qualify as bulimia.
But I still can’t pinpoint the time when that started to change.
What scares is me is that I’m not sure I was ever doing anything that qualified as “healthy.” Even at the beginning of my weight loss journey, when I was eating wholesome food 3 times a day, my mind was still caught up on my size. I didn’t eat healthy to be healthy, I ate healthy to be thin.
I finally think I’m to the point where I understand what foods are good fuel for me, and which ones will leave me feeling lethargic and heavy. I no longer count calories. I don’t log my food. I don’t avoid pizza or sweets, but I try to only indulge when I feel like I’m in a healthy mindset and I know I won’t be weighed down with regret.
But I still want to be healthy eater, and sometimes that feels dangerous to me.
All day long I read headline after headline about the healthiest meals to eat, and I can’t help but feel a little guilty that I had ice cream last night. I know my journey is my own, and I can choose whether or not to read something-but it’s sometimes difficult to avoid.
Co-workers are dieting, bloggers are dieting, friends and family are dieting, and yet I feel like I’m feeding my eating disorder if I choose a salad over pasta. But I also feel like I’m feeding my eating disorder if I choose the pasta, because my eating disorder makes me feel guilty no matter what I choose to eat.
Still, I’m getting there. I feel a lot more confident in where I am right now, compared to probably any time in my history. I may still feel guilt and anxiety around food, but I’m eating and learning to be OK with whatever choice I make. That’s where I need to be right now.
I know most of the people reading this have a much healthier relationship with food than I do. I also know that there are a lot of people out there who struggle with either losing weight or with disordered eating of some variety. To all of you, I just want to say that I hope you remain conscious of the fact that at the end of the day, it’s just food. Your life isn’t going to end if you eat the cake and it’s not going to end if you don’t eat the cake.
Unless your allergic to the cake. Then, definitely don’t eat the cake.
Don’t make your life revolve around your food choices. Eat healthy, because it makes you feel good to eat healthy, but don’t make it an obsession.
Take it from me, it can lead you to a place of agony and a really long confusing road of recovery.