Food and me, we’ve had a rocky past. My whole life I’d been overweight. My whole life I’ve also been food and health conscious but I would eat massive portions. I read in my diary from when I was 5 years old “Tomorrow I’m going on diet.” How sad!! I grew up around diets as my mom was always trying to lose weight, and I’m sure I heard all sorts of negative connotations toward food.
Once I got to college, I started Weight Watchers on my own and lost 60+ pounds doing that. But looking back now, I was massively undereating, with only “20 points” per day. While it altered my portion sizes, I would “save up” points for later in the day so I could snack at night, or go out and drink with friends. I would barely eat all day if my friends were going out to a party that night.
Once I started maintaining however, is when it got obsessive. I discovered sparkpeople, and I would obsessively track my calories, fat, carbs & protein. Eating and food was all I could think about. What would I have for my next meal? When would I eat? Oh no – I’m already at X amount of calories today? What am I going to do?? It was around this time that I started training for a marathon. I was running 7-10+ miles most days of the week, yet I was eating less than a sedentary person should eat. I was either terrified of gaining weight, or obsessed with keeping my calories low – who knows. I soon realized that I needed to eat more, and I gradually started re-introducing real ice cream, real cheese, and treats back into my life, but I was still underfueling. I finally stopped tracking what I eat in about 2009, and you can’t even imagine what a weight was lifted off my shoulders.**
Sure, I’m not perfect, and it’s still hard for me to eat “unhealthy” or higher calorie foods at times, but I’m trying. I needed to realize that these special treats every once and a while are not going to kill me, and what’s the point of good food if it can’t be enjoyed? I love treats, desserts, and food in general and why should I feel guilty for enjoying these things I love? I still struggle (especially with ice cream – as much as I want it in the house, I find myself completely overeating it – by a ton!), but it’s a work in progress.
I also started reading Intuitive Eating and it has amaazing points and tips, all of which I’m trying to incorporate into my life. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and why waste away days of one’s precious life stressing about it?
**Please note – I’ve started tracking what I eat again to try and lose a few pounds that have come on during the past years of multiple injuries. But it’s NOWHERE near as obsessive as it was before. I still enjoy food, have slip-up days, and let myself go “crazy” without beating myself about it 🙂