A friend pointed out that my posts lately have become more reflective. It is true, my blog has made a slight veer in a new direction, from just recipes to deeper thoughts and noteworthy experiences. There are two reasons behind this. 1) I am running out of new recipes to try (you can only cook salmon so many ways), and 2) I am making an effort to change the way I think about food.
I have been contemplating writing this post for a really long time but I
have honestly just been afraid. Mostly of what others will think. And
also about categorizing myself as someone who has a problem.
About four years ago, I made a concerted effort to change my diet and fitness routine. Food and nutrition became important to me. Races and spin classes became my passion. Until about six months ago when I realized that it had gone too far.
Our society praises "self control" and dietary restriction.
It rewards intense workouts.
It is hard to think that you have a problem when the whole world seems to be dieting and obsessing over calories.
But something just felt off. I was moody and irritable, I would avoid weeknight happy hours and dinner-related events with friends. I would get anxious over which menu items would be the healthiest choice, and I would get stressed when my lunch strayed from my safe turkey sandwich with an apple. I increased my workouts to seven days a week, for at least an hour a day, sometimes two. I thought about food a lot and I felt good when I was hungry and able to "hold off." I felt bad when I strayed from my routine and "treated myself." I measured my success and self-worth by a number on a scale. I was hungry...all the time. I liked the way I looked, but I was sad, I was angry, I was tired of counting calories.
I was thin, but few people noticed anything drastic, or at least few said anything. My boyfriend was the first to notice how food was affecting me and he missed the Lindsay that would skip a workout every now and then to cuddle in bed some mornings. That girl was gone.
I am happy to say that I have made some big changes over the last six months. I am eating more and feeling stronger. I am doing less cardio. I have ditched the scale. I eat a small dessert every day. I have incorporated fear foods back into my regular diet - like almond butters, pizza, and pasta. I will have wine on weeknights. I will snack late if I am hungry. All things that gave me anxiety just months ago.
I will stuff my face at dimsum...
But I still struggle....
When it comes to listening to all of my hunger queues. Like lately, I am hungry ALL the time. I think its because my metabolism is starting to bounce back from the restriction.
Since I am unsure of what normal eating is (I over-thought it for too long), I worry that I may not be doing it right - "are you sure it's OK to eat that much?!" Luckly, I have found support from a lot of other bloggers like Carly, Sam, Cait, and Amanda.
With guilt. I worry that I overate, I feel bad after big or unhealthy meals, and especially late night jumbo slice.
But I am trying to trust my body. I am trying to believe that after it rebuilds from the damage I have done, it will level out to my healthy weight. I am trying to tune out the stupid media and stop comparing myself to others.
I refuse to live like that ever again because there are a lot of things that taste better than skinny feels and your body needs days to lounge around like a sloth without guilt.
Life is too short and cookie dough is too delicious ;)
Anyone else sick of working so hard to "be healthy"?
Anyone else feel like they may have fallen off balance?