Relationships with Food

I want to talk about a serious and relevant subject. I saw this video on Kath Eats blog and it really got me thinking about my experience and relationship with food. I have been becoming more aware that women (and men) have a relationship with food. And for me, it may change and evolve, but it always exists.

Growing up, I always had a really big appetite. I could, and did eat pretty much whatever I wanted without giving it a second thought. Until about 10th grade. I have no idea what happened or what triggered it, but I developed an eating disorder. I counted calories and made sure I didn’t eat over 400 calories a day. I exercised compulsively, I abused laxatives, and purged sometimes. That behavior lasted pretty much until my senior year, and just like it came on so quickly, it left.

It was a dark time and I’m thankful to have reached a place where I have a healthier relationship with food.  I aim to eat whole foods and limit processed foods, and eat when I’m hungry. I tell myself that I don’t deprive myself, but that’s not 100% true. If I didn’t consciously regulate what I was putting in my mouth, my food choices would not be nearly as healthful. But I do enjoy everything in moderation.  I think what it all comes down to for me is balance.  I try to maintain and active lifestyle and enjoy running, and lifting weights, and am going to be getting back into yoga this week. But I don’t beat myself up if I miss a workout, and I don’t overdo it.  I don’t use a scale to judge how I feel about myself, but I do listen to my body and it tells me when I’m on the right track, when I have indulged, and when I need to eat more. I strive for intuitive eating.

But I obviously obsess about food and health, and am passionate about nutrition and wellness and helping others to achieve balance and happiness in these areas. I think for me it is a lifelong process and my first instinct is to feel bad about myself for not being perfect and having it all figured out. But then I remember to be gentle and loving towards myself and know that I don’t have to figure it all out, I just have to listen, learn, and enjoy the journey.

In the meantime, I want to be the aunt and someday mother who teaches by example. I want to educate on the importance of a healthy balanced lifestyle without engaging in negative “fat talk”.  I want to share my experience and help others that might be suffering. I want to prevent girls from ever having to experience that suffering. How I’m going to do that, I don’t yet know.

I know that every woman’s relationship with food is unique, but it is not something we should be ashamed of. I encourage us to share and speak about it openly. If you feel inclined, I would love to connect and hear your story.

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