Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My (unhealthy) Relationship with Food

For as long as I can remember, I've always been passionate about food.  Shortly after my first baby was born, I really started to make changes to try and combat the migraines I had suffered for years because no doctor could find something to even lessen the pain when i would get a migraine attack.  After a couple trips to the hospital, appointments to neurologists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, homeopaths, etc. I knew that if I was ever going to find something to help my migraines, i more than likely needed to figure it out myself.

So started my journey full of green smoothies and juices, raw vegan meals, etc.  Mixed in between I definitely had my poor food choices (or yummy food choices, let's call it what it is..;)) but I was always trying something new.  And it helped.  The less wheat, sugar, and caffeine I ate, the less migraines I had.
A bulk order of health foods I used to order.

Even when my first two babies were born I was often making whole food dishes like avocado chocolate pudding, banana "ice cream", eggplant bacon, kefir, kombucha, etc.
Water kefir I used to make before the fear of drinking too many calories took over.

But then third baby came along.  Along with some very painful trials in my life at the same time.  And all of a sudden, my quest for eating whole foods got left behind.  I was in survival mode for so long.

And then, my relationship with food changed.  With the pressures of life, having a body that has changed after three babies and slowly getting older, all of a sudden "feeling good" wasn't my main goal with what i put in my body anymore.  I had fallen victim to my primary goal to be to lose that baby weight.  To get to that perfect number.

In the past three years I have constantly lost and gained the same ten lbs.  And not by any healthy means.  I gain it by bingeing on tons of bad for me food, and I lose it by not eating enough calories, by skipping meals...by juice fasting - by believing that if I get to that perfect weight then I'll feel good. And I am not against juice fasting, but most days when I do that I don't drink enough juice to fill my body with enough calories.  Not intentionally - I get busy and don't get back to the juicer -but in the end my choice is just to wait until the next day.  Many nights I prepare dinner for my family, and my husband asks me where my dinner is.  In an effort to hide it from my daughter so that she doesn't have self-image issues, i whisper to my husband that I'm fine.  but deep down I know I'm naive if I think that even if my daughter who is 8 doesn't pick up on it now, she will soon.

But you know what?  let's be real here - i actually have never got to that "perfect" number that sits in my head due to my unhealthy relationship with food.  And what's more?  I have not felt good for a very long time, especially this past year.  I have made trips to the doctor with unexplained pain, issues, and fatigue.  I have had tests for all sorts of things, and everything has come up clear.   Yet I know my body isn't happy.  It's mad at me.  It wants REAL food.  Not jumping from two extremes. It wants less wheat and sugar and more nutrients.  It wants FULL meals, and less processed junk.

I don't talk about my issue with my self-image that much because to be honest, as much as I have weight i want to lose I know in reality i don't have that much extra weight on me. I'd be happy o lose 15 lbs, but i know that for others it is a harder struggle and I don't want to complain about something that I probably shouldn't be complaining about.

But the reality is, no matter what you weigh, no matter your age, as women we are bombarded with media images, with what the world tell us we should be, with the pressures we put on ourselves.

So...why this long-winded post about this?  Partly to be real about a subject I don't talk about much. Partly because I believe as a woman especially, I am not alone in this struggle. Partly because I've decided that "NO MORE."  No more extremes.  I want to go back to whole foods in my diet, and I want to forget the number on the scale.  And it isn't going to be easy.  Life is busy and the kids and I are on the go a lot.  But I am not going to put huge expectations on myself.  I am just going to start out small.

And I am not going to be mad at myself for the past 3 years.  I know I was just trying to "get through" some stuff.  I know I had a lot of pressures.  But as my babies get older I have more time to take care of myself.  And I also know they are watching me.  And foodwise, I need to lead a better example.  I know I would be heartbroken if my daughter was as stressed about the number on the scale as I am.  I know I would feel like I failed her if she was like me, feeling the need to step on that scale - EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.  and I know I would try everything I could to teach her that she didn't need to feel sad every time she saw the number pop up that was too high than she had hoped.

I will continue to fill my body with green smoothies and juices full of nutrients, but along with other foods. I will continue to work to keep consumption of foods that are bad for my body to a minimum.  I will try harder to fill my body with WHOLE foods, and most importantly, ENOUGH whole food calories.  And I want to exercise again.  I want to run again and get my heart pumping!
My one and only 5k.  It's time to work towards it again!

Little changes.  I think I'll start with some avocado chocolate pudding.  I'm pretty sure the kids won't complain! :)  I hope to post my journey here.

Now excuse me while I go make some sweet potatoes and eggs for lunch, with a smoothie on the side. :)

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