I am not an expert when it comes to nutrition. I work with a registered dietitian but I am not one so I don’t feel like I can give anyone advice. If you want awesome health advice please check out Sam’s blog – she’s a triathlete and an RD with a really cute dog!
What I can do is share my own experience with eating, nutrition and weight loss. Many of you know I suffered from an eating disorder for many years. I’ve been technically in recovery for a few years, but I feel like I’ve really started making strides this year.
Breaking Through the Emotional Barrier
I’ve been able to work through a lot of my baggage and am to the point where I can feel emotions! I literally cry ALL THE TIME now. A song, or a movie or a memory can leave me bawling my eyes out. It makes me feel alive but it’s also kind of annoying :).
I’m also a stronger person and can take on challenges I previously couldn’t. I never thought I’d be able to step onto a scale without it sending me into a downward spiral, but now I can get on the scale and see the number as nothing more than a number. I don’t associate it with my self worth. This is a miracle.
Making Smart Decisions
I’m also to the point where I feel like I am making smart decisions with food. I thought I could do this before but I was wrong. I really had to work on the deep, underlying issues within me that cause me to make poor food choices before I could really and truly embrace a healthy lifestyle.
A part of me knew this because a little voice in the back of my head would still say, “don’t worry about eating this you can just restrict tomorrow.” Even though I would tell that voice to shut up it was still there…
To be honest, I’m still working on my issues. There’s a lot of self-hate that has to be erased and for me that just isn’t something that can go away quickly. That being said I feel like I am really getting there.
In it for the Long Run
I think it helps that I now see this as truly being a journey. I used to think “oh I’ll go to therapy for six months and then I’ll be better.” And then I would feel frustrated and mad at myself when I wasn’t “fixed” at the end of whatever arbitrary time period I gave myself.
Now I know it’s not a race. Which is good because, as you guys know, I’m not good at racing anyway!
So, like I said before I can’t give you any advice. What I do want to do today is share a few random thoughts I have about food at the moment.
Thoughts About Food
1. I can overdose on Brussels sprouts.
Up until this year I had never eaten a single Brussels sprout in my life. Then I tried one and fell in love, so I ate them every day for about a month straight. Now I have zero desire to eat another Brussels sprout ever again.
I’m trying a lot of new vegetables this year and loving most of them so it’s okay that I have to break up with Brussels sprouts for a bit.
2. Broccoli will stink up my house.
I love fresh broccoli way more than frozen broccoli which is a shame because frozen broccoli doesn’t smell too bad when you cook it. There is something about fresh broccoli that just stinks up the ENTIRE house for days. Why is that?
3. I can stop eating if I want to.
I used to have a real problem with not being able to stop once I started eating. I would eat until I was uncomfortably full. To the point that I felt like I was going to pop. I don’t just mean during binge episodes; I would go overboard on every meal.
This all began when I stopped restricting and carried on for many years. I often told myself that recovery was going well. I mean “LOOK I’m eating… a lot!” But going from one extreme to the other is definitely not healthy behavior.
I think everyone around me could tell my eating behavior wasn’t healthy, but no one really said anything. It’s gotta be tough to bring up eating patterns with someone who has had an eating disorder… and I think we’re in some ways culturally conditioned to be okay with overeating. We don’t think of it as a disorder; it’s just someone with no self-control who is going to get fat or who is fat.
Now, after many years of therapy, I am finally learning to eat more intuitively. My brain no longer feels like its on fire when food is being served. I can stop when I’m full.
4. Moderation is key so I always eat dessert.
I’m not a big fan of sweets so dessert has never really been a big vice for me. I’d much rather eat more of my main meal than “save room” for cookies or cake. That being said, I do like a little bit of chocolate.
I usually eat a milk chocolate Dove candy after my meal every night. I think it may be more routine now than anything but it’s a nice way to end the day :).
5. On vacation I started every meal with veggies.
When Adam and I went on vacation last month I started every meal with veggies. Some days I made myself a little appetizer of hummus and cucumbers, and some days I just filled up my plate with whatever veggies they were serving that day.
When I came home from vacation it had been about three weeks since I had last weighed in and my dietitian asked me to hop on the scale. The good news is that I was able to lose weight even with temptation around every corner on the cruise. Of course I also kept up with running while we were away which I am sure didn’t hurt.
I always say that running saved my life, but now I am learning that running was the life raft. Learning to eat healthy is the other piece that will truly save my life and help me feel my best.