I’m not exactly sure when it started, but for a long time I was in this weird relationship with food. I needed to eat all of it. Like, every last bit that was on my plate. It didn’t matter if I was at a restaurant and there were like three portions piled up or if I was at home and my eyes were just way bigger than my stomach. If it was there, I had to eat it.
Part of me thinks it was my inner cheap ass and hater of waste saying “I’m not letting that end up in the garbage.” Another part of me says I had no willpower and wanted all of the tasty things. It was probably both.
It wasn’t until I started exercising regularly last February that I began thinking more about my relationship with food. After a few months of working out almost daily and losing very little in the pound department, I was immensely frustrated. I was eating healthy most of the time (although trying hard to sweep sugar binges under the rug) and seeing very little for it.
Do you know how annoying it is to sweat your butt off with Jillian Michaels just about every single day and have the scale stare back at you with the same unsatisfactory number week after week? Yes, I was feeling better. Yes, I was absolutely stronger and healthier. But failing to lose any weight when you’re working so hard messes with your head.
Then I started using the MyFitnessPal app and I figured out what my problem was immediately: I might have been eating mostly healthy foods, but I was eating way too much. Fruits and veggies and handfuls of nuts are awesomely clean ways to fuel your body, but if your caloric intake is way higher than the calories you’re burning, you’re not going to lose weight.
So I started faithfully logging every last morsel I put into my mouth into the app, driving my husband maybe a little bit crazy as I accused him of trying to derail my efforts when he was obviously making up amounts of food he cooked because he had no clue how much of each ingredient he had used. But you know what? Slowly but surely the pounds started slipping off.
please ignore the weird face, crazy hair and dirty mirrors. #keepingitreal
Down twenty pounds, I’m now at a point where I don’t care much what the scale says. Instead, I’m working on building strength and continuing to tone my body (especially that pesky midsection!). I’ve fallen off the MyFitnessPal wagon a bit since the holidays, but I plan to jump back on to keep myself in check. I never realized how easy it was to overeat and I love that it forces me to keep track of what I put in my body and tells me that I’m getting too much sugar or too little fiber or whatever else.
I have always struggled a little with my weight. I’ve never been naturally thin like my sister and my willpower to stay away from things that I really enjoy (even if they’re bad for me) has always been pretty terrible (there’s a whole other post and a bunch of ex-boyfriends tied up in that last statement). But I think I’ve finally realized that getting healthy is not this fixed thing.
You don’t one day wake up and say “Hey. I’m here. This is what it’s like to be healthy.” No. Instead, it’s something that you’re always working towards. Some days you jump headfirst into a bag of chocolate chips. The important thing is that you don’t allow that little setback to derail all of your efforts. Calling yourself a failure and wallowing in how much you suck accomplishes nothing. Neither does continuing to say “I’ll start next week.”
No. Start now. You have a new chance with every single choice that you make. So what if you just drowned your sorrows in chocolate? Clean your face off and make a salad for dinner. Don’t look back, just look forward.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to healthy living? I plan on doing more health conscious posts and I want to make sure that what I write about is as helpful as possible. It’s one thing to talk and talk and talk about my struggles, but I want to know what yours are too.
This post is part of my 52 Essays project. This year I have set a goal for myself to write one finished piece every week. I’m not sure what you can expect from them because I’m sort of winging it. Some will be good. Some will be less good. Hopefully you’ll love them. Maybe you’ll hate them. We’ll just have to wait and see. 😉 3/52