(File this under TMI Thursday, even though it's not Thursday.)
I've never told anyone this, except for my bestest friend forever & ever & ever & ever, but I'm truly trying to get my health on track. So here goes nothing...
I don't have a healthy relationship with food.
For as long as I can remember (let's go back to 5th grade), food has been
the my enemy. I was am a perfectionist and growing up as an athlete, my body image was the core of my life. A better bod, meant a better performance. A better performance, meant reasons for my parents to be proud of me success.
I'm not blaming my parents, but I'm blaming my parents. Love them, they mean well, but the last thing I needed to hear as a child were comments about my weight—especially when things like sudden puberty made me gain a couple extra pounds. It messed with my psyche. I think that parents in general put a lot of pressure on their children to be the best and sometimes don't realize their nitpicking, specifically to their child's body, can really alter how their child views themselves.
I digress. I knew I had exercising down pact when it came to losing weight so I focused on my food and it spiraled out of control, becoming a serious part of my life. I became a picky eater, only eating healthy (which was hard because I hated vegetables) or not eating anything at all. I remember when I discovered bread was a carb and it was possibly making me fat. All I ever ate was bread. I began beating myself up for eating bread. BREAD.
I hit rock bottom when I was 13 and close to fainting at a cheer practice. It was like a scene from a Lifetime movie; coach asked me if I was OK, I was too weak to lift the girls, I felt sick, wanted to throw up, but couldn't because I had no food in me. I knew I had to stop. But I didn't want to. Starving to be thin, my body became very used to eating next to nothing. I knew I absolutely had to stop my tango with a soon-to-be-serious eating disorder when I truly couldn't swallow any food.
My high school years became about apples. I went back to trying to eat "healthy." I didn't know much about healthy food (Ahem, I'm Nigerian. Starch and sodium are in our blood.), but I knew I loved one fruit and that was apples. I ate an apple for breakfast, an apple with my lunch (which was usually accompanied by some 100 calorie snack and a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread), and an apple as a snack before whatever after-school activity I had. Apples, apples. APPLES.
I also rediscovered brownies in high school and that became my secret crutch for stress and etc. I could easily down a tray of 8 in one sitting. I probably still can now.
In college, my problem with food tapered off... so I thought.
Freshman year I was all about not being the kid that went to college and gained the "Freshman 15." Yoga at 6 in the morning, healthy meals, treadmill at night. Shit. I was obsessed with fitness my first year as an undergrad. I then lost my obsession when other things became more important to me; a degree and a career. I thought I was cured of my unhealthy relationship with food. I didn't realize until my senior year that I was using food as a crutch. When I was bored, I ate. When I was sad, I ate. When I was happy, I ate. I couldn't help myself. And my
drug food of choice? Cupcakes or anything sweet. 70 pounds later, I'm where I thought I would never be physically.
Now that I am out of school and working/living in my 20s, I am done having an unhealthy relationship with food. I had a doctor's appointment earlier this week and my doc told me flat out, "You need to lose weight." "Gah, tell me something I don't know." I thought. Losing weight is something I've been trying. Remember? I got a personal trainer. But um, who knew losing weight was actually hard.
I know I have the drive to workout, but the food part? I'm going to seriously work on that. I've decided to check out healthy food books and recipes so I can actually educate myself and allow my taste buds to explore the endless possibilities of healthy concoctions.
We'll see how this goes.