I’ve never had a great relationship with food. Or rather, I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. I can recall having taco eating contests with my brother growing up and thinking that was perfectly sane. I remember eating entire cans of chili & packages of crackers while reading John Grisham novels in my bed. I remember being thrilled when I realized I could go out to eat for lunch and no one could tell me what I could or couldn’t have.
You see, I didn’t grow up learning about healthy food. I mean, sure, I took Home Economics and I learned about the Food Pyramid (which is no longer used, right?) I listened to the concepts, I understood that vegetables and fruits were healthy but no one ever taught me to apply that to my own life and what consequences there were if I didn’t.
As a teenager, I was naturally thin. At 5’10, 120 lbs and fairly active – it didn’t matter how many calories I consumed because those bitches were gone by nightfall. I didn’t feel like eating healthy applied to me because that was just for people with a problem.
I wasn’t one of those people.
I can clearly remember having a conversation when I was around 15 with my sister. We were talking about someone who was “fat” and I remember saying, “If I ever got that big, I’d just lose the weight. It can’t be that hard.”
You know why I remember that so clearly?
Because karma is a fucking bitch.
And because now, I’m that “big” girl and it is hard. I’m having to teach myself to make better choices and when I’ve always reached for an extra helping, or another Snickers bar – that’s really difficult. What seems to make it even harder this time around is the fact that I’m happy with my health. I’ve been running for over a year and I can clearly see marked improvements in my spirit, in my daily tasks and in how I feel every morning when I wake up.
At this point in my life I’d say 300/365 days a year when I look in the mirror, I nod my head and say, “Yep, you look good.” The problem is that I compare that point with previous points in my life (namely right after having Lillie) and I think, wow, I’ve come a really long way and I should be proud of that.
So, I reward myself with an extra cookie. Or some ice cream. Or a giant tub of Crisco. You know, whatever helps slide that shitty food down my gullet.
It’s been a shitty cycle these past few months as I made a goal to lose 30 lbs this year. I did great in January by losing 6 lbs, but guess who gained it back in February as a “reward” for doing good? Yeah, this girl. I’ve had to really focus on what I’m doing wrong and be honest with myself. And since, I love being honest with you guys too – here goes.
I’m not eating better because I’m lazy.
There. It’s out. And it’s true.
I read enough, I know enough, I have plenty of friends who are well-versed in eating well – I just don’t want to do it. It’s going to take more time, it’s going to be painful (in the learning new things way) and there’s that possibility that I’m going to fail.
It’s really scary shit you guys. I don’t like saying I’m going to do something and then not do it. Especially when it’s my fault if I don’t. I’m having to make big changes in my life in order to succeed, it
almost feels more taxing than when I first started exercising. Because exercise is an hour out of my day (occasionally more when I’m putting in more miles), but eating better, well, that’s all of my day.
Changing your life, while it may be for the better, is just generally freaky as hell. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Changing my life in the way I view food so that I feel better about myself and so that I can be a good example to my daughter. I wasn’t shown a healthy life growing up, I was taught that exercise was a form of punishment almost.
You’re 10 minutes late to PE young lady. Drop and give me 20.
I want to give my daughter more than that, and I really want to give myself more than that. And in order to do so, I have to shit or get off the pot.
Basically, stop complaining and do something.
So, here’s what I’m doing:
I joined My Fitness Pal. (Friend me here!) Basically it’s a calorie counter, where you put in your goals and it sets you up a profile. Based on your information it tells you a daily goal and when you could succeed. It’s really simple to figure out, but the best part – totally free. I also really enjoy it because unlike Weight Watchers (which I still think is an amazing program!) this helps give me a better idea of calories/sugar/fiber/carbs that are actually IN my food as opposed to some formula that calculates points. I’ve been logging my food for nearly 3 weeks now (as well as exercise) and after the first week, I could definitely tell why I didn’t lose any weight even though I was training like crazy with my running. I was eating all my calories back. Oops. I’ve lost 4 lbs. While it’s no Biggest Loser weight loss record, I feel good about it and I feel as if I’m learning.
I’m also participating in Abbey’s Forever Fitness Challenge she put together. You can find all the details here. But it’s a 10 week challenge based on your own personal goals. If you want to run a 10 minute mile or give up smoking or eat more vegetables, it doesn’t matter as long as it matters to you. At the end of it, there will be some sort of prize but I think (hopefully) what we’ll find at the end of it is a really huge sense of accomplishment. When she initially brought it up my mind immediately went to exercising, and after a week of thinking on it – I had no new goals that I really wanted to pursue. I’m not interested (at this time) in going the full marathon distance (26.2 miles) and I’m already actively working on my speed per my own resolutions. Then, one evening as I was downing a box of Velveeta Shells and Cheese (my gawd, that stuff is glorious) I realized that my problem isn’t of the ‘making time to exercise’ nature. It’s of the ‘making time to eat better’ nature.
So, my goals are to cook at least 3 healthy meals a week and by doing so, losing 10 lbs. Last week, I made baked tilapia, cauliflower pizza (seriously making it again this week, it was amazeballs) and artichoke penne with baked chicken. It was a challenge. I had to mentally prep myself on what I was making for dinner that night so I didn’t cave and stop at Bush’s Chicken on the way home. But I did it, and I really enjoyed everything I made. Even the husband didn’t mind it too much. The kid doesn’t count because if I cover it in ketchup she’s game for anything.
And there’s me shitting & getting off the pot.
Does anyone else have a horrible relationship with food? Am I the only one whose heart beats faster when she opens a new box of Oreos? Did I just admit that out loud?
Sweet baby Jesus. Someone help me.