Realizations: It’s Just Food.

Good morning 🙂 Now we can say TGIF!

I promise not to make you jealous in every post about how every day is pretty much Saturday for me now, with the exception of those pesky exams. But who needs to study for those anyway? (Unfortunately, me. But let’s just ignore that for now.)

hp exam gifThis will be me for approximately fourteen more days.

I’ve had something on my mind over the past couple of weeks, and I wanted to address it in today’s post. Earlier this year I struggled with a lot of food-related issues. I reached my lowest point (both physically and mentally) around March, and since then I’ve been fighting to get myself out of it. And a huge part of that involves me letting go of my control over food.

Although my issues reached their worst this March, they’ve been ongoing for about three years. For three years, I’ve despised eating out, consuming a single morsel that I haven’t prepared myself, and have been utterly obsessed with calories and macronutrient ratios. And while I’m eating a fairly decent amount right now (still too low, but not vastly) I can’t quite let go of my control.

That leads me to the point of this post. I add up all my calories at the end of the day now, instead of tracking them throughout (a serious win for me), but I still judge my day based on my food intake. If I had I was under x amount of calories and carbs, it was a good day. If I was over, it was bad. I despise the fact that I do this to myself. I hear about women on diets where they count carbs and I laugh, because it sounds rediculous. And then I realize I do the exact same thing. 

ImageLast Christmas, I went to the lake, and all I remember is planning ways to avoid food.

And why? It’s just food. Food is fuel, and it is meant to nourish our bodies. Fats make our hair shine and our skin smooth. Protein allows us to become strong, and carbs give us energy to live. Every macronutrient, along with sufficient calories, are essential (to me) for a happy and healthy life.

Why is food so often associated with emotion? Why do I base my worth on something so irrelevant to my character? For example, I’m passionate about writing. I should be spending my free time working on my novel or reading, not searching for the “golden macronutrient ratio” and planning my meals. It’s just such a waste of time. 

ImageWho knows, maybe I’d even like to try photography.

Clearly, if you are a fitness competitor/model or have goals that require a highly specific diet, this doesn’t apply to you. However, what I’ve come to realize is that for the average human being, it is totally unnecessary to track food with such precision.

We should be spending that time living! I know I miss the days where my friends and I would all go for ice cream spontaneously. Or when my parents would do a Starbucks run and I’d ask for a hot chocolate and a banana loaf without a second thought. I don’t even have the ability to have a burger at a school barbecue anymore <– I watched my friends eat them while I ate celery and carrots. I’m not proud of it. I need to realize that the world is not going to crumble, nor am I going to explode, if I have a muffin and a latte at the same time.

ImageThis used to make me happy. Now it just makes me want to cry. (Source.)

So, I suppose the question is now, where do I go from here? I have come to the realization that food should not be up on the pedestal I’ve put it on, but I don’t know how to take it down. I don’t know how to relax and have the pasta my mom made for dinner or drink something with unknown calories in it. I don’t know how to let go.

If you read all of this, thank you. I know I’m nowhere near a “real” blogger yet and most of you probably couldn’t care less about my struggles, but having gone through the isolation that tends to come with an ED, it means a lot to me when people care.

Do you associate food with emotion?

(If you had to) How did you let go of your control over food?


7 thoughts on “Realizations: It’s Just Food.

  1. This is something I’ve definitely struggled with, and I think a lot of the reason that food becomes so important to us has to do with the fact that, when we restrict for prolonged periods of time, food literally becomes the only thing that makes us feel better. Our bodies need more food, so the only time we feel good is when we eat… and we go on to make the association between food and feeling good.

    It takes time, but I’ve found that the more nourished my body becomes, the less important food is to me. I used to obsess over everything I ate and think about food non stop, but those feelings have mostly died down as my body healed. The only way to get better, though, is to face your anxieties head on. There’s no trick or secret, really… it’s going to suck and be scary, but that’s just something you have to accept and fight through.

    • So true. I hate how I am actually an extremely brave person when it comes to things like cliff diving, but throw food at me and suddenly I’m completely panicked. It makes zero sense! Thanks for the kind words though! 🙂

    • Amanda says it right. It’s going to be scary and uncomfortable to expose yourself to eating like you used to. But it IS SO WORTH IT. The freedom you will feel over time is amazing!!!!!

  2. First of all, I just want to express how sad this makes me. Having dealt with this for the past 6 years of my life, I know I would never wish this upon anyone and I feel so much empathy for you right now. The very first step is admitting you need help and that you WANT help. That’s the key. If you don’t want it with all your heart, you’ll never move past this. It sounds like you really do want to get better, to heal and enjoy life again. You know just as well as I know that this disorder ruins relationships and can kill you (both literally and figuratively).
    It wasn’t until this March, actually, that I finally realized I wanted better for myself. It sucks the life out of you, you’re exhausted from how many numbers go through your head, you’re irritable because not only is your body starving, but your mind is as well.
    To be honest, I thought recovery is the hardest, most sucky, most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever done, but I was wrong. Wasting 6 years of my life with this disorder was. Recovery isn’t easy. Hey, I’m still going through it! But I can promise you that in the end, you’ll finally love life again and you’ll love YOURSELF because you deserve better! Amanda from Running with Spoons is right- once you nourish your body, the thoughts finally stop and you accept the place that both your body and your mind are in. You can do this, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel! You’ll have some better days and some worse, but living a life without this disorder is 110% worth it!
    Stay strong, hon, and remember that this too shall pass! It gets better 🙂
    Lots of love and faith,

  3. I literally have no words for how much this comment means to me. You’re 100% right about it all. I’m exhausted and sick to death of this disorder, and I just need to remember that allowing it to control me will always be worse than the struggles that come with recovery. Thank you so much for your support! It means more than you know. 🙂 You stay strong too. ❤

  4. Pingback: Marvelous Mondays + Workout Recovery | Life's A Runner.

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