Good morning world!
I haven’t talked about it yet, but this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
I’ve said it before – though I did not have a full-blown eating disorder, I struggled with severe disordered eating for a good four years of my life. But before that, I actually had a normal relationship with food. So for today’s What I Ate Wednesday hosted by the lovely Jenn, I decided to do a “Then vs. Now” version, of what I ate before and after my life was twisted into a food warp. (Note: I’m not posting what I ate during my disordered period.)
Then, I ate what I wanted, without regard for health and macronutrients. The details from grade seven (5 years ago) are a little fuzzy, but I know that I ate relatively well-ish, with plenty of room for a teenager-appropriate amount of snacks.
Then, I refilled my bowl of cereal as many times as I wanted. I did not measure a serving, and I did not compensate a big breakfast for no morning snack/less carbs during the day/etc. I don’t even think the words “big breakfast” would have crossed my mind back then. I was hungry, so I ate until I wasn’t. That was the end.
Now, I try to eat balanced meals and snacks. Though I don’t track my macronutrients, I aim to get them all in most of the times I eat. I definitely don’t deny myself food, but if I have a large breakfast I sometimes find myself doubting whether or not I “should” have my morning snack, even if I’m hungry. Don’t worry, I always do! The thoughts are there, though.
Then, lunch was one of the best parts of the day! Maybe I would get taquitos from the school canteen, or maybe I would eat a wrap my mom made me. I rarely knew exactly what was in my food, and if I did, I wouldn’t have cared! Lunch was a time to socialize, relax, and take a break from the morning’s classes.
Now, I make my own food. I make myself a healthy, nutritious, substantial meal, but I still always do it myself. It might be a little bit about control at this point, but I truly feel as though I’m beyond that.
Then, spontaneous snacking was a fun part of my day that only occupied that part of my day. What I mean by this is that if someone randomly brought cookies into class, I would have one or two, enjoy them, and then not think about them again. Or if I was out with friends and we stopped by a cafe, I would of course get a treat.
Now, I plan more. I don’t plan meals, but I do make sure that I have snacks to eat with me at work, and organize my meals so that I’m never starving. This means that if someone brings in Tirimisu or the like into work (which did happen) I won’t want it. I’ll go back and forth over eating it in the span of 30 seconds, and either try to toss it discretely or spend the next however many hours of my shift justifying why I ate it. Now, I haven’t had an experience like that over the past ~ month when I seriously overhauled my eating (for the better! = more). I’m mainly referring to the majority of my experiences.
Then, dinner was whatever my mom made. I rarely knew what we were having until she started cooking, and I definitely did not plan my day’s meals around it. On the days I did know, though, I looked forward to macaroni and cheese or waffles with syrup – and dreaded salad.
Now, dinners are planned by my mom and I together. This absolutely has to do with the fact that I am now seventeen, not twelve. But I also just don’t have that lack of regard for food that I did before. We make sure we have nutritious, healthy dinners, but I care about what we eat now.
Then, dessert sometimes happened, and sometimes didn’t. If we had Callebaut (the best) chocolate in the house, we all might have some one night after dinner (with me begging for a bigger piece). It didn’t happen every night but it happened whenever we felt like it.
Now, dessert feels like a nessecity to me (but it’s not actually dessert). For some reason, I always feel like snacking right after dinner, regardless of how hungry I am. As soon as I finish my plate my mind goes to “Toast? Apple + nut butter? Carrots?” It’s some strange psychological attachment I have to evening snacking that simply wasn’t there before, because I was far more intuitive.
All in all, although my eating is a thousand times better now that it has been for years, my relationship with food was far better then than it is now. I may not have been the healthiest, but I was intuitive and most importantly happy.
How has your relationship with food changed?