I find it funny that last week’s post was about food and how much I love this one protein shake I’ve figured that I really like. Now here we are, talking about what I realized this past week as I’ve worked through fighting with food. I feel like I’m finally winning this fight. 🙂
As I’ve focused more on my fitness and developing a sustainable routine for my lifestyle, I realized how some of the things I’ve done in my life have really affected my relationship with food and with myself overall. In particular, pageantry and modeling have created a strange complex that has made me feel angry and frustrated with myself for not always eating “clean” or healthy. So if I were to eat a cookie, for example, to treat myself after an exam or rough day with classes or something, I might enjoy that cookie in the moment but later feel disgusted with myself for allowing myself to have that extra sugar and junk in my body. I might work out harder the next day or make my lunch or dinner somewhat smaller the next day to compensate for that which is SO WRONG. And I have just now realized that.
Since freshman year of college, I have been struggling and fighting myself so hard every time I eat something that my mind has decided to deem as “unclean” or “unhealthy”. I’ve always been a bit lenient on special occasions like birthdays and other celebrations. I have always allowed myself to relax a bit then, but in general, I have been so rough with myself in terms of food because I thought needed to be that way in order to look a certain way. While I have learned that I can cut out certain foods and feel good, I have also learned that I’m much more miserable by restricting myself to the salad bar and produce aisle at the grocery store. I haven’t been happy feeling afraid of eating certain things. There hasn’t been progress made by fighting with food like I have, so I knew something had to change. And no, it was not my diet. It was my mindset.
Ever since I began working with my trainer, I feel like my eyes have opened so much more and I am so thankful to have her and my mom in my life. They have both helped me so much with building a better relationship with food and I really cannot thank them enough for helping me with this. I feel like my fighting with food has become much less of a fight and I’m so much happier for it. While I still restrict or limit certain things, I feel much more free with my eating. There is much less shame, frustration, and anger associated with allowing certain foods every once in a while which is amazing and I’m so happy that I’ve had this change in mindset. It has not been easy to reach this point, but we are here and we are in a much healthier position with food now which I am so happy to say.
I’ve substituted pasta for rice and quinoa because of how much more rice and quinoa can give me nutritionally. And there are still days where I really just want spaghetti or penne. What do I do in situations like this? I make myself what I want! It might be gluten-free or whole wheat, because that benefits me more and I’ve found works better for me and what my goals are, and that’s ok! I’m ok with it! And what if I’m at a restaurant and I’m really wanting pasta? I allow myself to have it. I allow it because I know this is a once-in-a-while thing and that this one meal isn’t going to cause me to gain five pounds or lose any progress. I’ve learned to avoid milk because it causes inflammation and irritates my stomach. Instead, I have substituted that for oat and almond milk. I still enjoy ice cream though. 😉 That’s too hard to give up haha. Again, in moderation it can’t hurt me too bad! I’ve increased my fiber and protein intake and that’s because I have goals set for myself. I focus on including more veggies and meats or eggs on my plate and I’m much happier for that.
There are some days where I feel like I deserve a piece of chocolate or two. I allow myself that treat and I move on with it! I work out the same amount I have been for the past seven months and I feel no pressure to work out extra to work off those calories. And why is that? I now know that I’m not eating large amounts of chocolate every day. There is moderation. This was a one-time thing and if it becomes more of a habit, it’s something I can work on and learn to manage. This is something so important to keep in mind and is something I wish I had allowed myself to think about in the past.
As mentioned earlier, I am truly so thankful to have people like my mom and trainer in my life. They have helped me build healthier relationships with food and working out, but most importantly with myself. I am finally learning to honor my body and love myself. I am feeling like a more confident and free person for it. Of course, there are still days where I struggle and I still have moments where I’m frustrated or upset, but I recognize that it’s okay to have days like that. I truck along, keep moving forward, and keep working hard. And I encourage you all to do the same. See you next weekend.