The past few days have been really rough when it comes to eating and living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. I’ve been turning to food for comfort when I shouldn’t be, I find myself snacking alot, and the thoughts that controlled my life before are slowly creeping back into my mind.
Living at home again for the summer has been much more challenging than I previously thought. I figured it would be an easy adjustment because my dad is also very into eating healthy and clean, yet there are baked goods left and right from my sister, snack foods have overtaken our pantry from my brother, and I can’t seem to choose healthier options over the junk food.
Also, being at work for 10-hour shifts on my feet makes convenient and filling food so much more appealing. I started off bringing salads and other various healthy meals so I wouldn’t be tempted by the pizza store next door, but lately I’ve resorted to laziness and stopped packing meals for myself. So, when I get hungry, I either indulge in pizza with my co-workers, or a muffin from the store. I justify the not-so-healthy eating by telling myself that “I’ve been on my feet all day, so I’ve burned X amount of calories.”
Don’t get me wrong…there’s nothing wrong with eating pizza here and there. There’s nothing wrong with snacking. But for me personally, where I am at this point in my healing journey, it becomes all too easy to slip back into old habits. I don’t want food to control my life again. I don’t want to feel so out of control when I start to eat that I literally don’t have the strength to stop. I don’t want food to be on my mind all hours of the day, planning out meals, and then beat myself up when I eat more than anticipated. I don’t want to look in the mirror and see myself as humongous after eating a brownie. I don’t want to start skipping meals after I eat “too much”.
For example, this morning I opted for having a cereal bowl for breakfast. Cereal used to be a love-hate relationship for me. I loved cereal, yet I couldn’t just have one bowl. I could plow through a whole box in one sitting-it’s that addicting for me. Once I got back on track and began healing, I cut cereal out of my life temporarily because I knew it had the potential to harm, rather than help, me. Recently, I’ve been eating cereal on a daily basis for breakfast-it’s easy, refreshing, and most of all, it’s cold. I summoned some crazy self-control within me and have been able to be filled by just one bowl. This morning on the other hand, I ran back for seconds. Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it is for me, simply because I know it’s one more thing that can easily cause me to stumble back into having no self-control.
I want to find balance in my life again. Having such disordered eating and a long, unhealthy relationship with food is tiring. What I long for is to be normal. I envy the people that eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re not, without a second thought. I want to be able to enjoy meals, desserts, snacks, whatever, with friends and family and not let the nutritional information even cross my mind. I want to be able to say no to food when I know I don’t want or need it. I don’t want to focus on achieving the “perfect” body anymore through exercise and food; those are things that I’ve abused over and over again, and I want to use them instead to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Not a perfect healthy lifestyle, but a balanced one. One where I can eat a brownie (or 2 or 3) and not worry about how I’ll burn it off because all of the veggies I consume balance it out. I want to be able to slip up and move on, instead of dwelling on it.
What I’ve noticed lately is that I stopped relying on God to help me and to give me the strength I need to pursue health in the face of our convenience culture. I gave myself all of the credit for overcoming an eating disorder, when really God is the only reason that I’m alive and sane today. I became extremely prideful in “eating healthy” and surreptitiously rubbed it in my friends’ and family’s faces. More than anything, pride took over me when I looked in the mirror. I saw the (few) pounds I didn’t want drop off and I finally had “that” body that I wanted, and I became so vain about it. I need to start trusting the Lord to reveal truth to me about who I am and not what I look like.
Although I haven’t fallen back completely, I was on the cliff about to jump. Thankfully, my eyes have been opened to where I was headed and I’m determined to pursue an overall healthy lifestyle today. And then I’ll do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day…one day at a time. The point of this blog was for me to record my eats and my workouts so I could hold myself accountable-whether someone reads it or not. I plan to use this as a tool to help me out, but not to be my saving grace.
These next few days are crucial in the process, and I’ll be doing my best (in the midst of work days) to eat healthy, but also to treat myself, and to find a balance in exercise again. Because of that, I’m taking today completely off, even though my mind is criticizing me because of all the food I ate yesterday that I should be “burning off”. I’m excited to trust God and see how he moves!
Sorry about my rant, and I’ll be back late tonight with an update!