Yesterday I read a post by Amie – The Curvaceous Vegan about the diet culture and it really got me thinking about the relationship I have had with food over the years – and how it has affected me as a person.
Since I was a teenager I have had a bad relationship with food. I’ve binged, I’ve skipped meals, I’ve dieted and been on meal plans and it’s never really worked – well it did for a month or two. I’d lose a bit of weight look better for my holiday but then come home and go straight back to my old ways.
During my teenage years food became a comfort to me when things got tough. Like many I would eat my feelings which would make me feel worse – so I would have to keep eating to make me feel better – we’ve all been there.
I then started to hate food because of how it would make me feel and look. This turned into me becoming a yoyo dieter. Trying everything I possibly could to shift the weight.
But despite losing the odd pound here and there I would always ended up resenting the diet and the same old boring food – which made me crave the stuff I was trying to avoid even more. It didn’t seem to matter what I did I never won.
Now I’m not going to lie to you and say how since I came to university I’ve become the oracle of health. In fact university made it worse. When you leave the comfort of home and you no longer have your parents making sure you eat three meals a day things can change a lot.
Being too lazy to make a lunch the night before and too busy to eat breakfast in the morning meant I was eating one meal a day – usually carbs and snacking on the crap I kept in my room. As you can imagine this meant a rapid influx in weight gain.
When you live with other students who just stick a pizza in the oven, or order in a takeaway because they can and you’ve got nobody to tell you off it becomes very easy to just let go and in turn let your health go out the window.
It hasn’t been until the past year that I have actually started to look at my relationship with food. Now I still eat pizza and McDonald’s like any other human but food for me is not a comfort or a reward. It is fuel for my body to keep me going.
I want to enjoy my food but I’ve learnt more about my body and how certain foods make me feel to be able to enjoy it without over eating or feeling guilty.
It has taken me many years but I finally feel like my relationship with food is changing for the better. I no longer see it as a comfort or a punishment for myself. When I eat good food I feel good and when I go to the gym I feel motivated. But when I eat junk food and have a lazy day in bed I don’t feel guilty or bad about it.
We need to stop obsessing over food, exercise and they way we look. I’m not afraid to say I want to lose weight but I’m not going to punish myself in order to do it.
Food should be something we all enjoy but that doesn’t have to mean eating a whole box of chocolates. Find home cooked means that you love – there has to be something, and if you can’t cook then ask your parents or buy a cook book.
I’ve learnt that if you eat good food and look after you body then it will in turn look after you.
What is your relationship with food like? How do you want to change it?
© Emmi Bowles