I’ve thought about writing this post about 10 times in the past month. I don’t get too serious on my blog, but there are times when it’s necessary. This is one of them.
At some point, I decided I wanted to blog about my weekly meals. The post itself was going to be just that-what I ate, maybe share a recipe or two and call it a day. Really though, I planned to “secretly” use it as a way to heal my unhealthy thoughts about food and track how my eating habits positively/negatively affected my training since I was getting ready to start a new training cycle for Key West. I had planned to start September, however I had a big problem with the “secretly” part. I wanted be honest and share what I was going through, why I’m suddenly sharing my weekly food log, but I was embarrassed. Then I recalled my goal for the year: live fearlessly. What the hell was I afraid of? Someone judging me? Showing vulnerability? Being afraid either one of those things is the opposite of fearless….
So, here it goes.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve really struggled with finding a balanced, healthy way of eating. I would research how I was feeling (bloated, tired, joint pain…etc), find that magical “diet” that would get rid of my symptoms and go for it. For a few weeks I would on a Whole 30 or some sort of detox, weigh myself daily, obsess over the number (knowing perfectly well that weight can fluctuate a few pounds day-to-day) and letting that stupid number dictate what I ate that day. I could go a couple of weeks of really restricting my diet….lose several pounds and feel pretty good…..then, all it took was a bad day at work and I would binge. And I mean binge. There would be days of it and I would feel like crap, which would lead to missing workouts and some pretty serious fights with my husband. Seriously, there were times I would swing by the grocery store after work on a daily basis for a week, pick up a package of chocolate cupcakes-the ones with the white squiggle on the top-or a small bag of Doritos and would just eat them in the car then throw away the evidence before Tyler got home. Afterward, I would feel incredibly guilty about it and start restricting again for a few weeks. It was an ugly cycle that I just couldn’t stop because I was constantly looking for an easy, quick fix that made me feel good about myself. As a result, my triathlon training had really suffered this year because of this unhealthy cycle. I did okay and “got by,” but I know I can do better…much better.
On September 1st I was getting ready to start yet another Whole 30. I was in the kitchen chopping veggies and all of a sudden I just broke down in tears because I didn’t want to “start over again.” I thought back to what it was like to not have any real dietary restrictions (aka eating in moderation). That actually upset me more and I celebrated with a pity party of one, because I kept thinking ‘why is that so hard now?’. Then I got pissed off at myself for getting to this very low point. I figured out the why. There is so much information out there-what’s healthy vs what’s not, good vs bad foods, how a woman should look/shaming someone for being too skinny, fat, average…it’s all a bunch of BS if you ask me. It was at that time I made a promise to myself: no more detoxes, no more diets, no more restricting…..but also no more comforting myself with food after a stressful day.
Just eat mostly real food with some treats mixed in. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past month.
Of course it’s not always as easy as just promising myself something. Changing a habit is hard. It takes time and doesn’t happen over night. Those old, disordered eating thoughts creep into my mind on a regular basis. Most of the time, I can push them aside and go on with my life. Sometimes, they don’t. When that happens I talk it through with Tyler or journal about it to get to the root of why I’m having these thoughts and what can be done to change it in that moment. Yoga/meditation has helped as well…especially with the stress aspect.
Turns out when I’m not thinking/stressing about food and my weight 24/7, I am happier and feel healthier than I have in a long time.
I should also mention at some point in this post that I did go see my PCP about all of this. We had a long talk about what a healthy behavior toward food should be versus what my behavior toward food is. Just talking to someone who wasn’t my husband, friend, family member or coach was refreshing, she definitely helped me see my problem with food a little clearer. It was actually the first time I had talked to a professional about this. She also did some lab work because I was having some symptoms she was concerned about. It turns out my Vitamin D and B12 levels were low, so she started me on supplements.
So there you have it, some real talk about my eating. If it this post was all over the place, sorry (not sorry) but I took parts of it out of my journal. I’m still deciding how to write these food log posts–I personally find it boring to just read what someone ate throughout the week…but then again, I don’t want to leave anything out. Definitely a work in progress….stay tuned!
Thank you for reading!