A post that I read on Melissa’s blog this morning got me thinking. I’ve mentioned numerous times that I used to be about 10-15 pounds thinner. To get there, I was very restrictive in my food choices. I didn’t restrict the amount of food that I ate, but just what I ate. It was really not that different than the way that I try to eat now except that, for whatever reason, I displayed a stronger self control, if you will, when I was around junky food. I know that the mentality that I had at the time surrounding food wasn’t so great. There was always the question of what am I going to eat? Will there be something healthy enough on the menu? What will I do if I get invited to a fill in the blank restaurant that isn’t healthy enough. The term orthorexic comes to mind, be it a real disorder or not.
So now, I’m not so restrictive. When I go to a party, the chips and dip inevitably find their way to my plate. You would think that being less restrictive would make me happier, but in all honestly, it doesn’t.
The problem is that the thoughts that I used to have, will this make me gain weight? How many calories are in this? etc are still present. I wish that I could say that ignoring them has taught me to eat more intuitively and not gain weight. But that isn’t the case. Instead of going to a Mexican restaurant and skipping the chips and salsa because I know they aren’t healthy or that I can’t just stop at one serving, I eat them but then beat myself up for it.
What I’m getting at is the way that I worry about food hasn’t changed that much. But letting those thoughts affect my life has. I know that the easy answer would be to change the way I view food and body image. But that’s something that I struggle with on a daily basis. So aside from that, which is better? Not letting myself have that piece of birthday cake because of my fear of weight gain or eating the cake but then beating myself up for it afterwards and ultimately, if it happens a lot, gaining weight.
I wasn’t any happier as a teenager when I didn’t struggle with food. I was overweight and my self esteem was in the toilet. But then as I began to diet and unfortunately, struggle with food issues, my self esteem rose as a result of the consequential weight loss. I guess I almost equate disordered eating with feeling better about myself which I realize is completely asinine.
It’s hard to push publish when I write something like this. I feel like if the world doesn’t know, then it doesn’t exist, which obviously isn’t the case.