18: a relationship for life

Today I enjoyed an awesome, wonderfully creamy Oreo Cookie shake. That’s right, a cookie shake. And you know what the best part about it was? There was no guilt or downward spiral of regret. What a wonderful thing to eat something that you like and not feel that you owe anyone an explanation. Is this some sort of rebellion? No. Am I turning away from healthy eating? No. Then what?! I am walking down a road of reconciliation. I’m fixing my relationship with food.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not planning on making this cookie shake thing a habit. I am only sharing the fact that it’s okay to like and enjoy what you’re eating, in moderation of course. I am someone (I’m sure like most people) that enjoys their food. I was raised by two women whose cooking skills were and are second to none! My grandma cooked and baked for a living, and she was amazing at it. My mom has a tremendous palate, and is an “Iron Chef” in her own right! The foods I grew up on were always home cooked, nothing frozen, full of flavor! I could never eat healthy food just for health’s sake. I’m sorry. Food may be fuel, but it doesn’t just fuel your body; it fuels your life.

Holidays, birthdays, any kind of celebration is enjoyed with food! Then on the other hand: sadness, stress and anxiety are suppressed with food. We tend to place food on a strange pedestal most of the time. Either way, it becomes a source of comfort, a channel for our emotions. When we’re not careful the foods that we love can transform into the things that we loathe the most. Then just like any unhealthy relationship, we can’t seem to break free.

Hamburgers have always been my favorite food since I can remember. However, growing up I never really ate that much fast food. My mom let me have fast food on the weekends or if I was sick (it was a comfort when I started to feel better). When I finally had my own car and had my own money, I went hamburger crazy! I ate what I wanted, whenever I wanted! I loved it! Then it happened. I became addicted. Addicted to the sugar. I started putting on weight fast, and began to suffer from migraines from the sugar lows and highs. Though I felt miserable, I couldn’t stop eating the junk food. I suffered with that for 10 years. As much I wanted to lose the weight and get away from the food that was killing me… I couldn’t make a clean break. My emotions were shattered. I was confused, and it was so horrible that many times I would have mini break downs in the grocery store. I didn’t know what to eat or how to eat any more. Everything I wanted seemed toxic and wrong. Everything I needed seemed bland and boring. I couldn’t commit to that.

My main problem was that I just didn’t have a healthy relationship with food, period. It seemed to taunt me and invite me in at the same time. I hated it, and I hated myself for being so confused. I knew from the very beginning of this journey that I had to finally attack to root of my problems. Losing weight is not a superficial thing. Some times we have no clue how emotionally trying the battle can be. But the battle isn’t against food. It is against the stigma we put on food, or certain foods. I don’t want to believe or live in an “all or nothing” attitude when it comes to eating. I want to have knowledge to make informed decisions. Because when it comes down to it, every pound lost is because of a choice made. You and I hold the power over food, not vice versa.

I have made small choices over the past 3 months that have resulted in big wins for me. Yes, I did have to get away from the fast food. It is a horrible lie we tell ourselves that our (bad) eating habits don’t have to change in order to lose weight. You end up frustrated, and probably heavier than you started. The science behind weight loss isn’t complicated or mystical. Eat less, move more. Yet if you don’t fix your relationship with food, eating less will not be enough! Find out how food works. What is a carbohydrate? How does protein work? What’s so great about fiber? Read labels. Do research. Find healthier alternatives. Fill your mind with knowledge, and then feed your body tasty nutritious foods that make you feel good.

Also, don’t be afraid of cravings. Some times after I work out I want a juicy steak or hamburger. However, I know I can’t go to Wendy’s and get a combo meal that will wreck what I accomplished working out. So I try to make a healthier version of it. I still get what I crave (which is really protein), but I don’t obliterate myself with high calories. What happens though when you know that the healthier version just wont cut it? Be smart. Make a plan. Get a kid’s meal. Or don’t order the double or the triple burger. Get the single burger with a side salad instead of fries. Or if you don’t want a salad, just get the small burger and call it a day. Then after all that… don’t make yourself miserable with guilt. If you know that you’re going to feel guilty, then just say “No.” Because then you probably didn’t need the burger in the first place. And this comes from first hand experience.

I took time out to separate my emotions from fast food and cut it out. I know my limits. I have pretty much come to a point where I really don’t crave it any more. Actually, some times just thinking about the greasy food makes my stomach hurt. Yet, I don’t trash talk it or bash it. Because some times, I go back for a little visit. But I know better now. So I can have a Oreo cookie shake and not feel like I wrecked my progress. Love what you eat, or don’t eat it any more. Eat what you love, or you wont want to eat right any more.   It is what it is, as my husband says. It’s a shake. I drank it. I enjoyed it. I moved on. Tomorrow is another day to eat healthy. Tomorrow is another day that is not filled with confusion; just an honest to goodness, healthy reconciled relationship with food.

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About Alejandra
I am a mother and wife. I work a regular 9-5. I love writing, whether if it's to vent, inspire or to just be creative. I can come from many different angles, but one thing is for sure. It's all me.

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