Eating my Words

It’s time to get real, friends. So buckle up.

I have always had a strange relationship with food. Growing up, I never really thought about it; I was an active pre-teen and could eat whatever I wanted without a care in the world. I remember sleepovers where we would walk to the dollar store by our house and just LOAD UP on amazing goodies (and by “amazing”, I mean terrible for you). I was living a carefree childhood and my diet, or lack thereof, was the last concern I had.

Then, New Year’s Eve of my senior year in high school I decided I was going to go on a diet. It started out innocently enough with the required healthy eating and working out. However, much to my downfall, I don’t usually do things half-assed. It quickly became an obsession. One that I adamantly denied to my friends and family, but an obsession nonetheless. I became a creature of habit and would basically subsist off the same thing every day: yogurt for breakfast, bagel for lunch, vegetables for a snack and a turkey sub from Subway every evening after I ran.

But it slowly got worse. The fall of my freshman year of college, there would be days where I ate only an apple and a yogurt but still ran miles on the treadmill. Skipping a day on the treademill was an incredulous thought and one I would not entertain. I smoked like a chimney at the time so that it would curb my appetite. (Insert 2017 Amanda comments: “I may smell disgusting and get lung cancer, but hey, I’m skinny!” Ugh, so terrible.)

Did I know I was being ridiculous? Yes. Did I necessary care? No.

Slowly over time, it got better. I started eating more and working out less. I was at an even place for a long time. A good place.

Until the fall I started grad school. Anxiety kicked in and kicked my ass hard. I’m not talking anxiety like “oh, I’m nervous to go to this place or to see that person.” Buck up, buttercup! No, I mean all-out anxiety. I couldn’t eat. I was an emotional wreck and would start crying for no reason at all. I didn’t want to leave the house or do anything out of my comfort zone. Waking up every morning was dreadful for me because my anxiety was at its peak at that time of day. I truly didn’t think I could start grad school and called my sister from the parking lot on my first day, bawling, telling her I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t go in there. (Of course I did go in, but it was no easy feat.)

As I got on meds (thank the heavens above) and started feeling better, I noticed that I also ate more. Slowly, I started gaining weight. And more. And more. Years later, I now sit here at my computer, typing this melodrama out to you all and I still don’t really know how it got to this point. Yes, my anxiety is manageable (again, AMEN for meds), but I also found myself not caring about things I should (like what I am eating, if I work out, and daily self-care tasks like doing the laundry (which my husband can adamantly attest to), etc).

So a few weeks back I decided this needed to change and, like, NOW. To be totally honest, the thought dawned on me at a recent doctor’s appointment when she asked me about kids in my future. I realized I was in no place, health-wise, to even be entertaining the thought of renting my womb out to a growing life! But yes, I do want to be a mommy. And as all of my mommy friends know, parenting involves sacrifice. I need to start sacrificing the McDonald’s and cake for my future self and potential offspring. If I can’t do that, then quite frankly, I don’t know if I should be a parent.

The last few weeks, I have discovered that meal planning is my best friend. It keeps me on track and prevents me from being left to my own devices (refer to aforementioned comment regarding not doing things half-assed; I would end up in a pile of chocolate bar wrappers and feeling like a piece of shit a tub of ice cream later). 

I truly don’t think of it as being on a diet. I still plan for “cheat meals” and that keeps me in a frame of mind where I know I’m not depriving myself. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “you have to change your mindset and your lifestyle.” In which I would respond defensively, “Oh, go eat your kale and fall of your cycle bike.” But it’s true! My god, it’s true! So, I admit it: I eat my words.
I also write this in hopes that it will keep me motivated and I can use this forum as a way to communicate my progress, frustrations and all that is between.

Until next time…