Trying to equate food with positive memories, or reminding myself of the nourishment it is providing isn’t easy.
My mind is so used to instantly associating food with calories, weight, weight-gain and being terrified, so it really is a conscious effort to not automatically revert to those negative thoughts, so one thing I have really had to evaluate is where fear of certain items actually comes from.
There are ones that are obvious to me; as a little girl my grandfather used to tell me I needed to stop eating Dairy Queen since I was getting fat so now any ice cream from a carton, or most establishments, is automatically unsafe and inedible. Only fro-yo can touch my lips and even that is a pretty recent thing.
But then there are some “rules” I have adopted that did not spark from a specific event, but more through osmosis of information in magazines, television, and from others who claim to know what they are talking about.
I discussed this a little bit in a post not too long ago, where I would read an article or hear something and instantaneously it would apply to me…
Work out AT LEAST an hour a day for a good body.
Don’t eat carbohydrates at night.
Eggs are horrible for you!
I mean the list could go on, and just for an FYI, the above statements are completely bogus and ridiculous so please ignore them other than for the purpose of example.
I have a radar for diet and fitness information and I take what I hear/see and in some sick way distort it to apply to me.
BUT it is only about certain things….
I have a selective belief system and I can’t exactly pin point why, but restrictions, guidelines and judgments are reserved just for me and essentially dictate my decision making process.
As I was sitting at lunch last week, the infamous tuna fish salad sandwich lunch, my dietician asked why I was looking at my meal with such a scowl.
“I can’t possibly pick this up and eat it. It is so messy and it would just be easier to eat with a knife and fork… It is disgusting to get things all over your hands. Mayonnaise is awful.”
…What I was really trying to say is, it would be better to eliminate the bread all together, and to have just gotten turkey, but I didn’t think it was a good idea to press my luck.
She asked why I needed to critique everything about food or the process of consuming it. What did I care if I got some tuna on my hands and why was bread deemed to be the devil? She wasn’t there to make fun or ridicule; she was eating the same thing and just ready to enjoy, not analyze every bite.
I have told you this many times but I actually LOVE bread.
CJ thinks bread is really freakin’ delicious in pretty much any form. It is ED who gave it such a negative connotation.
When did it become so “bad,” and sinful? What made my brain think this way?
I would say high school is the first time I recall getting rid of the pantry staple.
During my secondary education years the low-carb craze was in full force. Everything was “don’t eat white flour…don’t eat any bread…wrap your burger in lettuce…” and so I of course believed I needed to eliminate any carbohydrate or I was going to blow up like a balloon.
Fats are another entire food group that was at one point non-existent to me.
Growing up there was fat-free everything in our home. Salad dressings were either 15 calorie Italian or JUST vinegar.
We didn’t cook with Olive Oil, or any oil for that matter. I never tasted butter. Milk was only ever to be skimmed. Our snack drawer even had fat-free cookies!
I remember being at an airport my senior year, with my neatly packed bag of puffed wheat, going to the food vendor that just happened to be in our terminal and asking for some skimmed milk so I could have my breakfast.
They only had two percent, whole or chocolate.
I made my boyfriend at the time trek all over the damn airport to try and find MY milk and there was literally none available.
That meant breakfast was no longer an option, and I was the most miserable beotch ever on that long flight home because I was starving.
Awesome end to a trip, right?
I started to increase my fats slowly as I would read in wellness news about the importance of omegas, and incorporating HEALTHY lipids into one’s diet, but then this too became an obsession.
Everything had to be the PERFECT fat or it wouldn’t enter my body.
Skippy Peanut Butter?! Absolutely not! It had to be natural and pure….the $12.99 jar found only at Whole Foods, not something you could easily buy at a local grocer.
The point is I label everything into black and white categories and if something does not fit into the column considered “good” then it is (was) not for me.
Well that is kind of silly.
Yes, there are certain things that might be better for you than others, nutritionally speaking, but I am also starting to realize health is not all about being the perfect eater or fitness guru.
Wellness includes a positive mental state, happiness and relaxation.
Having to pack food for every single occasion, workout every day, degrade yourself if you slip up, is exhausting! Not to mention terribly inconvenient if you ever want to actually LIVE and do things outside of a precisely planned schedule.
I am trying very hard to be less judgmental and change my thought process about health because honestly, I never look at someone else and mock or berate their choices. If my co-worker eats a cheese steak one day I don’t think they are a complete disgusting hog. And if my little cousin wants to get ice cream, I totally encourage her to do so. Why should I be any different?
What makes me completely exempt from sometimes having a little fun outside the “naughty and nice” list?
It stems from a ton of self-hate and feeling unworthy, which is an entirely different post and I will revisit the topic later.
But for now know, it is not always about the food, there is no such thing as perfect, and food/exercise should not be labeled good and bad.
My hope is that I can someday apply these things to myself and find peace, but for now I am still very much a work in progress.