Having a bad relationship with food is like having a bad relationship with a person. When you don’t trust the food you put into your body or there lack of, there will be negative effects. Like any relationship in your life you have to put time, energy, love and trust into the other person, same goes for food.
In college I developed a dangerous relationship with my food. I saw all food as “bad” and “fattening”. I literally thought eating one cookie would put me up on the scale at least 5lbs, sounds ridiculous but that’s the sad truth anyone faces living with an eating disorder.
Throughout the past three years I have managed to rebuild my relationship with food but it hasn’t been easy. I will go through cycles of highs, which I consider me being at my best. I meal prep, eat a solid breakfast and constantly stay hydrated. But I relapse, my lows. Where some days I can go 8-9 hours without eating and not really think much of it. I mean, I know it’s bad for me but sometimes it still feels better to feel hungry then feel overly full. I am still trying to find that balance and control.
One part of my life that I’ve always had great control over is my physical activity. I turn to the gym to alleviate stress and strengthen myself not just physically but mentally. About 8 months ago I started CrossFit. Like weight gain, I was terrified to lift any sort of barbell..that shit was intimidating. But come to found out it’s damn empowering! Especially when you have a team of coaches and peers beside you, cheering you on along the way. What was hard to accept was how fast I was gaining muscle. I look great and feel great, but as soon as I saw the numbers on the scale go up I had a freak out.
You ask, why the freak out? Because I don’t wake up one day and not have an eating disorder. It’s not a 24 hour stomach bug or the flu, it is something I live with everyday. But I have learned to accept and live with it, this is who I am. I have taken that strength and turned it into my personal power. Yes, some days my eating disorder wins but most days I win and that’s what I count.
It’s taken me a long time to love food again, but I know my body needs fuel and that’s what I try to remember.