When Did Food Become My Enemy?

When did food become my enemy? When did it become all or nothing? I'm over my calories so I might as well eat the entire cake instead of just a piece. When did it become about calories and grams and percentages? When did an app and a number dictate my life? When did I start looking at an apple and see 45-60 calories, a glass of milk 150 for whole, 90 for skim. I know these numbers in my head. I no longer see food - instead I see a calorie count. When was the last time that I ate without guilt, the last time that I sat down for a cheeseburger and fries and didn't think "I'll do better tomorrow"? When did a number start deciding my mood? When did I start setting a calorie goal for each day that I needed to keep? And then feeling like a failure if I didn't reach that goal? When was the last time that I just simply ate without over-analyzing what I was eating?

I think it was over 5 years ago before Lil Man was born. It was during my pregnancy that I developed the fear of the scale - stepping on the scale to be told that I had gained too much, the fear of the next appointment of getting reprimanded for gaining more. I gained 50lbs give or take during my pregnancy.

After Lil Man was born, I really struggled with body image even though by his first birthday I had lost the baby weight. Then I started distance running. I gained weight during marathon training, and then put extra pressure on myself to lose that weight and THEN some. I was trying to get to my 'ideal' racing weight which never happened.

Well, I couldn't do it. I couldn't eat X amount of calories and run X distance and do it all. I just couldn't. So I felt defeated. I had failed - so why not just eat the entire bag - and that's what I did.

Over the last few years, I've put on some pounds. I recently dropped some of those pounds, but I've also gained several of them them back. (The Scale Is Just a Number).

And I was reminded this week of the feeling that I felt when I was marathon training and realized that I was over-training and every day I felt defeated. Every run (because I didn't reach my goal) left me feeling like a failure. So I stopped running for awhile, and decided to try something new (Trail Running - which has been the best thing that I could have done for myself)

And I'm finding that when it comes to my diet, every day I feel defeated, like a failure either because of my calorie count or the scale. Occasionally I'll feel success if I stayed within my range or if the scale showed me a number that was acceptable to me. But, I'm tired of a number making me feel happy or sad. 

So, like running, I think it's time that I changed things up. I'm not exactly sure what that means.... I just know that I need a change. And I think that change needs to start with my mind.

I want a healthy relationship with food (which I don't have - and before anyone calls a hotline - no, I'm not anorexic or bulimic. But I don't think when you look at an apple and see a calorie count or define it as good or bad or happy or sad that that's a healthy relationship with food. This is my own unprofessional personal opinion of course.).

So for awhile (the amount of time unknown), I'm putting down the app, keeping the scale out of sight, and working on building a healthy relationship with food. I still plan to have my 'after' this year, but I'm just not sure of the journey that will take me there.

So, stay tuned... to follow Will Run For Ice Cream by email, click here.

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