Food, I’ll always think about it….
I’ve never been petite. Not one day of my life.
Growing up, I knew I looked different than most of my friends, but I was one of the tallest in my class, so I didn’t think of it as being bigger, just taller. I remember at a very young age, an older boy in my school pushed me out of the way and called me “fat”. This was in elementary school and I can still dig deep and feel my heart and feelings hurt a bit.
It was the first time I ever really realized that I was bigger than most of the girls in my class. It was like that day, the veil, the protection, was removed and I saw things different…and not in a good way.
My parents NEVER stressed that me being an overweight child, was an issue. I do remember fad diets that adults would do as I got a bit older, but it wasn’t something that my mom ever focused on with my sister and I. We were active, had food boundaries, in what I thought was somewhat healthy, but we enjoyed life around the table. It wasn’t until I was married and we started making friends as a couple, that I realized how much I enjoyed breaking bread with my people. Once I realized this about myself, I started thinking back to growing up and I remember lunch time ALWAYS being my favorite in school, but it was never really about the food…it was a time to connect. Great friendships formed for me at the lunch table. I still vividly remember my High School lunch period and the assigned seats we gave ourselves every. single. day.
In High School, I began to understand exercising. I began to understand that food and exercise went hand in hand. I began to run and pay attention, on my own, to the food that I consumed. This was good for me…but honestly, it was in these years that I started to really focus on it and it’s been on my mind every day since then.
I think I say that it was never really about the food, because I have to be very careful about what and how much food I consume. I ALWAYS have to be thinking about it. Sure, we all need to be aware of it, but it has always affected me differently. I feel like I gain weight VERY easily (I have a very SLOW metabolism) and have a really hard time losing it. I have to pay attention to everything that goes into my mouth, because it quickly spirals out of control. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I’ve never had a good relationship with food. I’ve had to learn that sugar is no good for me and I MUST be strategic with Carbs. I’ll always think about it.
I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse….
Now don’t feel sorry for me. A lot of this I bring on myself. I believe to my core that food will bring people together and so therefore, I won’t be giving it up all together. I’m learning at 37 what it means to have boundaries but to enjoy life. I’m learning when to say no and when it’s ok to indulge. I really love food and the reality is…I’ll always think about it.
****I know that eating disorders are a very real thing and I do not take my relationship with food lightly. If you do struggle with this, do not be ashamed to seek help. There’s no judgement in getting help.