Note: “This is a journal entry when I was at a pivotal point in changing my eating habits and behaviors. Journaling has really helped me learn why I binged, and struggled with food. I encourage you to start journaling and trying to understand why you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or struggle with food. My hope is that by sharing these types of entries, you will realize you are not alone with your food addiction or weight struggles. I struggled for 16 years. You can get better, there is hope. Do not give up!!” ~Jill
April 19, 2010
To most people a cookie represents happiness. It is something sweet that they crave and eating it fulfills the craving which then passes. To me, a cookie represents fat, calories, and “being bad.” If I ate a cookie I would be “misbehaving.” This does not apply simply to cookies but also to pancakes, cake, pastry, candy, butter, lard, oil, essentially anything with fat and sugar. I realize as I write this how most people will roll their eyes and say “get over it” or “just eat it!” but I also realize that these people would have no comprehension of what it is like to be physically afraid of food.
More and more I am really getting the whole idea that food is what we need for energy. This simple statement seems like a no brainer but if it was so simple to just eat for energy there would not be such an epidemic of obesity or a rising number of eating disorders and food addiction. I am continually trying to train myself to eat and think more in terms of refueling my body. I am thinking of my body as a car, it won’t work if it doesn’t have fuel. For instance, if I go for a run I will think of the energy I just used and realize that I need to “refuel” in order to continue to operate. I am thinking of my body in much nicer terms. I would not be able to live if it did not support me. I must support it with healthy foods and give it enough food. I am trying to appreciate myself much more.
In many ways I really love and admire my body. I find it amazing that my body can operate on its own and it will keep me alive as long as I provide it with the tools it needs. While high fat/ high sugar foods are what taste great, they are not the best choice for providing the body with the energy and nutrition it needs to survive. The best choices are low fat, nutrient dense foods like brown rice, vegetables, lean meats/fish/protein, and dairy products.
My whole life I have looked at my body as a means of acceptance to others. It was like a competition, everyone needed to be the same small pant size or something was wrong with you. I have thought that if my body could look a certain way then I will be more loved by my family and more accepted by strangers and the general population. I remember when I lost weight in high school and college- I loved when people would compliment me on my figure-it made me feel “better than the rest.” Now I realize that this method of thinking is absurd. The reality is that being a certain size is not what is important but rather what you are physically putting into your body (or not putting into it) that is important.
My goal going forward is to eat for health, not happiness/comfort/guilt/etc. I want to become one of those people who changes their whole life simply by eating better and exercising. My biggest challenge is eating right. I keep eating two and three hundred calorie meals and then snacking a lot because I am still so hungry. While I almost never go over my calorie allotment, I also never really feel full. This is something I would like to work on as well.
I really wish this was not such a struggle for me. I wish I could just eat whatever I want and not care but I can’t…not yet.