It took me a long time to be where I am today in regards to eating. I can currently say that I am pleased with not only what I eat, but also my eating habits.
In high school, I had disordered eating during my sophomore year. I got down to a very low weight for my height, and I wasn’t healthy (I won’t disclose as it may be a trigger for some, and this is what I don’t want!) I was obsessed with calorie counting and it consumed me – day in and day out. Kelly made a post a while back about Default thinking. Calorie counting used to be my default thinking.
I also had horrible body image. When everyone else saw super skinny, I saw something else. It was no doubt a control thing.
After recovering, thanks to the help of friends and family, I gained weight and began eating more, but still had those obsessive habits pop up every now and then. I’d either eat a lot, and feel super guilty, or I’d count calories until I was exhausted. Actually up until last year, I still somewhat counted calories – not as extremely, and mostly in my head rather than on paper, but the thoughts were still there in my mind. These thoughts and were constant reminders that I wasn’t completely healthy and I was a prisoner to them.
Now, I guess you could say I’m a very good listener to my body. Our body’s are very smart, by the way. I know not to eat foods that make it mad (junk food, lots of sugar, or lots of grease,) and instead I feed it with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, and legumes. In return, it gives me good skin, nails, energy, and weight maintenance. When I make my body mad, it in return, gives me a stomach ache or gets bloated, for example! haha Obviously I don’t have a 100% perfect diet, and I do have the occasional treat (I ear chocolate once a day!), but overall, I like to give my body what it likes.
I don’t give myself an allotted number of fat grams or calories per day, because that just leads to obsessive thinking. However, just because I eat healthy, doesn’t mean I eat less, though. I do eat more nutrient dense (which sometimes=calorie dense) and healthy-fat foods like nut butters, good oils, and avocados. An avocado’s benefits are so worth the extra fat in my day’s menu.
Basically, I eat the foods listed above when I’m hungry and when I have a craving for something like chocolate or ice cream, I typically give in (I have chocolate once a day, by the way!) I don’t punish myself by constantly thinking about how many calories the food contains and it’s a wonderful thing. Now, I feel free of those thoughts forever!
Now this isn’t to say I don’t think about what I eat altogether. I mean, I’m a food and health blogger – it’s what I write about! I can say, that while I do eat mindfully, I don’t really think twice about how much fat or calories a certain dish has in it. I know that I eat very healthy foods the majority of the time, so why obsess if I know it’s healthy? Actually, when it comes to eating, I basically have three goals for my daily menu:
- To get in as many nutrients as possible through whole foods, so I don’t have to get my vitamins in the pill-form
- To try to only eat one or less meals per day containing meat
- Try to get in a serving of fruits and veggies at every meal – or if not, then the snacks in between
So I haven’t really gone that much into “my story” on the blog yet, so there you have it. I can tell you it’s been a long, long journey, and not everyone knows this about me (or at least my story about it,) so I’m putting this out there modestly and vulnerably, in hopes that my message helps at least one other person stop the madness of obsessing over calorie counting.