Food and Me




Growing up, my relationship with food was arguably the healthiest it could be. My Mum and I lived with my Grandparents until I was fourteen and I was very much brought up with somewhat old fashioned standards when it came it food. Gluttony was not an option, whilst we enjoyed food and had a super healthy balanced diet was also given treats such as sweet and cakes, everything was served in moderation - healthy moderation. Snacking wasn't really an option, if I said I was hungry or, presented hangry behaviours (a lifelong habit I developed from a young age), I was sat at the kitchen table with a jam sandwich and a glass of milk. Food was fuel, and not an activity to undertake when I was bored. Mind you, I was never bored. 

I wasn't really aware of fastfood as a child, obviously I was allowed things like McDonalds (when they had Beanie Babies in their Happy Meals my Grandma would get me one once a week and argue with the staff to ensure I got a different toy each time) even so, my Happy Meal was eaten at the table with everyone else. TV dinners were a rare treat and usually only when there was something that we really wanted to watch, I bet that if we had TIVO back then we would still be sitting at the table regardless of the time that something was on. 

When my Mum and I moved out and, as with age, I gained more independence (and pocket money) snacking became a thing. I was soon skipping lunch at school and buying some steak McCoys on the way home from and cans of Coke like they were going out fashion. I then began cooking things like pasta and chips late at night when I had convinced myself that I was hungry. None of this mattered for years, I naturally have a slim figure and I enjoyed snacking and being able to have midnight feasts etc. and more importantly, I was happy with my life. 

Fast forward a good few years and I'm in a relationship that isn't the best. Turns out that being in relationship where the only thing that you have in common is eating and breathing isn't the wisest idea. Living in a student house where everything is kinda carefree and you're not expected to have set meals and a healthy diet is great but we took snacking to whole new level; eating family size bars of chocolate in a sitting, getting through a family bag of crisps or eating a large pizza each - nothing wrong with that, I was happy and enjoying my student days. A year later and we find ourselves in our own home, slowly realising that we don't find each other as fun as we used to and arguing about money, bills, my accent and everything else. I tried to maintain some kind of commonality in the relationship by holding off eating until late at night when we could eat together - naturally my body couldn't hack it so I was having a massive meal alone, eating enough for two because I was unhappy, I was lonely, I didn't have any hobbies nor did I have a social life. I would sit and stuff my face with anything I could get my hands on until I physically couldn't move. Then, hours later I'd find myself sharing a KFC family bargain bucket for 4 with one person. I was miserable. 

Four stone later, I was a shell of my former self. My IBS was flaring up to dangerously embarrassing levels, I hated myself and I hated my life but I felt trapped. Food became my only comfort and as soon as I was alone I'd start eating. I couldn't walk past the fridge without opening it and eating something, I was driven my greed and gluttony and had stopped enjoying food - I ate everything as fast as possible as if it eating it quicker would make it almost as though it never happened. Things finally came to a head and I broke free of the things that were making me miserable. Having moved in with my mum, the binges stopped. I didn't dare eat the way I used to in front of my Mum, I got into blogging, just having nice conversations in the evening with someone made me happy and fulfilled. Takeaways became treats rather than a supper, the weight fell off and I felt like I blossomed into my old self. By the time Luke popped along I was back to being me, I was happy and confident.



My relationship with food is better but when I'm having a down day I sometimes catch myself thinking about stuffing my face with something - anything. I never allow myself to a eat a full big bar of chocolate or sit with whole pack of custard creams - it's nothing to do with my weight, it's to do with the horrible feelings I felt after bingeing. The feeling of bloated disgust, the loneliness and overwhelming lack of self-worth. You see, none of this is about weight, If I was fat and truly happy, I wouldn't care. Fat isn't an issue for me, I have no negative feeling toward fat people - my negative connotations with my weight are due to the reasons why I put weight on and more importantly the feeling of strength that losing the weight just by cutting out bad habits and toxic relationship gave me. I'm not telling anyone to lose weight here, hell if you can eat a large pizza and be happy about it I'm jealous of you, as much as I want to I'll always be haunted  by those carb-infested demons. From this experience I learnt to not judge people - I'm a size 8 now, around the size that the media would like to us to all aspire to be if not thinner, I learnt that people like me, who fit into society's ideal conventions can be the people who have the unhealthiest relationship with food whereas, the larger people, the fat people, the overweight people that we're told to assume are unhappy and unhealthy are the most well-balanced people with a good relationship with food and more importantly, bloody happy - and that's what matters, right? 






CONVERSATION

2 comments:

  1. As someone who finds any excuse to stuff my face, I can completely relate to this. I've always eaten disgustingly unhealthily, but it never affected me until I turned 17 and stopped dancing due to injuring. Piled on 4 stone in 6 months. 6 years later, and I'm still battling it with my weight fluctuating by about 3 stone. I find I'm worse when I'm really struggling with my depression, as cramming my face with as much bad food as possible is genuinely the only time I feel any sort of happiness. Sounds pretty dramatic, but I genuinely believe the thought of the next thing I could eat is the only reason I'm still here today. Luckily, I'm doing well just now and have joined slimming world. I've found that it's taught me so much about food and my relationship with it. Eating to live, not living to eat and all that jazz. Like you, I still have down days where I want to eat everything within a 10 mile radius, but I'm also now aware that that solves nothing. I love how blogging can help you find people who have had such similar experiences ☺️💗

    www.stephiebeau.com

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  2. This was such a good read and so relatable. I haven't been unhappy as such, probably the opposite, but now I've got to a point where I'm feeling like I need to change things as I'm not happy with the way I look. I don't feel comfortable, so as you say, the fat part wouldn't bother me, but I don't feel like myself.
    Glad to see you came out the other side and have balanced things out :) xx

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