It’s Friday and what Friday means is I weigh myself. I only do this weekly to make sure I am maintaining a healthy weight and not teetering in what would be considered overweight for my short height of a tad over 5′-0″ (I swear I am shrinking). So, I woke up, took my dog out, and then ‘took myself out’. After that, I stepped on the scale with the following repeating itself in my head like a mantra, “125, 125, come on 125”.
Well, the scale didn’t listen. It spit out at me the number 127. I had gained weight. I was up .4lbs (yes, that is .4 not 4). In my head this half-a-pound weight gain was like I gained 10lbs. I started to feel heavy and then I looked in the mirror. Ugh, my stomach looked bigger and flabbier. My arm muscles looked as if they were under a blanket of fat. Wait, were my hips and thighs bigger?! What the heck was I doing wrong?!
I then took a logical look at myself. This is only half-a-pound, less than that really. My clothes fit the same. Nothing had really changed except for the number on the scale and my mind frame.
Why in God’s name did my mind automatically increase my weight gain twentyfold?
I’ll tell you why… the media!
For decades the media has always portrayed that women have to been thin, borderline anorexic. This has become some kind of ingrained message that has carried down from generation to generation. Because of this, women have banded together in losing weight by joining several diet programs.
And because of this, we have a poor relationship with food.
Food is my frenemy. I love to eat it but I don’t feel as if I get to enjoy it because I am always counting calories or Weight Watcher’s points. I’m tired of that. It is draining and frankly sends a bad message to my 13-year-old daughter, who luckily has her father’s metabolism.
This past February I decided to give up on all these fad diets (although I will back Weight Watchers because it teaches you how to eat healthy). I had read an article about Intuitive or Mindful Eating. It intrigued me. No more counting carbs, fat, etc. I eat until I recognize that I am full, choosing healthy foods.
This shouldn’t be too hard, right?!
Well, it has been a challenge because there are times when I do not let my food digest to recognize that I am, in fact, full. And then there are other days where I don’t exactly always choose healthier options. But, overall, I am a healthy eater migrating toward fruits (nature’s candy) and veggies. I eat leaner meats, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, reduced fat cheese… and (not going to lie) a piece of chocolate a day (okay, maybe 2).
I may start out with the proper serving size but instead of digesting a bit, I eat a little more. And then I wonder how I have gained those “10lbs”!
Oh, and I exercise, a good bit. I used to be an avid gym rat, doing some form of workout 4-5 times a week. Then 2019 happened, the year of Major Depressive Stephanie. I had dropped down to maybe 1 weekly workout. Currently, I workout 3-4 times a week (mostly 3), slowly getting back on track.
So here I am eating relatively well and exercising and gaining weight (I know, it is only .4lbs).
And with any weight gain, the love/hate relationship with food only grows. Should I eat more pasta? Do I really need this cookie? Can I afford to drink this beer?
What kind of relationship is that?! If we do eat that cookie or drink a beer, why should we feel guilty about it, because we will?! We need to enjoy the food. Smell it, really taste it, slow down to enjoy it. This is the teaching of Intuitive or Mindful Eating.
I am done with regretting eating tasty food. If I want a cookie, I am going to eat a damn cookie and savor every moment of it (it is not always sweets, I love cheese and brussel sprouts as well). Why can’t I have something special?!
Maybe I should just give up weighing myself completely and just go by how my clothes fit… I think there will be less guilt and disappointment and a more loving relationship with food.
One thought on “My Frenemy Relationship with Food”
Correct. Throw out the scale. Everyone throw out the scales! We are not fish! Exercise some and eat rounded meals with little distraction and not at a rushed pace. I think it’s so hard these days. So many people have to shuffle around to so many things that they end up eating in their car on the way to something else. No wonder so few of us are enjoying our meals.