My relationship with food

Hot topic alert. As far back as I can remember, I have loved to eat. Love food. Love the social part of eating out. I even love to cook and bake. I am not necessarily the greatest at it. But I love to cook for people.

It’s the love to eat part that has been the struggle.

My relationshipwith food and how it's evolved.

So much about food and eating is wrapped up in our social life, our family life, even our athletics and church life. We eat with friends, with team mates, with co-workers. It’s a big part of our lives. Growing up I was thin, very thin. People used to actually make fun of me for being so thin. Can you believe it? Kids are torturous and will pick on anyone just to make themselves feel better. I was called names. And it didn’t matter what I ate or how much, never gained weight. Until, about age 21, 22. I was married, working full time and teaching dance class a few nights a week. My husband worked late nights so we rarely had dinner together. When we did, we ate out a lot. I mean a lot. We had no kids, no mortgage, rent was dirt cheap and we spent our money on food. Sad, I know.

Not sure what year this was. Hard to believe this was me. Don’t get me started on that brown velour jacket.

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I can remember eating every meal like it was my last meal. I can’t remember when I realized I was gaining weight though. It was gradual, kept having to buy bigger pants, then suddenly it was double digit pants. That went on for several years. I worked out a little bit then gave that up. Then got pregnant at age 25, still overweight.

I gained 40 pounds when I was pregnant with Ally. I wish I had the actual number, I’m sure I can get that from my OB. (mental note made).

Post baby I lost some, I got back down to some pre-pregnancy clothes, but then that number climbed again. I told myself I was happy. I wasn’t going to be that girl that counted every calorie she ate. Life was too short, etc, etc. I worked with a lady who did count every calorie and also proceeded to count mine as well. Ugh.

I even joined a gym with a friend, it lasted a few months. She quit so then I quit. I actually cried, I felt like a failure at that point. But didn’t change anything.

This destructive behavior continued until age 34 ish. I was closer to 35. I honestly don’t even know why or what it was that finally clicked with me. I woke up one day and decided that was enough. I got together with a good friend and we started walking and using an app to track all of our food. We were both on a new journey to lose weight and start exercising. Our girls were about 9 and 10 at the time. The girls would ride their bikes and we would walk 4 miles, almost every day of the week. It was a time I will treasure always.

That was June 2011, I was just a few months shy of my 35th birthday and I had 40 pounds to lose. My first goal was 30, I got that by walking and changing my diet. I did hit my birthday goal that October. I walked my first 5k with my friend and another dear friend who is a breast cancer survivor. We walked the Komen 5k that year.

This is October 2011.

How I Got Here

I had already been running a little bit just to try it on days when Paula and I couldn’t walk. Just a month later I RAN my first 5k on Thanksgiving Day with another friend. I still can’t believe she talked me into that!

Then I think I was pretty much hooked on running. I started running longer distance and signed up for the Cowtown 10k in February 2012. Then Alisha and I signed up for a half in May 2012.

Cowtown 10K, February 25, 2012 (Race report)

During this time my relationship with food had changed drastically. I hadn’t eliminated any food groups, just cut down over all. I just made better choices most of the time and it worked for me.

Over the next few years my running progressed and my eating went up and down. Nothing too terrible and there was enough running to keep my weight in check. Then I trained for 3 marathons in a year (don’t ask) and once that was done I kept eating like I was marathon training. That’s when the trouble started again. I put on just a little here and there. But keep in mind, I’m still running and working out 5-6 days a week. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. You just can’t.

Those bad habits seem to creep back so easily. The cake you eat because you had a bad day. Or you don’t feel like cooking so we go have a burger and cheese fries. Food makes me feel good. It’s comforting. From late 2014-2016, I gained about 15-20 pounds. It went up and down over those 2 years. I hid it well, most people wouldn’t even notice.

This is July 2016, just before we started keto. Most people would say that’s not overweight. But my frame and my body says otherwise. This was working out 5-6 days a week but eating the “standard American diet”. This was also 15-20 pounds heavier than the previous pictures. Most of it being in my mid section.

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November 2016 changed everything. I finally realized (after John said it and my doctor) that sugar and carbs might be the problem. I was seriously addicted. I went to the doctor in June 2016 hoping she would just put me on an appetite suppressor, or some pill. There had to be some reason I wasn’t losing weight. She said it might be carbs, that I might need to try lowering my intake. I left there thinking she was crazy. And kept going for a few months. I tried shakes (full of sugar), I counted calories (sort of) and just kept working out.

I would never have believed that sugar and my carb intake was the culprit until I actually broke the addiction and stopped eating it so much. I went cold turkey. Goal was 20 carbs a day. I wrote down everything, measured it all, and within a month I could tell it was working. Made it through the holidays without gaining any weight. I can confidently say I am thankful my husband took that first step and then I followed. I feel better, look better, sleep better and I don’t crave the sugar anymore. Now, on occasion I do eat pasta or a dessert. But when I do, I feel it. My whole body feels sluggish and hungover. It has to be worth it for me to eat it. I make a conscious choice to eat something.

No more eating like it’s my last meal.

No more eating just because it’s in front of me.

No more eating because I feel sad, tired or bored.

My hope is that I’ve made enough changes over the years that Ally will see healthy habits and not go through her early adult years overweight and out of shape like I did.

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