I have a love/hate relationship with food.
Just kidding. I love food.
But I can’t ignore the fact food plays a major role in how my body looks, feels, and behaves; which isn’t always positive.
When I was younger I didn’t consider myself an emotional eater. I would watch movies where sad women would turn to pints of Ben & Jerry’s after a breakup or after a long day at the office, but I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I understood how good eating junk food seemingly felt when I was in a sour mood. Nothing like a rich piece of cheesecake to put a smile on your face, amiright?!
I too was becoming that woman who immediately turns to greasy dishes or desserts when a friend or a co-worker was pissing me off, when a dude I thought I had a connection with didn’t text me back, or when I was irritated that I was in my 20s and not yet a millionaire. Heck, I still am that woman.
The most ironic part? Guess what I do when I’m disappointed in my lack of weight loss, or when I notice that my jeans don’t fit anymore? Yup…I turn my attention to them tasty treats. I figure “I’m exercising, trying to eat the right things, and I’m not getting any smaller. Might as well eat ¾ of a marble McCain cake is one sitting. Ain’t like I’m losing weight anytime soon.”
To be fair, it is a one-layer cake. Anybody could do it.
Not only do I punish myself with unhealthy food when I’m sad - I treat myself to it when I’m happy. Like “Hey girl. You just lost 5lbs this week. Treat yoself to $17 worth of Jenna Rae Cakes and let’s get this party started,” or “Damn girl. You just booked a new client! Go on wit yo bad self and grab some dim sum for dinner.”
We all have had this way of thinking at least point in time or another. Eat crap to cheer ourselves up. Eat crap to celebrate.
It would be so much easier to not think of food as a punishment or a reward, but just as a way of staying alive. In an episode of Girls, Hannah was complaining about her weight and Adam asked her “Do you eat for fuel or for fun?” That’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. Because eating because you’re bored can also be emotional eating.
The thing is, food IS fun. I love experimenting with new recipes, trying out interesting dishes at restaurants, and indulging in scrumptious desserts. In case you have noticed, I have a major sweet tooth.
I’m not looking to cut anything out of my diet completely, but I do want to cut back and pay more attention to what I’m eating, how much, when, and why. At the very least I want to take the negative emotions out of it. Punishing myself with something I enjoy really doesn’t make any sense, and it’s making me consume more junk than I would otherwise.
We shall see how this goes.
***Weightloss Update - down 6lbs since August 1st, 2017***