10 Apr Food and me – my journey
Something I’ve been thinking about recently is my history with food. If food and I had a relationship status, it’d be ‘It’s complicated’. To be blunt, I used to binge eat so much that I would make myself sick. My trigger food was takeaways, rather than tasty homemade meals. Once I’d start bingeing, I couldn’t stop. I’d go on and eat huge bars of chocolate, whole cakes, just to myself. Two packets of biscuits? Not a problem. A whole box of cereal bars? Gone. It became a vicious cycle and obviously bad for me and my health.
After a binge, I would always beat myself up; ‘Why on earth did you just do that?’. I’d feel so gross. It started to become very obvious that I wasn’t completely happy with my life. I worked in jobs I didn’t really like. I was in a relationship I wasn’t happy with. Once I’d built up the courage to quit both of these, which by the way, wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, I became much happier in myself. It was like a domino effect and so my relationship with food became much better too. I hadn’t realised it until then: I was an emotional eater. I imagine this is something that so many women can relate to. I turned to food for comfort. Once I accepted this, the real changes began.
To be blunt, I used to binge eat so much that I would make myself sick. My trigger food was takeaways, rather than tasty homemade meals.’
For over two years now, I have been vegetarian and my bingeing has stopped completely. I have learnt to listen to and learn from my body and mind. I don’t feel the need to binge on fruit and vegetables. A piece of broccoli isn’t my trigger food! I can eat healthy portions and stop when I am no longer hungry. But this wasn’t the reason why I stopped eating meat. To be honest, I was eating a piece of chicken one day and thought to myself ‘Yuk! Why am I eating an animal?’ I also struggled with the ways animals are treated and the journey from farm to my plate. I put the chicken down and haven’t eaten a piece of meat since. Now, I eat more of a plant-based diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables with nuts, seeds and pulses. To keep up with the amount of exercise I do, I drink protein shakes and always make sure my body is getting plenty of iron and essential vitamins to restore and keep me strong!
Don’t get me wrong, I will have treats sometimes. But the trick is – treats in moderation. I also like to prepare my meals; this is definitely the key to be in control of your eating. Plan your meals and when hunger strikes, you won’t just reach for anything. Instead, something healthy and delicious is there and ready to go. Choosing a healthier diet was life-changing. I can honestly say I had no idea how much of an impact it makes on your energy levels. You always feel so much more productive, energised and revitalised with the right nutrition.
Your relationships, your environment and your job have a massive impact on your emotional and physical connection to food.’
Something else I had to consider was the people around me and the impact that they can have. Do you hang out with people that eat McDonald’s all of the time? Guess what, it will affect your nutritional decisions. Your food goals may be different to your partner’s, family’s and friends’ goals, so be careful not to be influenced.
Right now, if you’re stuck at home, this is the perfect time to prepare your meals and not get into the habit of comfort eating. Preparation is key and having the discipline to see it through. They say it takes roughly 21 days for a habit to begin to sink in. Could your healthy eating habits start now?
Also, now is a great time to think about your relationships, your environment and your job. All of these things will have a massive impact on your emotional and physical connection to food and wellbeing. The food that I put into my body is chosen deliberately, but that doesn’t make it a diet. My goal with food is for it to be part of what makes me as healthy and happy as I can be. So I can be at my best for all of you girls!
And finally, and very importantly, if you think you have issues with food, these can’t always be fixed by yourself. It’s important to seek help and support, which can be found here. Sending you all love.