A rough Monday morning at our house ha.
I think we were all exhausted after our California trip and getting in late so this was an accurate description of how we all felt.
I tried to get a selfie with some ducks but they did not want to participate.
I did about 2.5 miles on the treadmill early and then 3.9 miles later on outside and it was COLD. 9:54 average but like usual, I felt so much better after my run than I did before.
Later on in the afternoon we did some bike riding (well, I didn’t but I watched)..
I was pretty amazed by the fact that Andrew could ride this tiny bike around too…
My day food-wise consisted of a bunch of toast with peanut butter, apples and hot chocolate (those are the only things that sounded good) but by dinner I was feeling like tacos from Cafe Rio!
And then we went up to the mountains for a little bit to collect some leaves for Brooke. Each year we grab a bunch of leaves and then she creates a little tree on a piece of paper and glues on the leaves:)
If you are in Utah, NOW is the time to go up to see the leaves. NOW.
The colors are unreal!
She fell asleep on the way home so we will make our leaf art today:)
Andrew and I (okay, mainly Andrew) then got to work on painting the nursery! I’ll do a full post about it once we are all done!
A question I get often from different readers (those either in the middle of struggling with an eating disorder, amenorrhea, disordered eating or those in recovery from these things) is how I helped myself to find a healthy relationship with food and how I fit treats (and sometimes a lot of them;) in.
First things first, am I perfect at this? Nope.
But, I’ve come a LONG WAY with these issues and I thought I would share the things that helped me to gain a healthy relationship with food that includes plenty of treats too.
Also, pregnancy is kind of ‘survival mode’ for me as far as food goes. With this stage of my life, I try my best to eat nutrient dense food for my baby and me but I also eat whatever sounds good in the moment. I try not to complain often (I probably do) but nausea has been my middle name for the last 7ish months (luckily, it is a lot better than it used to be) but I literally just eat the thing that sounds good at the moment so that is my current food philosophy. Hence why 70% of my daily caloric intake yesterday was through hot chocolate and toast with peanut butter on top.
Let’s talk about a few of my thoughts that truly helped me to gain a healthier relationship with food. Food used to create all sorts of emotions for me. There was a lot of guilt that occurred, fear foods all over the place and years that I thought I couldn’t go near sugar (now I am not a dietician so this post has nothing to do with what is actually best for our bodies but more about what is best for my brain and body personally). Just like anything in life, working towards a goal (especially one that is hard for us individually) takes time. Sometimes you move forward two steps and back one step and sometimes you just have to remind yourself that it is all about PROGRESS, not perfection. Small changes add up to something great. Little steps turn into huge ones over the years. Most importantly, my biggest steps in progress involved asking for help whether from my family, a therapist (along with a nutritionist), God especially and being open about my thoughts and struggles. Bringing our struggles out into the light can help us so much… these struggles grow in the darkness because no one knows how to help us and we are isolated but if we acknowledge them and are vulnerable enough to share them, I think that is when the biggest growth takes place.
Bullet talk about to take over the rest of the post:
*I realized for me that an extra 5-10 lbs with treats in my life was much better than life without treats and those extra lbs. I went years of saying no to every birthday cake, Sunday night dessert with my family, candy at the movie theater and cookie that my nieces offered me. It was not fun for me. While moderation is important (and I struggle with that more than anything now), I want to enjoy the treats in life. I want to enjoy holidays with donuts that have sprinkles to match the color theme of the day. I want my kiddos and nieces to see that treats can be a fun part of our lives. That food isn’t bad and our worth has ZERO effect based on what we do or do not eat. Life is too short to never eat treats in my opinion. And life without them sure didn’t make me any happier, I am positive that I was my most miserable at my lowest number on the scale.
*Taking it a day at a time. A meal at a time sometimes too. Sometimes when we focus on HUGE goals like gaining a healthy relationship with our eating, it is overwhelming and we just end up quitting because it is too much. When I learned that I just needed to work on it a day at a time, that is when I saw more success. If I had a bad day, oh well… it was one day and I could start fresh the next day. Just like with our running, make mini goals to accomplish… i.e. get to the next light pole, run without stopping for the next two minutes or finish another mile repeat. Do the same thing with your eating, make mini goals and celebrate the accomplishment of those goals.
*I decided that I was not going to let FOOD cause guilt. Guilt is an emotion that I believe should be felt when we do something that is actually bad… lying, stealing, hurting someone etc… it is not a feeling that I believe should ever be caused by what I did or did not eat. Food cannot have that control over me. I would see people around me that would eat a meal, enjoy it and then never think about the meal again (unless it was about how delicious it tasted) and I wanted that for me. I wanted to learn to eat and move on. To finish a meal and stop thinking about it (i.e. to stop thinking about whether what I ate was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or think about how I should have eaten something ‘healthier’… or think about how my next meal will be ‘healthier’ because what I had eaten for the previous meal). It takes a lot of self-discipline to force yourself to stop thinking about it but it was so worth it for me. To get to that point I would make sure I had something planned to help me move forward without obsessing over food … for example read my book, jump into grading papers, write, call my sister… you name it, I loved learning to finish a meal and then stop thinking about whether it was a ‘good or bad’ meal or how many calories I ate etc.
*We are our next generation’s example. Younger girls and boys learn from our actions, words and behaviors. I do not ever want anybody to ever struggle with eating struggles again so I decided I wanted to do my part to make sure I was showing the people around me that I had a healthy relationship with food. Let’s do whatever we can to help them to have a healthy relationship with food.
*We need to give our bodies some credit. For me, during recovery I kind of went to the other extreme (eating treats all day long) but after a little while it all balanced out. I love seeing how Brooke eats. She stops when she is full, even if something is delicious she doesn’t finish it just to finish it (she just likes frosting so that is all she cares about when eating a baked good ha) and some days she eats triple as much as the day before because that is what her body is telling her to do. There are no rules, she just eats according to what her little growing body tells her to and I love seeing that. Some weekends I eat more treats than usual and then for the next few days treats don’t sound that great again. Some days I just want a salad and lots of fruit and the next day I want pasta and garlic bread. It all evens out. I strongly believe our bodies have a set-point where we feel our best. If we are eating well, exercising normally and sleeping well… our bodies just go to that spot. They thrive at that weight and we feel and run our best. I love when I see how my body has taken me to that place and being able to really listen to it… if it wants donuts one day and a protein smoothie and spinach salad the next, great…I’m going to give it that. Our bodies are smart and whenever I have tried to cut certain foods out (for non-allergy reasons) that is just when my body feels unsatisfied the most and like I need to eat everything in the fridge to feel satisfied because I am depriving myself of something it really wants. It is in fact possible to still be fit, run fast and to eat treats and enjoy the best comfort foods… trust your body to eat what it wants and when it needs it.
*Work on the root of the problem with a therapist. For me, I used food as something I could control. It was the thing for me to think about constantly rather than thinking about the really painful stuff that happens in life sometimes. Working with a therapist through some of those issues and learning how to let myself FEEL my emotions (rather than cover them up with thinking about food) helped so much!
*I’ve shared this a lot but age has helped me a lot with my relationship with food. Having a little girl watching my every move (and another on the way) has really helped. Realizing that my people love me for ME and not a thing to do with what I look like is healing. Seeing that my worth is inherent and permanent and that food/weight/looks/size/running times has NOTHING to do with that worth is so freeing. Knowing that I have so much potential to continue to grow and learn and become the person I want to be makes me feel like I have ZERO time to waste feeling guilt over food. PS in case you missed my paintbrush post (where I talk about my cottage cheese) HERE… it might help! Viewing yourself as the tool to create amazing things rather than just an object yourself to perfect always helps me!
You are doing amazing. You are not alone, that is for sure. Keep going, keep trying and don’t give food any more time with your thoughts and emotions.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Treats? A healthy relationship with food?
What is the PERFECT amount of sleep for your body at night… how many hours makes you feel amazing when you wake up?
In what ways have you changed the most over the last 5-10 years?
Are you seeing signs of fall where you live?