I love eating more than I used to. Now, I used to dread it, almost all the time. I used to dread eating, but I wanted to eat, because I was SOOO hungry all the time. However lately, I’ve been enjoying it until last week. Last week was hard. I wanted to post this, because I wanted to remind those who read, that I am NOT perfect. I do not ever want you to think that I have ACHIEVED perfection, because we all know that that is not real or true. That’s why I’m going to talk about the struggle of ‘eating more than you think you ‘need’ according to the ‘calorie needs’ you may have seen in places on the web or a calorie count you’ve held yourself to for years.
Last week, I struggled all week long. I felt like I was ‘gaining’ weight, and every night I went to bed with anxiety over whether I ate too much or didn’t eat enough. Mostly, I was worried about eating too much. I was worried about eating more than I needed.
How do I combat these weeks?
1) Prayer. Pray. Pray. Pray. I can’t do this recovery by myself, so I have to pray through every anxiety and just lay it down at the feet of Jesus especially because the anxiety can just pop up at any little meal, pop up when I go to bed, pop up when I go out to eat with family, or when I’m eating a snack.
2) Slow down. Don’t speed up. Slow down and ENJOY the food. Don’t focus on numbers. Resist getting on the scale (if you’re me).
3) If the anxiety around food is stemming from digestive issues like it sometimes does for me, , eat foods that make your tummy happy. You don’t have to pack in the salads or things that are harder for your digestive system to process.
4) Don’t soak yourself in the wrong kind of social media. I have to ask the Lord to help me discern who to follow, because I know that I have weaknesses around food and comparison and exercise, and I need to be aware of those. I don’t unfollow people, I hope and pray, because of any personal vendettas, but I want to protect my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
And that means it is OK if you unfollow me; if I am not helping you in those areas it’s ok!!!
5) Make some food for others, and you can enjoy it together. Eat slowly. Savor. Remember that food is nourishment. Your body does need it, and it’s A-OK to nourish your body. It’s ok to be enjoying food from cupcakes to popcorn to salads to fruit. Each one serves a different purpose, and I so appreciate and so love Sarah and Robyn for constantly emphasizing how different foods serve different purposes, and it’s good to be able to enjoy each kind for a different reason.
Most of all I want to remind you and remind myself that food isn’t an enemy. It’s a lie that our culture often gets caught up in; it’s not the food that’s the enemy. For me it’s the mindset that too often comes with a certain food where I let the ‘diet’ culture seep into my head instead of thinking about how food is:
A Gift from God
Nourishment from God
A Variety of Beautiful Textures, Flavors, and Colors
Food isn’t the enemy, and I don’t want to fight it. I want to be able to nourish without the fear of food. I want to be able to glorify God with the food choices I make instead of living in terror of different foods.
This means that I have to ignore the calorie count calculators. I admit that I still do find myself looking up calorie counts for different things especially when I start to distrust my body’s hunger signals, but I don’t want to go back there.
Instead I want to have FUN with food. I want you to have fun with food. I want you to go to Robyn’s blog and see how she showcases so many different kinds of foods and doesn’t demonize one of them.
I want you to feel FREE around food when you come to this blog, and I also want to end this post with some blog posts recently that have helped me pursue more freedom this past month around exercise and food!
I want you to go read Meredith’s posts about how her body was actually OK without running and how it taught her to better listen to her hunger signals.
One of Robyn’s interns writing about how she learned that health is SOOO much more than food and exercise.
Robyn’s encouragement to reframe unhealthy disordered thoughts into healthy thoughts about your body, food, exercise, and more.
Now I want to hear from you:
Have you ever felt guilty about eating more than you ‘need?’ How did you convince yourself that your body needed the food even when your mind said, ‘No?’