I’ve pretty much always had a very disordered relationship with food, it’s been something really tough for me and has caused so many issues! However, I hope sharing my experiences on how I’m improving my habits to lead a truly healthy and happy life will help some of you!
Tween to Teen
As a young child I was always very conscious of my weight, but once I turned 13 it all got very serious. When I was younger I was really worried about being fat- it was something that was viewed so negatively in my household it really suck with me. (I don’t have those views now). At 13 I started restricting food because I wanted to be skinny. At school I’d never eat my lunch at school and usually skipped breakfast too. By the time it would hit 3pm I’d be famished and go to sleep as soon as I got home- sometime eating my lunch at home, sometimes not.
For my last 2 years of school I had awful stomach cramps and heartburn daily due to excess stomach acid from not eating. At the time I didn’t know what was causing them so practically lived off of ibuprofen to help with the pain. In 2014 when I started college my habits were so bad that I couldn’t even eat lunch with my friends! This was when I realised I had a big issue.
So I decided to change, and I’ll be the first to admit that it really wasn’t easy. I started eating more and slowly introducing myself
to eating around new people. And before I knew it I was…okayish. I was still obsessed about gaining weight, but I was eating more and trying to be ‘normal’, making my way through college until I was 18. Once I moved out I was truly in charge of my eating habits.
Shortly after I turned 18 I moved out of my parents house and started sharing a flat in London. For a couple of months I was doing fine, I was on a very strict budget but still trying out new recipes. Then I decided to go vegetarian
bad idea. It quickly developed right back into my obsessive eating habits. Feeling awful for eating anything ‘bad’ and also introduced a new habit of a weekly binge, where I’d go to the shops on Friday nights, buy a ton of junk food and binge on it.
Then feel awful afterwards.
After a couple of months being veggie last year I gave it up, it was doing me more harm than good and I couldn’t get enough nutrients on my £10 per week food budget (crazy I know!). For a couple months after that I wandered in food limbo, and honestly I don’t remember much about what I was eating then.
Living With My Boyfriend!
Then the big move happened! My boyfriend and I moved in together summer 2017, which means my eating habits as well as budget drastically changed. It took us several months to figure out who was cooking and when, if we were eating the same meals, etc. Winter hit and I was exhausted! So for a solid month I got takeaway…at least 4 nights a week.
After that month I felt lethargic, and realised the massive hole I’d burnt in my bank account (just in time for the holidays, yikes!). So I once again decided to get healthy. This time I started eating a ton of veg and meal prepping, it worked for about a month and then got exhausting. Slaving away in the kitchen for 12+ hours every Sunday was not fun. Then I found keto. So we’re almost up to the present.
Keto and More
In early 2018 I found the keto diet and I thought it would be my saviour. I wrote a whole post about that so I won’t cover it much here, just know it wasn’t great. It brought back some of my obsessive tendencies towards food and made me deathly afraid of carbs!
Last week I reintroduced carbs into my diet, slowly at first with a bit of bread here and there, then making homemade pizzas, and now I think I’m okay with carbs again. Keto did make me physically feel good and full of energy, so I’m working towards finding a good and actually healthy (non-disordered) view on food. I recently found out about intuitive eating and I’m giving it a try.
Intuitive eating is not a diet. You just eat what you want until you’re full, and your body figures out the rest. For a little while you may just want to eat ‘junk food’ all the time, that’s okay! As long as you’re eating only when you’re hungry and finishing when you’re full your body will figure the rest out and sort it out for you.
I don’t have a tidy ending to this as I’m still working it out and trying my best to just be able to enjoy food again. I’m aware this is a ton more unorganised than my normal posts, so sorry if it doesn’t make too much sense! Getting rid of my old thoughts towards food has taken me years and is still an uphill battle- but I’m getting there.
Have you ever struggled with food? What’s helped you through it?