*Trigger warning* Please note that the following post discusses weight and disordered eating. Please make sure you are in a safe place before reading.
Food and I have had a disordered relationship for a long time. I have used food to punish and to soothe. I have used it to attempt to fill a void and restricted it when I believed I deserved it. I have struggled to see food as just food, instead demonising it and using shame to beat myself with. My weight has yo-yoed many times over the years.
I’m currently at almost the heaviest I’ve ever been and yet my disdain for my body is at its lowest. I’ve learnt that a number on a scale doesn’t determine my worth. I am no less worthy of love and being cared for because I have a higher weight. I am learning to use food to maintain a healthy level of mental wellness and giving myself grace for my choices.
I am currently changing my eating habits and I’m keeping track of what I eat. Normally when I do this, I tell myself that less is better. I tell myself that 1200 calories is too many and congratulate myself when my calorie tracker tells me I’m eating too few calories for the day. I last for a few weeks and then I binge. Then begins the shame cycle. I tell myself I’m a failure. Why can’t I just eat healthy and lose weight? However this time is different.
While doom scrolling Tik Tok one afternoon I came across a guy talking about how he’d lost weight and got healthy. Normally I would scroll past, I knew it all I told myself, I just needed to get motivated and stop being so damn lazy. The liberal use of the word c*nt drew me in though. I watched a few of his videos and his no nonsense advice just made sense. Eat more, stop starving yourself and work with your lifestyle. Three things that I’d never done when trying to get healthy. One of his main pieces of advice was that it’s hard to lose weight when you’re miserable, if you’re eating food that makes you miserable, you aren’t going to feel better about yourself.
With this advice in mind I started using My Fitness Pal properly. Instead of using it to guilt myself because I’d dared to eat more than 1000 calories, I aimed for the calories that the app had determined I needed to safely lose weight. The first thing that I noticed was that unlike previous attempts at changing my eating habits, I wasn’t counting down the minutes until I could eat again. I didn’t have headaches, and I didn’t hate myself. I’m not restricting and I’m not binging. I still eat fast food occasionally and have found healthier alternatives to the treats I enjoy. There’s no tricks, no gimmicks and no shame.
My disordered eating brain screamed for the first week that I was eating too much. I struggled watching the calories consumed go up while I was supposed to be ‘dieting’. I struggled with the concept of enjoying food while also losing weight. I struggled with the idea that losing weight didn’t have to mean shame, guilt and punishment. I struggled most of all when it worked. Old habits die hard.
If you’d like to check out the guy I mentioned, you can find him on Tik Tok or Instagram. I also use recipes from this guy on Tik Tok, he’s got super easy recipes and they’re yum! I fell in love when he said that potatoes are great for weight loss!
Here’s some of the foods I’ve been eating over the last month and still staying within my recommended calorie intake.