My relationship with food has not always been easy and ive done things wrong but atleast i have learnt from those mistakes.
The one thing about my relationship with food is that it has never really been about the food. It has been underlying problems, whether it is lack of control, low self esteem or lots of stress... it is factors such as those which have caused thenegative relationship with food. As food can be controlled, and during my years when i was stressed and had low body image then thinking that eating less or changing the way i eat would solve those body image problems, when all i really needed to do was find balance and love myself. However, some ways i have eaten have also been to try them out... for future experience so that i can be unbiased talking about certain diet methods or eating styles such as intermittent fasting, paleo, lchf, calorie counting, macro counting etc So they were also a type of experiment for me.
So... where do i begin? And i will try to make this post quite short as otherwise it feels like i could a 10 page essay just about the way i eat and why during my lifetime.
So, when i was a child i had lots of high calorie food. I would get cream in my bottle of baby formula to drink and was given high calorie supplement drinks. I was a very chubby baby but then as i grew up and got older that weight disappeared and i was tall and skinny and was always told to eat more. By my doctors, my dad, my sister, other family members. The one person who never really told me to eat more was my mum... but that was because of instead of telling me to eat more, she made me delicious food so of course i would eat it.
My mum ate very healthy and she would make lentil soup, vegetable soups and different vegetable dishes and use tofu in meals and that was what we ate as well. I ate what was served so to say and then at my dads place it would be things such as meat, sandwiches, lots of potatoes. So there was a slight contrast there!!
I have always been a picky eater and had some weird food habits... such as if i got bread with butter and the butter was too thick or uneven on the bread i would panic.... i actually cried one time because there was too much butter (and i was not sick at this time, i just had some weird food habit that the butter had to be very thinly spread). And i would always eat biscuits in a very weird way and my food couldnt be mixed on my plate and if anyone ever mentioned anything unappetizing during a meal i would leave the table and not eat for the rest of the night because i felt so sick just of the thought of what they had said. And these were all things i did before ever having an eating disorder.
When i was 11/12 i got a comment regarding my lunch which triggered me alot and made me more focused on my food and what i ate, and then when i was 12/13 and began secondary school and i felt very self conscious i stopped eating my lunch in school. And that lead to me not eating breakfast either and eventually only ate when i ate dinner with my family which wasnt everyday. And sometime along the 2 years from when i stopped eating lunch in school to being diagnosed with anorexia i began purging, counting calories, and "binging" but the binge was not a binge... it was eating two pieces of toast or a handful of cereal.... but to me that was a binge. As well as exercising obsessively.
Then i was diagnosed and spent 1,5 years in different treatment programs where i had to eat according to meal plans. Eventually i was mostly free from treatment and only went every few weeks for a check up, and at that time i still had to gain weight and follow my meal plan... but decided to eat intuitvly.... which lead to restricting (unknowingly... but i was so scared of eating too much so ate little each time to make sure i didnt eat too much) which then lead to binging due to hunger which lead to purging, and then restricting the next day to compensate. And so the cycle continued. And during this period i ate alot of sugar and i could bake food and eat it all at once as i couldnt eat just a little... if i ate one cookie, it triggered something and i would eat all 12 and then compensate in different ways. Eventually after a few months and with an ultimatum of "if i dont gain weight i'll go back to inpatients" i decided to go back to my meal plan and follow that. Though at this point i was very sugar addicted as well as diet soda addicted (i think those two went hand in hand) and i then decided to cut sugar out my diet completely as well as diet soda.... but i got a little too strict and almost a little scared to eat things with sugar again as i thought i would be back to the sugar cravings. But after a while i realised it was ok with balanced eating and being able to eat all things.
However then as the stress grew from high school and low self esteem, stress and other things i decided to try calorie and macro counting.... which didnt last long and eventually i moved onto intermittent fasting to try to control my eating. As i had no structure with my eating and i had lost my hunger and fullness feelings due to stress. So it was a way of structuring things up... however intermittent fasting did not work for my lifestyle and i wasnt able to eat the right amount i needed. After that it was more balanced eating, focusing on trying to eat healthy and there was alot of raw food and lots of quark and protein everything (XD) and i tried LCHF for 2 days i think but realised it didnt work for me, hahaha. And eventually more balanced eating, trying foods i hadnt eaten for a long time due to fear and forgetting that those foods existed. Being more intune with hunger and fullness, learning more about nutrition my body and health.
Anyway, i think it is interesting to look back and see how my food habits have changed so much.... gotten rid of "all or nothing thinking", of fear foods, of a sugar addiction. Gotten rid of my fear that carbs are bad, or that fats are bad. Gotten rid of my fear that food is bad!!! The important thing though is that i have drawn the connection that food controlling for me has been due to different factors and not the actual food, and as i am aware of this, i dont resort to food to control with life or my emotions as that will just lead me down a dark path! There are better ways to cope with life, stress, emotions than to control your food.
Different ways of eating work for different people but i think i have found my way... or my way of eating at this point in my life anyway!!!