It’s final exam time so I should be studying, but I wanted to take a break to talk about a topic that plagues just about everybody – your relationship with food.
I’ve struggled with this issue for a long time. starting around 7th grade when I began receiving Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the mail. “This is the ideal woman,” I thought to myself. I decided to do whatever it took to become rail-thin like the models. I started running around my neighborhood and tracking calories obsessively. At my lowest point, I was only consuming about 600 calories per day, neatly written on a food tracking chart.
When I decide I want something, I commit to it one-hundred percent. Sometimes that’s a good thing. But around age 15-16, my goals were completely unhealthy. In fact, I don’t even know what I wanted – to look in the mirror and think “I look good”? Because let me tell you, I never, ever thought that.
My habits kept becoming more dangerous until I hit a low weight of around 110 lbs at 5-foot seven inches tall. Finally my parents intervened. I know it must have been really difficult for them to watch their daughter destroy herself, and even tougher to discuss the topic. I reluctantly saw a counselor. This was the point when I became aware of my unhealthy behavior, but my obsession with being skinny didn’t stop.
My fixation on being runway-model-skinny continued throughout the rest of high school and the first couple years of college.
Then, things changed.
One day while looking through the magazine racks for my usual Shape or Self to look at while plowing through 45 dreadful minutes on the elliptical, I discovered Oxygen magazine. This magazine was the catalyst that changed my life. Oxygen emphasizes that strong is beautiful. Skinny is unhealthy. Additionally, it’s not just about what’s outside that counts – the health of your heart, lungs, brain, liver, digestive system, etc. are even more important.
In Oxygen I discovered the world of fitness competitions, where the fittest women in the world step on stage to show the world the product of countless hours spent sculpting their body and eating the cleanest diets possible. I continue to be amazed by these women and I hope to have a long life in the fitness competition industry.
Today, my relationship with food has changed and improved tremendously. What I know now:
- Food is fuel for my intense workouts and for the recovery and growth of my muscles.
- Food is also medicine – it truly can heal you from the inside out.
- 8,000 hours of cardio won’t get me an awesome body
I still struggle with some “balance issues” – like having a moderate cheat meal instead of binging on an entire pizza – but I’m doing much better.
What’s your relationship with food? Is it healthy? Have you struggled with eating issues? I would love your feedback on this topic. Feel free to send me a message on Facebook with your experiences with this topic. And have a wonderful week!