Always a struggle

I have been on a journey toward self-awareness for about the last year and a half or so.  I have been spending time with myself – – dating myself you might say.  Figuring out what makes me me and being completely comfortable with who I am.  A huge part of this journey is my negative relationship with food.

I may have briefly mentioned in previous posts my struggles with food.  I feel like I am always on a roller coaster (I hate roller coasters) when it comes to my relationship with food.  From as far back as I can remember I could always eat anything I wanted and not gain a pound.  I never worried about a balanced diet or exercising.  I didn’t think I needed to because I never gained weight.  The second I turned 30, that changed drastically.

I was married from ages 23 to 28 and I was at a healthy weight during that entire time.  I had maybe 5 to 10 vanity pounds I wanted to lose, but nothing major.  Even after I had Hailey I bounced back relatively quickly without any type of extreme diet or exercise.  I was still able to eat whatever I wanted and not exercise regularly.

I went through my divorce when I was 29.  I was dealing with a ton of stress and lost a bunch of weight.  My weight was what I was at before I had Hailey.  I felt like crap because I was eating tons junk food and was under a lot of stress.  Even though I felt awful inside, I liked how I looked on the outside.  Now I am 34 and I weigh as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter.  While I am feeling better on the inside (most days) I hate how I look on the outside.

Here is where the struggle is.  I know what I should do to be healthy.  I know the proper foods I should be eating, I know the foods I should not be eating.  I know I should be exercising.  Should, should, should.   An excellent counselor told me once to stop “shoulding” on myself.  Wise woman.  Why can’t I stop though?

My biggest concern is teaching Hailey about nutrition, being healthy, and making balanced choices regarding food.  I don’t want her to struggle with food and have a love/hate relationship with it the way I do.  My other concern is my own health.  I feel so unhealthy right now.  I want to feel good on the inside and on the outside.  I want my lifestyle to change where if I have a bad day or two I don’t completely collapse into a dark abyss of overeating.

That’s my vicious cycle.  I eat healthy for a while, I feel good, I have energy, I even exercise.  Then something happens – – usually stress and it knocks me right on my ass.  I shut down emotionally and ignore what I truly want which is to be healthy.  I become lazy and allow myself to eat junk.  I fill myself with nutritionally void food which makes me feel even worse and I sink into a depression that feels like quicksand.

Eventually I always pull myself out a little.  Occasionally I can keep myself going for a few months on a healthy cycle.  But always, always I fall.  Each time I fall harder.  I eat worse than the last time, I gain back even more weight, and I feel even more guilty.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to record what I am feeling, the thoughts I am having, what I am doing, and what I am eating with the hopes of being able to control this constant struggle.  My goal is to be able to change my life forever.  I want my norm to be eating clean and healthy on a daily basis without even thinking.  I want to lose 40 pounds and live a healthy lifestyle forever.  I want to eat whole foods that are minimally processed so that my body has fuel to work at its very best.  I want my day to consist of eating tons of fruits and veggies.  I want to be able to go out once in a while for ice cream or pizza.  I want to live this way so I can feel better and be an awesome role model for the most important person in my life – my daughter Hailey.

So, that’s some of my story, where I am, and what I am working toward.  Always a struggle for me, but I need to remember to take it one day at a time.  I also need to remember that every little step that I make toward my healthy goals counts.  And I need to quit being so damn hard on myself.

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