I dislike the statement “my relationship with food.” Can you really have a relationship with inanimate objects? I guess no food is technically inanimate, because both animal and plants grow, but you know what I mean. By the time it gets to my plate it is inanimate. I digress.
Anyways, lets just say that I have some pretty major issues with food that I am working out. This is all intricately tied to my body image as well. I’m not sure where exactly to start with all of this, so lets start there. Body image. I was always quite confident as a kid through young adult. I was always athletic, thin, and pretty so that helped. I remember when I realized that it was not cool or acceptable to be confident. That it was cool to be insecure. In middle school all of my friends began to become very self conscious. This came across most evidently in their body posture. In particular I remember they would cross both of their arms in front of them, around their wastes, like they were hiding their stomachs. I remember clearly that all of the girls started doing this at the same time, and at first I didn’t understand why. But I soon realized it was “cool” and I started doing it.
I had my misgivings about my body when I was young. I hated my frizzy hair, I was on a seemingly endless quest to cover up the dark circles under my eyes, and at times I would want to be more fit, but for the most part I was pretty happy about the way I looked. Enter graduate school.
I studied architecture, and if you know anyone who has been through architecture school then you know that we don’t sleep. Period. We literally would have competitions – who could work the longest and latest? Who could go the most days without sleeping? Who could have the best project? And I took this crazy architecture school lifestyle to another psychotic level because I have this crazy need to be the absolute best at everything I do. But that’s another story to analyze on another day.
Anyways, so after four years of undergrad and then a year of grad school my body started shutting down on me. I would get headaches every single day, and debilitating migraines regularly. When it got so bad that it was effecting my school work I went to see the doctor. Instead of sleeping more and de-stressing like a normal, smart person I began taking daily medication. This first side effect of this medication was “weight gain due to increased appetite, especially for sweets.” I hadn’t had been the same weight all of my adult life, and had always been on the skinny side, so I didn’t think twice about it. However about a month and a half later I had gained about 30 lbs of fat. It was sudden and shocking. None of my clothes fit. For the first time in my life I wasn’t the fit girl, but the kid of frumpy and over weight one. I still had a year of grad school left, and unfortunately I hadn’t learned my lesson. I was still operating on extremely little sleep and had a very high stress life. Now, five years later, I take much better care of myself and I’m practically headache free. But I’m still carrying that weight. I’ve learned a lot from the extra weight I’ve been carrying around, and I apparently I still have more to learn from it. I know this fat has made me a better person. More on that tomorrow.
All the love,