I have come to conclusion that the majority of girls, in fact probably the majority of people, will have some sort of messed up relationship with food at some point in their life. Mine has been under control for quite a while, but in the last two months, since my life imploded, I’ve been able to look at it with more focus.
Let me start at the beginning. I never worried about eating, or food, until my best friend when I was 15 started to go through some very serious eating problems, and all of a sudden I started thinking about it. I started looking at myself in the mirror and examining what I saw and I started thinking about what I was eating, because my 15 year old brain didn’t really grasp the seriousness of what she was doing, of what it all meant. Luckily, in a way, because it also meant that I didn’t really understand a lot about it, and although I limited my food intake a lot, I didn’t really get a lot of things, so I still ate a lot of pasta. But my weight dropped off a lot and I remember feeling so good about myself, on the days I didn’t think I needed to lose more that is. But I don’t think it ever overcame me, it was just a habit, rather than something more serious, and after my first serious relationship and then starting uni, things started to change. Nights out and early morning pizza and McDonalds, and lazy student dinners, and I found that I had a disillusionment when it came to body, I just couldn’t tell whether I was putting weight on or not, and I went through stages of going to the gym a lot, eating a lot, and so on and forth. I think that year was a year I probably thought I was fat, but to be honest, I really wasn’t.
I was then in a long term relationship for 2 years and although I still tried to think about eating healthily and going to the gym, I think everything was pretty normal at this time. Then when he broke up with me, my body started to reject food. I was on holiday in Thailand when it happened, and every time I even thought about food, I would feel sick. If I tried to eat food, I would feel sick. And even if I finally felt hungry, I would sit down to eat food, and I would feel sick. When I got back home after that trip, I was in a show, and I could honestly say that even though my head and heart were a mess, my body had never looked better.
Which brings me to now. In the last year of my last relationship, I put on quite a bit of weight. Probably a large drawback of dating a guy who could eat a burger and lose 5 pounds. Towards the end of our relationship, I wasn’t really happy with the way that I looked and I think that impacted our relationship more than I realised, as I really struggled to find the motivation to do anything about it. Ironically, in breaking up with me, he gave me the power all over again, as my body again started to reject food. I didn’t eat properly for weeks, and you can tell. It’s like I had no interest in food whatsoever, my body just didn’t want it.
Why I wanted to write this post, was because of everyone at my work telling me how thin I looked. But not in a bad way, in a good way. I started looking at myself in the mirror again and liking what I saw. My colleague told me I looked ‘tiny’ and sounded envious in her admiration, and asked me if I’d been going to gym, how I’d done it, and I mumbled something. Because I felt embarrassed about the reason I looked good now. I felt guilty. I wanted to be able to say that I’d done it in the proper way, that I’d found the motivation to eat quinoa and lift weights, but really it had all come from being too sad to eat. I didn’t want to admit that.
It’s so sad how we all compliment each other when we lose weight. How we ask for tips and admire small waists, and ask how many squats we’ve done. How I could look in the mirror and feel happier about myself, and yet be the most sad internally than I have been in years. I might be thinner now than I have been in a while but that doesn’t mean that I’m happier. Do I feel good when smaller clothes fit me? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean that the way I’ve got here is good. It wasn’t healthy and shouldn’t be recommended, and to be honest, I didn’t even do it deliberately. But now, because it’s happened, I’m thinking about it more, it’s all back in my mind again. And I hate myself for that.
I honestly believe that no person should ever restrict themselves of food or try to force themselves to look a certain way, or feel obliged to conform to anything. And I feel so inspired when I read honest and raw body positive posts, but I look back on my flawed relationship with food and wonder if it will ever go away. If I got through more breakups will I feel sick at the thought of food again. If I’ll ever look in the mirror and not try to analyse it.