Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Let Go

Throughout my life, I've had a love hate relationship with food.

As a very young person, I bounced between two extremes. 
  • Drink Tab all day and eat crackers.
  • Eat four Dunkin' Donuts, the cheeseburger, the fries, the box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts, and the cheesecake because you blew it for the day anyway.

I remember feeling miserable with the reflection in the mirror, and being aware I was overweight, as young as 8 years old. The bad habits I learned from a very young age, were knit into the fibers of my being.

Bad habits turned into addictive behaviors. They are hard to break. Addictive behaviors increase when one is under stress. Stress can lead to chronic issues, and always impairs your ability to make decent decisions.

As a young adult, I worked so hard to break these patterns deeply ingrained in me.  What a painful process it can be...crush a bad habit, see some improvement, stumble, fail miserably, get up, dust off, repeat times infinity...

I had to learn to look at food differently. I needed new principles to live by. I had to learn concepts completely new to me. 

Being hungry is great thing! Food tastes a lot better when you are hungry. Most of us have am ample supply of food around, so never be afraid to hear your belly growl. That growl is a normal human response, it doesn't mean you will die, if you don't fill it instantly. 

Try to chew slowly. I am guilty of getting really hungry after a work out, and grubbing it down, I still have to work at this. 

Do not be a member of the clean your plate club if you are full. This is big! 
Try to practice stopping when you are full. It's freeing! If you think what you are eating is super fabulous, save it, even if it's just a few bites.

Stop the love affair with the food...yes, cheesecake does taste frickin' good, so I enjoy it occasionally, but it's just a treat. 

Ask yourself important questions...
What does this choice do for me? Is it fuel?  Does it help me rebuild muscle? Does it provide many nutrients? 

Food needs to be put in its proper place
Make associations that make sense...

If you have a bad day, don't beat your self up! Always remember you can start over each meal ;-)

Over indulgence = unhappiness

It feels amazing to not over-stuff your belly :) 

Work on making new associations with a little self talk.
When you eat something yummy and healthy, remember to tell yourself how awesome you feel.

Example: I made pierogies, and I added spinach and lima beans. I rock!

Never, ever let anyone tell you can't get better.  

I was losing miserably on a regular basis, and therapy helped me to develop some great strategies to gain some control. It's a process. I was grateful for the help, however, I had a changing moment where I knew I would be okay. The day my therapist tried to tell me eating disorders were life long conditions, I resisted. That thinking didn't fly with me. 

I wanted to get better, I knew I could be better. I wanted to put it behind me and feel free.

When you are sick with the flu, you don't wish you were just fevery right?! You want to be healed

I was set free from that day forward.
Not that it has always been easy, but I was never that trapped, all consumed, person again. 

You always had the power
It just took belief and faith to unlock it

What obstacles have you overcome?

Ever experience the love hate relationship with food?

Ever had to break a bad habit or cycle you felt stuck in


  1. I love this post... issues with food are real & are hard to get a hold of sometimes - but its possible.

    Fun fact - my mom STILL drinks TAB - she hoards it like its going out of style... which it did a long time ago. but she really is afraid they'll quit making it :)

  2. All things are possible...right :)
    That's funny about Tab! I haven't seen it here in a long time lol it was all the rage back in the day :)

  3. I struggle with my diet a lot...I tend to eat too much junk when tired, and sitting in front of the TV at night, I swear I crave ice cream like an addict!

    1. I think when we are tired we do get cravings to eat just to wake up.
      I have my days of struggle too,but I try to take them in stride.
      I am glad ice cream makes me sick lol that's one thing my tummy can not tolerate.

  4. I hate feeling yucky, and I've come to realize that eating poorly makes me feel yucky and sluggish. Don't get me wrong, I still indulge occasionally, but not like I used to.

    1. That's me to Wendy, I hate feeling yucky and sluggish like that.
      I may string together several good days and feel great, but I still to indulge sometimes. It doesn't have to crazy though sometimes hubby and I share a dessert :)

  5. I really enjoyed this post Karen! I think we all have our struggles with food and they seem to be some of the most difficult habits to break. I have to ask, what is TAB? I've never heard of it.

    1. Thanks Heather :)
      Tab was one of the very first diet drinks in a can. It has a strong diet taste, but my Mom loved it and drank it by the gallon.
      We always need need to eat so it's easy to have up and down days!

  6. Oh gosh Tab! My dad drank that and Diet Rite back in the day. Us kids weren't allowed to have soda except on special occasions. I will always struggle with a sweet tooth that has no off switch. I also hate wasting food and throw down stuff I shouldn't. So many personality issues manifest themselves in food. Great post!

    1. Diet Rite is still one of my mom's favorites.
      I had the sweet tooth issue when I was younger, but since I am menopausal I don't get cravings like I used to.
      I know that wasting stuff still gets me too! I try to work on it :)

  7. All so true. I can remember my Mother drinking Tab. When I first started running and was trying to get better, I would ask myself when I got ready to eat something "will this make me a better runner?". Often times, the answer was no and I picked something else. I'm not as good at this any more. I need to be. Also, it's difficult to throw food out when we were taught as kids not to waste it and clean your plate. (There are kids starving in Africa...)

    1. Oh, those starving kids, I heard about them too. It was tough to break that habit and I still struggle some days, but I don't agonize like I used to.
      I like that thought! Will it make me a better runner? Always good to ask yourself. I have been motivated by running to make better choices :) One more thing to love :)
      This is the time to ask your self that question again- marathon less than 73 days or something close to that!

  8. When I was younger I never payed attention to what I ate. It wasn't until I got older and knew my metabolism was changing and I couldn't eat like I used to. Now that I run I am in more control.

    1. Running is great motivation to eat healthier :)
      My thyroid has really slowed in the past few years, it does get harder as we get older!

  9. What a great post Karen, thank you for sharing.

    I don't think of eating disorders as lifelong conditions, but I do think recovery is a lifelong process. Even though I haven't b/p'd in a couple of years now, I still sometimes have fleeting thoughts about doing it after I've eaten too much. The thoughts are not solid and I know I wouldn't do it again, but I think that's all part of the lifelong process of firming saying no and letting your mind move on to other thoughts.

    Therapy was super helpful to me too. Even though my doctor never told me to become a runner so led me down the path towards running and I'm so grateful! I'm grateful for other things too, but that's one that stands out :)

    I'm really glad that you are in such a better, stronger place now! <3

    1. That is a great way to put it, recovery is a life long process. I promise though as the years go by it gets a little easier. I had a lot of sets backs in the beginning, but the best thing was it didn't control my whole existence.
      I am glad that are in a better place too! It's not a fun way to live for sure.
      I still have days where I wish I would have stopped a few bites sooner, but I think we have that! It doesn't give me the urge to cardio for hours anymore :)

  10. Love this! I have always had a good relationship with food, but I know many people who have struggled with it. I'm glad to see you are in a better and more peaceful place now!

    1. That is awesome Courtney!
      It is so exhausting when you are stuck in it and often its very hard for a person to admit.

  11. I am so sorry you have had to struggle with food as young as 8 years old. :( You offer so many great tips, and I bet writing this post was therapeutic and affirming for you!

    You know my food struggles... One of the BIGGEST things I am proud to have overcome is this: I used to think if I ate ONE bad thing, it was over for the day and I may as well just binge, or eat junky the rest of the day. How stupid. Now I if I am craving candy after lunch I can eat 2 pieces of licorice and that's the end of the story. I don't binge. I don't feel bad. I ate licorice and that is all. The world is not going to end and I am not going to get fat. In fact, giving myself the little bit of sugar I craved set me up for not feeling deprived and wanting it more. This is just a little thing but it is a BIG thing for me.

    1. My mom was the queen of the binge eating and I learned young. I was so round when I was little.
      That is HUGE! When you get to the point it doesn't consume your thoughts and cause you want to over cardio it's a good place to be. I have dessert now if I want it and I don't stress. It's also awesome you can just have a few pieces and be done! That was a hard thing I struggled with, I can do it now but there was time when i wasn't possible.
      It's good you can enjoy food now :)

  12. Your post just totally hit home to me!
    I say this as I am currently drinking my morning Pepsi, its so true how these behaviors can become addictive! I keep trying to quit drinking it, but it's like my mind says, oh your going to work today, you need a Pepsi this morning to get through it...
    I love your tips, and love your honesty thanks so much for sharing.... (Now I should seriously take note and go throw the rest of my Pepsi in the trash...)

    1. We all have something we love that we know isn't the greatest for us!
      I love a fountain diet pepsi. I don't love it bottled so I try to just have it if I go out. I know it isn't good for me, but I still like it. Some weeks I do better than others :) It's all good though! I just aim for most of the time with good choices. It's hard to be on all the time with all things!

  13. I can so relate to this post! I get in cycles too where I'll do pretty good for awhile then fall off the truck, but I do by best to get back on. Why have I not found you before now?? Redhead to redhead! Better late than never right? :)


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