A “Normal” Relationship With Food
Let me tell you about the time the word “normal” hurt my feelings.
Seriously. “Normal.” It’s not a sexy word, it’s not an inflammatory word, but the word “normal” in the context of weight loss was like a molotov cocktail to my pysche, apparently.
My closest friends are all aware of my lifestyle change, and while out to dinner one night my best friend said, “So what are you going to do when you’re at your goal, you’re done counting points, etc?”
This is a perfectly reasonable question, and she asked it to make sure I was thinking of what comes next, which, incidentally, I wasn’t. I was a little tunnel vision on getting the weight off, and hadn’t really thought about what would happen when it was!
I shrugged and said something along the lines of “Well, I’m probably going to keep counting points, and do what I do now. I’m going to go to the gym, eat lightly, etc on days when I know I’m going to have something heavier for dinner.”
And she said, “Good. So you’re going to have a normal relationship with food.”
I love this woman to pieces. I truly, truly do. She’s a Size 2, subsists almost entirely on processed sugar and we have a relationship where you get to say the tough stuff, because you know you have one another’s back no matter what. And most importantly to this story, she has never ONCE in all the time we’ve been friends made me feel bad about my body.
So I knew it wasn’t a dig, but this “normal” comment completely stung me, and I turned it over and over in my head for a couple days. I’m normal. Seriously, I’m perfectly normal. I’m just like everyone else. I’m normal.
And then all of the sudden, I realized she was right. When you’re not eating to fuel your body, when you’re eating out of sadness, boredom or anxiousness, that goes against what you and your body truly need. It’s a temporary fix to an emotional problem, and, at least in my case, it was probably also a terrible fuel for my body in terms of chemicals, fat content, etc.
And when you’re eating just to eat, and then you’re eating to socialize, drinking while hanging out or just splurging on a steak after a day that included a bagel and a burger already, you’re not respecting what your body truly needs, which is less crap and more vitamins!
There are days I do this well, and there are days I do this not-so-well. But little by little, I’m becoming a more mindful eater, and I’m working towards a new “normal” between me and the food I put into my body.