I have a very complicated relationship with food, and here’s why!
Before we start, I would like to point out that this post has nothing to do with body image issue in general, and I am in no way pointing fingers are anyone 😊 I am writing to share my relationship with food and my own concerns about my body so that I am more accountable for things I am changing in my lifestyle.
I have always been a chubby kid.
All through school and high school, I was bigger than my best friend. The reason is a culmination of genetics, how I was raised with food, and poor choices, maybe. But let’s fast forward to a few years before getting married, when my Indian families were blaming my body type as a reason for being single. Why? Because I was [am]curvy and not so fair. I am brown, 5”11 and at that time, I was about 190 lbs. It didn’t bother me all that because I was comfortable with myself. I liked my body and how it balanced well with my height, and I believed in embracing it fully 😉. That was considered, and for the lack of a better word, fat for many, especially Indian boys who dreamed of marrying an Aishwarya Rai duplicate! Ha! JK!
But that’s okay. People have their own preferences and I think it’s good to be upfront about things. However, when I started UC Davis, I started taking my physical health seriously. I started working out and eating better. And that all paid off because I lost some weight.
After getting married and having my first baby, things spiraled out of control. I could blame this on several things such as moving to LA, raising a baby without much help, hormones, stress, carelessness, IUD, the way Indian dishes are made, and the list goes on.
Here is the thing. I am proud of being able to nurture and give birth to 2 beautiful girls; 1 without any pain medication. I am in awe with what this body did and is capable of. And that is the reason I am writing this today. I want to take care of my beautiful body to ensure that it stays healthy and well so I can continue being the best version of myself to my girls.
But the bottom line is, I didn’t make good choices regarding my health. I took it for granted thinking that I will “fix” things later. That later became 5 years and after 2 kids today, I am disappointed that I let things go this far.
Today I am overweight, exhausted, and desperate to make some changes. Some of my habits include:
1. Not enough exercise – I have a desk job and after work, I am running around the kids, but that is not enough. My lifestyle overall is sedentary, and I do not have a fitness regime in place.
2. Poor food choices – I reach for the convenient item – whether it’s noodles, or rice, or chicken burrito. I rarely consider the healthy aspect of food.
3. Too much sugar – okay I am fortunate that I do not have diabetes or blood pressure, and I never did even during my pregnancies, because I eat too much sugary food items. I don’t sit around all day with donuts, NO! But the food items I consume often have high sugar in them, such as rice, roti, sweet creamer in my coffee and the list goes on. I am cursed with a sweet + salty tooth which makes me reach for sugary food and then salty to balance the sweetness. OMG!! ☹
4. Hate cooking – I am not a huge fan of cooking. I would probably eat out daily if I could afford it. It’s not because I am a terrible cook. I know how to cook almost every Indian dish and sweets (thanks mom!). But I see cooking as a chore instead of an art or a way to put good, healthy food in my body.
5. Avoiding healthy swaps – this is the worst! I hide from making healthy swaps – for example – I have tried almond milk instead of regular creamer in my coffee and that lasted only 2 days. I was back to using regular creamer, which we all know is loaded with oil and sugar. It’s not because I don’t want to try it; I just hate the change in taste, and I don’t tend to give my palate ample time to adjust before quickly making the switch back to “unhealthy” options.
6. Portion issues – I often forget portion control especially when I am stressed (which has been a lot in the last several years) and that is something I must learn to control.
And i know you must be thinking; Dang woman! Lol
Okay, so all of the above don’t happen all day, every day; but yes, these are some issues that I have with food and my eating habits.
The first thing to do in any fitness regime is to take control of your eating habits. That is my goal; learning to love food and treating food for what it is. Cutting sugary food from my diet, controlling portions, and making time to really think about the food I consume.
I have “set” these rules in the past, but I have carelessly let things slide. I have also quit sugar for several days in the past, but some how they managed to crawl back in.
Because I set too many goals all at once. Instead of focusing on small, baby steps that I can accomplish, I set multiple goals and then get overwhelmed with them.
This time, the goal is to take bite-size steps. First up, sugar control. Next, portion control.
I have already begun watching my sugar foods intake and portion control, which is hard because sometimes, I eat off the kids’ plate when they don’t finish it and it just adds up. That must stop! [stern face at kids ought to work! :P]
I live with in-laws and sometimes following my own cooking style and regime is very hard. There are certain expectations on what to make on a day to day basis and it is impractical to make 6 different meals for 6 people. For example, my husband and I prefer to skip rice on many days. But we must cook it daily. So, when I make it, I eat it. Sure, there isn’t a rule that I HAVE to eat what I cook. But that’s where my shaky will power comes in play.
Overall, I have a very complicated relationship with food. I know what the problem is, and I am trying to change things in small steps. It will not happen overnight, and I know that. Weight loss is not on the top of my list; eating better and thinking of food for what it really is – FUEL for living, for our body and brain. As I learn and incorporate healthier food choices, I know that an exercise regime and fitness goals will follow.
If you have some tips for me, please do share in the comment section below. 🙂