I’ve had a realisation. Somewhere between dieting, getting a personal trainer, starting a nutrition program, restricting, disordered eating, and just eating–my relationship with food has changed, dramatically. And I don’t know what to make of it just yet.
Listening to the podcast Don’t Salt My Game has just confirmed these suspicions. In the first episode that I listened to, Laura Thomas, PhD, talks to Kelsey Miller, author of the Anti-Diet Project on Refinery29. They describe how food just becomes–or rather reduces to exactly what it is–food. And food can be disappointing at times, even mundane. I could relate to this. The skies opened up and a chorus sang inside my head and I thought oh. So, I paused and took a moment to process, which includes writing this post.
I’ve been feeling a little lost recently because food doesn’t make me feel the way I expect it to, the way it has for the longest time. It’s not something that defines me as “good” or “bad”, it doesn’t give me that high that I’m looking for, and the guilt that comes with overeating doesn’t hold me hostage like it used to. I’ve taken it off its pedestal. Finally.
I think there are some specific things that catalysed this change. Training led me to join a nutrition program which led me to learn more about food and I think I’m coming full circle to intuitive eating. It’s not a scary concept this time around but I also don’t think I’m ready for it.
Maybe that’s one of the things holding me back. The idea that I somehow have to “get somewhere” or “reach a goal” before I give myself permission to decide, “yup, now I can stop stressing about food”. And that somewhere or goal is always someplace I haven’t reached yet.
- March 28: Signed up for a gym and trainer who started me on foundations. My goal was to build strength and lose weight along the way. I learnt how to squat.
- May 5: I moved to Waterloo and took strength training more seriously. I learnt how to deadlift.
- September: I moved to Toronto and met my current trainer. I was counting calories for about a month. My trainer started me on Precision Nutrition and I stopped counting calories. I started noticing lower back pain, especially on deadlift day.
- January: Back to Waterloo. I signed up for Muay Thai. The back pain got too intense so I stopped deadlifts.
February: Stopped training. Stopped Muay Thai. Started seeing a physiotherapist for my back but saw no improvement.
- May: Moved to Toronto. I got assessed by a chiropractor, after a couple of sessions I was cleared to start training again but very slowly.
- June: Started training again. I got into In Defense of Food and realised how simple it can be to eat food, not too much, mostly plants. I tried a Whole30 and got so far as Whole15.
- July: Currently strength training and taking BCAAs and protein supplements for recovery. I want to set new PRs because not only am I at my lowest weight but I am also close to the body fat percentage goal that I arbitrarily set a year ago.
- August: Still struggling to reconcile the idea of wanting to change my body while trying to let go of the harmful ideas of diet culture. Or is that just impossible?