Why I Love My Body… And Food

For years, I’ve struggled with loving my body.

Ever since I finished university, I’ve been struggling to get back into shape, comparing my body now to the body I had in my early twenties. I always thought, if I could just lose this weight and weigh 20 pounds less, I would be happier. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

I was really active when I was younger as a competitive swimmer, and because I was burning a lot of calories swimming, I would eat a lot to replenish myself. Growing up, I was never a skinny kid – I was pretty muscular, and I was okay with it, in fact, I loved my body because I was strong — I wasn’t a swimmer for nothing, those thick thighs helped me kick. But, once I stopped swimming after high school and became less active, I still continued to eat the way I had in high school. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the weight gain until a few years later.

So, because I gained weight,  I would try out a new diet – literally anything to help shed the weight fast. I knew that I wasn’t going to lose weight by working out alone anymore, so I tried intermittent fasting, keto diet, and going vegan (not all at once, of course). My relationship with food shifted; it wasn’t something that made me strong anymore, but a weakness I gave into. Since I was restricting myself to certain types of food I would normally eat, I began to feel down about these diets. Sure, I would lose weight, and I was happy for a little bit, but then I started missing out on my favourite foods. So, I did what any other person would do; I would relapse and go back to my unhealthy ways that would hurt my relationship with food even more. It was a neverending cycle.

Things were looking up last year when I was fortunate enough to land a fantastic job as a digital marketing coordinator. I no longer had free food to snack from in the office, so I needed to prepare lunches at home and commute to work. Since I was planning out meals, I was back on track to losing weight again! I even worked out consistently, ate reasonably healthy at home and on weekends, and I was more conscious of how much I was eating out. Everything was looking up. Then Covid happened and everything went to shit. 

I was drinking more because it was convenient, and I was ordering food because I was too lazy to cook – even though I was home all day, every day.  I would start my week off strong but hate myself by the end of the week because I had eaten unhealthy one day. Mid-meal, I would comment on how fat I was but continue to eat the food in front of me. I was miserable, stressed, and frustrated. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, like many other bored people at home, I downloaded TikTok, and that is where I came across the creator Dope Kitchen. Nicole, who owns Dope Kitchen, loves to cook and get “unapologetically high in the kitchen.” 

She cooks hearty food for the soul – food that your body loves. The first video I watched was her making protein oatmeal. It was the simplest of ingredients but jam-packed with so many healthy nutrients. I was instantly hooked because I love oatmeal – who doesn’t – and I appreciated the words of wisdom of why food is good for the soul. I highly recommend checking out her intoxicatingly positive outlook on life and food 

After watching a few of her videos, I became inspired to see food differently. I began thinking about the delicious food I could take in, rather than the calories. I was happier eating food that I enjoyed, especially oatmeal. I missed eating hearty foods and not caring about how I would look afterwards. I’m trying not to care about calories right now because I want to repair my relationship with food.

While I’m not actively trying to lose weight right now, I hope to fall in love with being active again after I’ve repaired my relationship with food. I still haven’t lost any of the weight I gained from Covid, but I feel better and happier about my body and eating habits. My body is mine and all mine, and I love it for that. 

PS. I got these spooky skeleton red velvet cupcakes-things from Goodies Bake Shop. They were delicious!

One thought on “Why I Love My Body… And Food

  1. I love this post. Its so relatable! I think this pandemic really changed food relationships for everyone!
    One thing that I am working on with my relationship with food is to think of it more as nourishment and nutrients my body needs. That reminds me to eat when I’m hungry and not skip meals. It also helps me realize that my body is hungry so I need to eat and not to punish myself if the food I choose isn’t deemed “healthy”. I try to be more conscious of what I put in my body, but sometimes its hard and I just eat whats easy and thats okay. My body needs the energy so why starve it from that.

    Like

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