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!