Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Disordered Eating, Part 2

I don’t know exactly when my disordered eating began, but I was always a picky eater as a child. I was an introvert and did not make tons of friends naturally. I was anxious about many things. I remember a conversation I had with my parents at what seemed like a late hour to me (after my brother and sister and I had been put to bed) about death and what it was. I was terrified of death. Still am, really.

Somewhere in there, something in my brain started thinking that if I ate certain foods, I felt better because they tasted that delicious. And I played soccer, but that didn’t prevent weight gain, nor did it do much for my clumsiness or my socially awkward persona. I had a really good friend who stood up for me (as I tended to be the brunt of teasing at points), but I really started turning to food. Food just tasted good. Especially the sugary kind (which isn't so surprising, I suppose-especially with having watched this video- that it wasn't a surprise that I tried to make myself happy with sugary foods.

In high school, I had a few really good friends, but my best friend stressed me out as much as she was a good friend. I still turned to food to calm myself, sedate myself. I think sedate is a good word in this instance. Because by eating sugar and lots of carbs, I can simultaneously cause a sugar rush and cause myself to be sluggish, slowing me down, putting me in a funk and creating yet more desire for food to ‘perk me up’. It is such a circular process.

In college, I kept attempting to exercise and lose weight. It did not work all that well with the exception of the summer between junior and senior years when I lost 15 pounds (which I promptly gained back and more because of the stress of college). After college, I worked in two kitchens. The first focused on natural/healthy foods and I'm pretty sure I managed my weight fairly well (although I didn't weigh myself). The second was more about speed and fewer people doing more things-so good nutrition went out the window, really. So that didn't help. I gained weight despite my best efforts.

After that, I went home to do a temp job at my dad's company. Night shift. I got a membership to a gym as a christmas gift, which I was grateful for, since it allowed me to workout without having to suffer in the cold in the dead of winter. I did re-discover just how much I hate gyms. Monotonous and boring. I prefer to get my workouts more naturally. Or by appeasing my short attention span...

I just barely managed to keep even over the 6 weeks there-I even lost two pounds. How very exciting.

And then the biggie-I hiked the appalachian trail! I lost twenty pounds in the first six weeks, all while pigging out. Not exactly the healthiest way to lose weight in the long term. The weight loss slowed to more of a crawl because I ate more than I needed in town-in the effort to make sure energy levels were good on trail. I eventually lost ~40 pounds.

The first two months after the thru-hike saw me working out furiously, and succeeding at maintaining my weight. I gained a little back in November/December. And then I gained more in January and February. I was terrified of this, after having lost all this weight. I didn't learn how to eat on trail. In fact, i indulged in all sorts of bad habits. So I've been a bit lost in the sea on how to eat correctly in order to NOT gain weight. I'm hoping that I've turned a curve and can start in on the healthy eating/plenty of exercise now. Maybe those jeans will get a little more comfortable.

If I'm lucky, I'll be lessening the effect food has on me. Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment