By Marley Mayer, Regular ContributorSeptember 21, 2015
Once upon a time I was a little girl with dark brown pigtails sticking out from the sides of my head; a little girl with no agenda besides making mud pies, building forts, and watching Arthur. Life was exactly what it was. I took the world in with no baggage or stigmas. I slept when I was tired, talked when I had something to say, and ate when I was hungry.
At what point in my life did this change?
At what point did food become stressful? Why did it change from this satisfying, tasteful, nourishment that my body so desperately needed to something that kept me up at night?
Why did food become my enemy?
During my teenage years, I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food. I had always been a perfectionist, and I felt that my diet needed to resemble perfection as well. I began to pay attention to calories, sugar, carbs, vitamins, etc. I began to plan my week’s worth of meals in my head every Sunday night. When friends asked if I wanted to go out to eat with them, my brain and body would go into complete anxiety mode.
image via thebeautybean.com
Food began to regulate my life. I relied on it for control, but I also relied on it to make me feel better, often pigging out on sweets when the other aspects of my life were somehow not in control. It teeter tottered from extremely restrictive to full blown binges.
It took me a long time to reteach myself how to listen to my body’s needs like I did when I was a little girl. It took even longer to realize that my body was worth more than I was giving it.
My beautyFULL, strong, forgiving body did not deserve the extra stress and anxiety I was giving it on a daily basis. I needed to learn how to listen.
Once you start listening to your body, it will tell you what it needs. The other day after a long bike ride that left me feeling both empowered and extremely sweaty, I stopped at a local ice cream shop and ordered a huge cone of delicious chocolate-y goodness. It was exactly what my body screamed for at that moment. It made my body jump for joy on the inside!
I stopped planning every calorie, and my body has thanked me for it. Not only do I feel healthier, but I also have more time to worry about the things that matter to me. Without stressing about food ALL the time, I can worry about more important aspects of my life.
I think my little pigtailed self would be proud.
What's you relationship with food look like? How can you improve this relationship? Tell us below!
Marley lives in Madison, WI where she is studying to become a nurse at Edgewood College. She is passionate about travel, learning new things, and all things health related. You would most likely find her outside on an adventure, eating Mexican food, or blogging in a coffee shop. Marley is very excited to share her voice with IATG!
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