More Disordered Eating Talk + Italian Dinner, and A True Friend

 I have come a long way with food.

We used to be in a really complicated relationship. We still are, some days. But for the most part, food is a necessary, fun, sometimes boring, sometimes thrilling, part of my life. I think sometimes about how stressed out food used to make me, and I mourn for that girl who spent so much time assigning worth based on the things she ate. Swiped some cookie dough, fail. Took a candy from the bowl at work, little less dinner tonight. Brush your teeth at 6 p.m. so you won't eat anymore.  I am a go-go-go kind of person, but I had a moment of pause the other day where I just felt so sad for the months I spent forgetting how much I love music, how much I love to read, how much I love the sky, how much I love cozy Thursday evenings with lots of rain and a cup of lemon/honey tea and my fuzziest socks...basically, forgetting about the little things that make me who I am because I was too busy criticizing myself for everything I ate.

Yes, I have come a long way with food.

The other day I was thinking about one of my worst food habits and felt so PROUD of myself for realizing that it was not an issue for me anymore.

I used to be so afraid of treats. I would hate when my mom would buy ice cream or candy around the holidays because I knew it would be around and I knew I would inevitably eat a lot of it. If I made cookies and kept some of the dough in the freezer, I knew I would go several times throughout the day and eat some of it because I just couldn't help myself. It was so charged in my brain as something I "shouldn't" do and as a result, my brain couldn't stop just laser-focusing on it. So I would eat too much and not feel well and then make myself feel guilty.

This made pretty much every holiday unbearable, at least in terms of food. Oh no, a treat plate from the neighbors. Need to get rid of it ASAP. Someone offers to send us home from a party with some leftover dessert, absolutely NOT because then we'd just go out of control eating it. We cannot buy candy or cereal or crackers or anything snacky because I will certainly eat all of it. And of course I couldn't help myself around it because it had such emotional charge to me.

I remember reading in this book about how when you remove the "good" and "bad" labels that we all associate with food, the emotional charge slowly (emphasis on slowly, it takes time) starts to go away and you don't feel the need to eat alllllll the treats anymore. You actually forget that the treats or snacks are there because you weren't obsessively worrying about them or worrying that you'd eat them. It was LIBERATING when this started happening for me.

There is cookie dough in my freezer right now, and it's been there for (I think?) a couple weeks. I've had a few tastes of it but haven't felt the need to binge on it because I know it's always available to me and that I don't need to worry about eating it/not eating it. It's become kind of fun to open my cupboards, actually. Oh yeah, we have Skittles! I had forgotten. And sometimes I take a couple, and sometimes I don't, because it's all just food to me and it doesn't matter.

Of course, the disclaimer that having a variety of food options around, in varying levels of micro/macro nutrients, matters so much. Because I would not be happy with only Skittles and cookie dough and I would not be happy with only bell peppers and roasted broccoli. But honestly, I love both equally, and I find myself making smart-for-me choices because food is no longer (for the most part) an emotional thing. I've learned to pause before I grab and eat and pay attention to how I feel. If I'm hungry, I've learned that a meal with good protein, carbs, fats, and a big helping of veggies (usually) helps me feel my best. I'f I'm hungry and I have a huge handful of Skittles, great, and it's not a problem, but I probably won't feel any better. But it's only when I silenced the other voices enough to really pay attention to how food makes me feel that I've been able to find this freedom. Sometimes it is a bowl of almonds and chocolate chips and sometimes it is a Kit Kat and sometimes it is a salad the size of the state of Montana. But I crave it ALL now (yes, even the VEGGIES) because I don't feel like I'm forcing myself to eat anything---be that treats or be that something else.

So now, thankfully, the thought process of "I'm not going to buy this because then I'll eat it" doesn't really have a place in my life anymore. And there could be cookies from the neighbor on the counter and sometimes I'll try one and other times I'll have to throw them out after a few days because they've gone stale. There is so much less fear, and I have rediscovered myself---and freed up so much space in my brain---in the process.

 ~   ~    ~

A few other random happenings because this is my journal....

*Derek and I went grocery shopping but took a break to see what kind of shoe inserts we should buy. We didn't buy any....but at least now we know (lol).

*A delicious dinner of ground turkey, egg whites, mixed veggies, sweet potatoes, and a little rice. Throw a bunch of random ingredients in a big bowl and you basically have a meal, right?

* Walked to the grocery store and saw this beauty on the way there.

*Another favorite meal of mine....salads the size of any major city. Some avocado and bacon would have put this salad over the top but it was still good as it was  (I mean since you ASKED ;)

*NO PICTURES but we had a couple in our ward over for dinner the other night and they cooked for was amazing. The husband is from Italy and they made us carbonara and oh my word it was so good. We provided the side salad and dessert but the pasta was definitely the star of the show. Wowza.

We stayed up late playing our favorite card game and they taught as a new game with just a regular deck of playing cards too. It was fun getting to know them, looking at wedding pictures, listening to music, and making plans to hit up the movies next week.

*Derek went on a business trip and rocked the grill at some of the community events.

*I took a bus down to Utah and Derek met me there after his trip. We went to visit my mom and my little sister. My bestie Audrey picked me up from the airport and it was the best thing in my life to get to catch up with her. We met up with my mom, who took us to lunch, and then my mom and I spent the rest of the day together. She showed me all around her new town and we looked through an old antique shop together. It was the best. <3

Later that night my mom, my sister, and I went to a play but we left at intermission because none of us were feeling it. These cookies happened afterwards and it was a good thing.

*The next day Derek and I got up early to exercise and then Megan and Ezra took us to Mona Lake. We pretty much had the time of our lives. They also packed the best picnic lunch I have ever had in my entire life so there's that. It felt soooo good to swim and just have a blast all together. We missed my mom, my dad, and Kendall like crazy though.

*Later that night we hit up the mall in Provo for a back-to-school sale/event and my mom spoiled us all. We all won something from the raffle too which was exciting. I ran into one of my childhood best friends, Heather, who just got home from her mission and who I hadn't seen since my freshman year of college.

*After shopping, Megan went and got my mom a caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and then we went for Dole Whips.

*Post-shopping glazed look in my eyes. It was a madhouse but it was awesome.

*Dole Whips. First in my life. So good. (The reason there are no Dole Whips in this picture is because we ate them so incredibly fast because they are that good.)

*We also made a stop at 180 Tacos and it is a new favorite. I had the chicken carnita salad and the peach/jalapeno sauce they put on it was next level.

*Later that night we were all playing the Wii together in my parents' basement and then Natalie showed up with these beauties again. She is a true friend.

*We ended the night with a few rounds of Cover Your Assets between me, Derek, Megan, Ezra, Natalie and Gavin. It was so much fun and I was so tired at the end which is a sign of a perfect day.

*This post is sponsored by procrastination since I wrote it instead of cleaning my closet.*