I think it all began a year ago when I became obsessed with slimming down. I was not overweight nor was I unfit; it’s just that I desired to be slimmer and more beautiful. In my eyes, my body was fat, ugly and with too much blobs of fat bulging out at the wrong places. I began to hate how I look and as a result, I turned to social media.
To me, social media is both a blessing and a curse. It motivates me to become skinnier with shots of slim and toned women glowing and being beautiful. Yet, it began to dictate what I should look like, what I should eat, when to exercise and how to live my life. Consequently, my relationship with food took a wrong turn.
Food used to be a source of happiness. It used to be something I used to fuel my body with when my stomach growled with hunger or when I crave for it. It wasn’t a source of fear, regret and self-loathing; it wasn’t something that I restrict; it wasn’t something I obsess over. However, it is all of that now. Ever since the beginning of last year, I began to set boundaries for myself so as to achieve my desired physical appearance- I began to define what the ‘perfect diet’ is (mostly salads, less carbs, no animal products, no oil, no salt, no sugar); I began to count calories (only 1200-1400 calories per day was allowed); I began to categorize what is healthy and what isn’t. Such extreme restrictions was terribly harmful to not only my body, but my mind as well. With so little food taken in daily, I was tired and grouchy all the damn time. I could not concentrate in my studies; my social life was heavily affected; I began to despise going to school and went home early several times because I was ‘feeling sick’. Worse, my body began to crave what it was not allowed- and that resulted in my binge-eating (I am still unsure if it was a disorder; what makes it one?)
Binge-eating was the last straw for me. It was an endless cycle of restrictions followed by uncontrolled indulgences followed by more restrictions. It drove me to the lowest point of my life- I was depressed and filled with self-hatred; my weight was the heaviest at that point in time despite wanting to slim down so badly; I was not me. An average day of my eating habits was like this: a ‘healthy’ breakfast followed by a small lunch in school of only 300 calories despite my stomach growling throughout the whole morning; a ‘healthy’ dinner and lots of desserts, biscuits and ice-cream in the evening (as I was restricting myself the whole day and being a sweet tooth, I gave in to my cravings. Once I took a bite, thoughts of ‘I already ate this; might as well eat everything’ took over.). Lots and lots of it- so much so that I could finish a whole tin of cookies and was in pain most of the time. As a result of this, regret would flood me and I would restrict myself once again the next morning, and the whole torturous cycle would repeat.
I guess what got me out of this was my change in perspective of how I perceive food, what being healthy means and how I perceive my body. Remember what I said about social media? Well, it is a blessing too as I stumbled upon this amazing wellness influencer called Remy Park. Her Youtube videos, blog and Instagram are huge sources of inspiration for me and have shown me a whole new perspective on food. At this point in time (as I am writing this post), I have gotten much better- to listen to my body, to indulge in my favorite foods now and then, and most importantly, to find that balance in body and mind. This is not to say I have fully recovered; I’ve just recently bounced back from a mini relapse and am still in the process of accepting, appreciating and loving my body. We are all humans after all; what matters is to recognize that we are perfectly imperfect and to go back to the path when you strayed away from it for a moment. As this post is just about my relationship with food, I will delve into more of this for another post.
To all those wonderful human beans who are on a journey of self- acceptance and self- love:
know that you are not alone,
that you will reach a point in time where you are at peace and in balance with your body and mind, and that
each day is a new chance filled with endless opportunities. ♥♥♥