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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#30 Why is my Relationship with Food so Terrible?

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

I’ve had a bad relationship with food for as long as I can remember, but I've never been able to understand why. It's particularly difficult right now as I struggle to meet my macros and stay within a calorie budget.

I’m always thinking about food, calories and working out 24/7, so it’s normal to me, but I forget that it’s not normal to other people. I don’t think I’m ready to fix the problem, but I’m becoming more aware of how large my problem is. Here’s how my past week in Chicago went:

  • I went to the grocery store after a funeral because I needed protein for the week.

  • I freaked out because the food scale at my parents’ house wasn’t what I wanted, so I proceeded to order a new one that I ended up not using all week.

  • I managed to stay within my calorie goals (and enjoy my food) when I went out for many meals, but then I overate for the next few days, and didn’t end up eating the food I had gotten for myself.

  • I didn’t want to go to the gym one morning, so I procrastinated by eating an entire loaf of banana bread. I went to the gym 25 minutes later and spent my rest time googling how many calories are in an entire loaf of bread. I hated myself so much that hour in the gym I cried through my workout. I actually managed to get back on track the rest of the day. I was very relieved end when the scale hadn’t gone up the next morning.

  • I thought about a “fresh start” again, but this feels silly when I keep losing control.

  • I found my old InBody scans from the past year in my drawer. I’m still in better shape than I was in January of 2021 by far, but I spent so much time being upset with myself. This was good perspective.

  • I made brunch plans with my friends for tomorrow morning even though it makes me nervous that I’ll have to go out to eat. I actually miss the days when I was so stressed that I couldn’t eat, even though I promised myself I would never say that.

Needless to say, this is exhausting. And this is just one week. What would I think about if I wasn’t so focused on food all the time? But yet, I’m so afraid of gaining weight that I’m not willing to fix the problem, which creates a larger problem it itself.

Back to the question. Why? I’ve been this way ever since I can remember. I guess I always wanted to look a certain way as a kid. What did I think that would get me? Maybe I thought that looking a certain way would mean that life would be as perfect as I would look. The thing is though, I wasn’t wrong. I’ve achieved my goals several times, and boy was it amazing. The struggle was worth it and I did feel like life was perfect.

Maybe the problem is that too much of my self-worth rests on how I look. I’m embarrassed of myself if I appear anything less than “perfect,” even if nobody will notice the difference between a pound or two. But I don’t feel like that’s the full answer. If it was, I’d just be a bodybuilder and I wouldn’t care about how much I could deadlift or I’d do endless hours of cardio. Besides, I put plenty of my self-worth on the job that I have, how well I’m doing it, and if my social life is going well. So, what the hell?

EDIT: Please see my next post. My relationship with food is not usually this bad.

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