While I have always intended for this space to be fun, light-hearted, and inspirational, I did want to just briefly discuss a part of my past which has led to my present. Hopefully, it will prove useful to others.
When I made the decision that nutrition was *the* field for me all the way back in 2007, I felt so relieved and excited. My family and friends had quickly grown aware of how much I loved cooking. However, it began to function as a sort of crutch for me. “Wow, you eat so healthy.” “I wish I was thin.” “Do you ever eat anything ‘bad’?” While harmless enough, some of these statements and questions started to fuel my underlying need of control and perfection. My twin and I signed up for personal training at the gym. Certainly a smart and beneficial decision. The staff plugged my numbers into a system, which gave me a daily target caloric goal. Unfortunately, this started me down a negative path. I began to calculate every damn food that I ate, taking the time to write it all down in painstaking detail. Lists and notepads with daily numbers for each meal. Quite sad.
Eating outside of the home became a chore, a stressful event. You see, I wouldn’t have my control. I began to recognize my problem but didn’t want to admit it. How could I have a problem? I was eating “so well” while others seemingly were dieting all. the. time. It wasn’t until one evening when Matt seriously sat back and made a statement about how small and frail I had become that I was smacked square in the face with reality. In that moment I knew I had taken it too far. I was no longer myself. Numbers, weight, etc. don’t matter, but I can assure you I was way too small.
Fast forward to today: I’m not perfect, and that I know. I still love cooking and eating so much, but I continue to evolve. I try new foods, I incorporate new foods into my lifestyle. I do go to the gym, but now I truly love strength training. I do NOT count calories. I love seeing my muscles grow and for my strength to improve!
While I know I have overcome my “battle” with what I believe was orthorexia, I realize I am who I am. Working as an RD is a blessing, hands down. But I am educated and as such, my own knowledge can sometimes be my own downfall. I hear numbers, read numbers, look at real-life case studies day in and day out. I recognize my susceptibility to become worried over things I cannot fully control. While I lead a balanced life (in my humble opinion), I realize I am only human. I am by default flawed. This is still something I am working to fully grasp. If I receive blood test results, visit the doctor for a routine exam, I now question a lot. I, unlike my sister, do not just take something for face-value. However, I do wish I could. But given my background, I now want to understand it all even when not everything medical makes sense. So, I am simply a work in progress.
Why share all this? Well, I can say that I never have wanted to. I feel as though if/when I tell people this, it’ll paint me as a failure. It makes me vulnerable. But I realize that this is the farthest from the truth. I’m me, and there isn’t anything to be ashamed of. I want to help others with my passion for food, and this blip, if you will, is part of my own past. Without digging for facts, students in the field of nutrition are at a greater risk for developing disordered eating patterns. I know I am one who got sucked into it, but I’m happy to say that with many things, it now serves as a lesson learned.
I promise to not write many serious posts such as this. 😉 I want this to be a “happy place”, but this has been on my mind to share. Hopefully it will be well-received by my readers. Have a great Saturday!