Love With Food

Falling in Love with Food

I realized something quite recently and it has made me re-consider my whole relationship with food. My newfound view on life may lead me to become morbidly obese, but so be it, I’ll be smiling bite after bite.

Ok, I’m being a bit dramatic but in all seriousness, the minute you learn to see food as fuel and not as a punishment or something to feel guilty about, life gets a whole lot easier, less stressful and much tastier.

I’ve always been one to treat myself from time to time, but for the most part ever since I was old enough to realize that what I put into my body actually matters and that no matter how confident I may feel, body image is a common thing to struggle with. For this reason, I have been very wary of which foods I choose to consume, and which ones to turn a blind eye to.

In no way am I the vision of health, yes I can pig out on ice cream and desserts and indulge at dinner here and there, but for a while I was letting my desire to achieve a “perfect body” outweigh my need to self-love.

I remember a time back when I was 14 or 15 and I was counting calories. Yes, you read that right. At a time when my metabolism was faster than Usain Bolt, I was concerned with whether or not my breakfast cereal or peanut butter and jelly was going to make me fat. I became so obsessed with tracking my daily calorie intake that eating was no longer an enjoy-able experience for me, but one that required careful thought and calculations, and if you know me, you know I despise anything to do with simple addition or subtraction.

Anyway, I eventually realized that all my fussing over calories, carbs, and cholesterol would get me nowhere in life and I decided that rather than obsess over food, I would learn to love it and find a balance between nourishment and indulgence! I am thankful that I never let my silly calorie concerns get out of hand, as I know that these types of obsessions can turn into eating disorders and self-esteem issues.

As I mentioned previously, I recently went away for spring break. Prior to the trip I was determined to eat super clean and work out every day in or-der to achieve what I thought was a “beach-ready” body. (Side note: there is no such thing as a “beach-ready” body, do yourself a favor, quit your worrying and throw on a damn bathing suit. There, you are all set for the sun and sand!)

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago my dad and I were at an amazing bakery picking out sweets to bring home. My dad, whose stomach is bigger than his eyes was pointing out every pas-try and saying “Oooh we’ve got to try this one, come on Kiersten!” To which I would adamantly re-ply “Hell no! I’ve got to be in a bikini in 4 days!” I remember hearing the man behind me in line chuckle, and I don’t blame him, I must have sounded so foolish and self-absorbed. Regardless of me realizing how silly I was acting, I stood my ground and turned down every cinnamon roll, danish, and cupcake my father tried to entice me with.

I know it sounds dumb, but I am seriously still thinking about that thick slab of crumb cake that I stubbornly shook my head “No” to.  The funny thing is, once I was on vacation, I had no problem saying yes to every food item sent my way, and with open arms too! I realized that no one on the beach even remotely cared about how I looked in my swimsuit and that the only person criticizing my physique was me.

In honor of the glorious crumb cake I turned down weeks before, I decided to over-indulge one day at a local bakery while on vacation. Every bite tasted so sinful, yet in the moment nothing else mattered except for me and my pastry. I wasn’t concerned about the calories, or the carbs, or how I might look the next day. The only worry on my mind was how the hell I was going to clean up the mound of powdered sugar I had let build up around me.

Want to hear something crazy? The day after my pas-try eating episode, I woke up and I was the same person as the day before. My bathing suit fit, I didn’t miraculously gain 15 pounds overnight, and yet again not one damn soul at the beach cared about how I looked, it was glorious and made me realize how irrational my “beach-body” mindset had been in the weeks leading up to my trip.

Life is too short to beat yourself up about something as menial as calories. Do yourself a favor, instead of putting yourself down, pick up a fork and have the damn slice of cake for heaven’s sake!

PHOTO TAKEN by Caroline Mattise