Eating Like a Cow

I have, at times in my life, cared both a lot and a little about the size of my pantaloons and the numbers on a scale.

In 2007 I worked at a chain restaurant and began to eat all of their delicious foods. For every meal. Gradually I came to the realization that it is not practical, nor acceptable, to eat burgers for nearly every meal. I decided to become a gym rat for the summer, and in reality, cared too much about getting back to my pre-processed foods bod. I got obsessive to the point that if the number didn’t satisfy, it could ruin my entire day. I counted my calories, which isn’t a bad thing if it’s done right, but a terrible thing when it’s done in order to quickly lose weight. And as people noticed that I was losing weight, I grew more concerned with what I was eating.

If I eat a yogurt for breakfast, half of a sandwich for lunch, and a soup for dinner and work out, I can lose…

After receiving real, and concerned, criticism from friends, because that’s what friends do- they call you out on your crazy, I got my head straight. I never wanted to do that again, and my fear of getting like that is probably what made me spin in the opposite direction. I became a crusader for eating right (right in my mind was saying no to a side of french fries with my lunch wrap) and I never weighed myself.

The scale is the debil.

As years have passed coughsixcough my 20 year old metabolism that I took for granted dissipated as well. Toodle-loo-kangaroo. I also got a real job and lost the ability to do nothing all day and claim that it’s acceptable because it’s college. By this year my body was all out of wack, my skin did not look healthy, and I just knew I didn’t feel right.

So what did the scale say?

I didn’t want to get on the scale- I refused. And then it happened. The day I went to the doctors appointment that told me my lupus was no longer in remission. I was at my heaviest weight. It all became real in that moment that I needed to get my priorities straight. There were too many extremes in my life. I decided to reclaim my body, and not for a number on a scale, or how I wanted to look. I decided to workout for my health. This was the first time in my life I was working out for that reason alone.

Last month, after six months of working out I stepped on the scale. It was the first time I had been curious to see my weight. I had lost ten pounds. And it was the first time in my life that I did not have a goal in mind. I was just feeling good. My knees no longer hurt, I had more energy, I was walking a little taller and I was feeling stronger. I felt proud, and I felt no anxiety associated with a number.

Today I am a pseudo health pretender. Naturally, I have always had an interest in healthy eating and healthier options. I was always a skim milk kind of girl. I loathe (that’s how much*) aspartame. I rather just skip sugar than ingest any artificial sweeteners. I don’t drink soda or juices. This is just how I operate. However, my affinity for healthy options is often at war with my better half- the bacon cheeseburger and a side of french fries with the perfect seasonal beer, please!  side.

And guess what, I eat it.

I will eat the whole damn cheeseburger and I will enjoy it. And I am happy. I have struck some kind of balance in my life. If we are continuously searching for a magical number or a size to find happiness we will always struggle to be happy. What is it that you truly want? Once I recognized that I wanted to be healthy and balanced I found what I was looking for. And I am not perfect, I am far from it, but this mission for inner peace with all things in life is taking me places I didn’t know I could find. 

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