Food, unhealthy habits and becoming healthier

[3:10 PM / Monday / August 6 2018]

This past week that we left behind was one of the hardest weeks in quite some time. I felt down every single day and it was so exhausting to spend my time like that. I had zero energy and zero willingness for anything which made me realize that I still have a lot of work to do. I’ve been struggling with eating disorders for years now. Back in 2013. I made a very unhealthy decision which affected my life in a way I never thought it would. My uncle was getting married and 15 years old Albesa thought she was too fat to look good in a dress. So what did she do? She decided to starve herself in order to lose weight and look good in that dress she had imagined in her head. Naive, stubborn, and uninformed 15 years old Albesa made a decision that affected her life way more than she thought it would. Now, what happened after that? Did she lose weight? Did she look good in that dress she wanted to wear? 15 years old Albesa started eating 200 kcal per day, lost 10 kg in about a month and started working out like crazy. She lost weight but she also lost a piece of herself without even realizing it. Why am I saying this? I’m saying it because, during the starvation, she became obsessed and not only was she becoming physically unhealthy but also mentally. 15 years old Albesa developed anxiety because even after all the starvation that was done, she still felt fat. She felt uncomfortable and had zero wish to talk to anyone, be around anyone or do anything. A month and a half went by, the wedding is over and it’s time to go back to the normal daily/school life. 15 years old Albesa lost the ‘extra’ weight and now she wants to enjoy food again. She wants to enjoy food but not gain back the weight she had lost. 15 years old Albesa is back at it again with those unhealthy decisions, this time it was eating how much she wanted because she deserved it after all of that starvation, enjoying it and then throwing up once she was done with binge eating. Eat until you’re about to explode and then run to the bathroom in order to throw up. That’s the method she thought was perfect for maintaining the skinny figure. It didn’t last for long because her stomach started to hurt and she knew she had to stop doing that. I wish someone could have mentioned her the word balance or the word health, which was already damaged at that point. She stopped throwing up but what about the binge eating? Well… that’s where the situation gets even worse. 15 years old Albesa made an unhealthy decision which has been coming after me, the person that I am now, the 20 years old Albesa. I’ve been fighting to overcome the unhealthy habits 15 years old Albesa once made. I don’t blame her at all, she was under pressure because people always judged her for being ‘a little chubby.’ Being young, naive and uninformed, she just wanted to be someone people didn’t laugh at. I’ve been struggling with that unhealthy habit of binge eating ever since then, it’s emotionally draining and it has caused me a lot of negative emotions because it feels like no matter what I do, I just I can’t overcome it. I still take it too far very often. I have been trying to improve my relationship with food so hard because I know I have to. I don’t want to look at food as something I have to avoid. That’s exactly why it didn’t work so many times. Human beings can’t avoid food because food is fuel. We need food in order to function properly. We need food in healthy portions and once I improve my portion sizes, once I become even better at self-control, my life is gonna change the way I want it to. I don’t want to restrict myself and tell myself ‘you shouldn’t eat that’ all the time. I’m not an overweight person even though I could be fitter for sure. In my case, it’s more about mental health than the way I look. Of course, the way I look matters too, but for me, it has been an emotional and mental journey, not just the way I look in a dress. My goal is to enjoy food to the point where I know I’ve had it enough to nourish my body, mind, and soul and then be able to stop. I want to be able to stop eating the moment I feel it’s becoming uncomfortable to handle it. It’s important to create an eating plan that is realistic. For example; if you’ve been a person who has been struggling with binge eating for years, like me, it’s gonna be extremely hard for you to succeed the first time you try. Why? Because you’re gonna get into it with the ‘all or nothing’ or ‘go hard or go home’ mindset which means you’re gonna create and try to follow a strict plan that doesn’t allow you to ever enjoy a cake or a cookie. It’s not going to work. Overcoming unhealthy habits is a long journey and it should be approached step by step, one step at a time, not all at once. You can’t cut off all the ‘unhealthy’ food and expect yourself not to eat a single piece of cake for 2 months. Rather than that, create a plan that allows you to eat a piece of cake every now and then but without binge eating. We’re talking about one piece of cake, not the entire 10000 kcal cake. Self-control is what I’m talking about. Self-control and balance are what we need with everything in life. It’s better to eat a piece of cake once a week, than not eat a cake for 2 months and then eat an entire cake all at once and feel mentally and physically sick afterward. Give yourself some space for becoming better and healthier, it doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t become a person with amazing self-control overnight. It takes time and it takes realistic planning. When your plan is realistic, your goals start becoming realistic. Create a realistic plan that doesn’t cause you anxiety because deep down you know it’s not gonna work (it happened to me a million times), follow it step by step without pressuring yourself and be patient. Results will come, health will come and unhealthy habits will get gone. Overcoming unhealthy habits is my goal and with my positive mindset, a realistic plan, patience, and support, I am more than sure that I’m gonna achieve it. 20 years old Albesa got this!

Here’s a little method I created about how to be better at approaching life:

Start treating yourself as if you were one of your best friends. You never want to hurt any of your best friends, right? Treat yourself with love, respect, loyalty, and honesty. Stay patient with yourself even after you’ve messed up a little bit, it’s not as bad as it seems in your self-critical mind. Give yourself advice and invest time in becoming a better and healthier person. Encourage and support yourself. Stop with that negative, self-destructive talk. Inspire yourself and go after the person you want to be.

ps: a part of this story was written in the third person because it’s my way of describing situations I put myself in back when I knew almost nothing of what I know now. 

Love, Albesa 

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