Remember in my last post how I told you I would be writing up an article about my relationship to food? Well, here it is. This is one of those, you’re-getting-a-little-too-personal posts, so if you’d rather not know the nitty gritty details of my life, I’d suggest skipping this one.
This past year has been a rough one. Besides for my birthday, New Years is always a time I use for reflection. If you remember, around my birthday last year, I shared a bunch of my goals/resolutions with you for 2018. Now I can’t say I accomplished all of them. Heck, I can’t even say I accomplished half, but I guess I’m proud of myself for accomplishing anything at all. When I look back at last year, it was a year filled with so much emotional and mental turmoil, I have to say I’m impressed with myself for even getting up in the morning. Now, I’m not trying to use it as an excuse for not meeting my goals. At the end of the day, there will always be an excuse not to do things. But given what I went through last year, and my current mental/emotional state, I feel like this year has more hope attached to it.
That being said, I don’t want to jump into a million goals. I have a post coming up soon about goal setting in general and my 2019 goals/resolutions, but one of my (and many of the world’s) main ones is related to food and my unhealthy relationship with it.
Me and food go way back, you could say. When I was young, I would literally pig out on the reg (we’re talking entire cakes in one sitting) without gaining a pound. My Dad often gave Torah classes at our home every Shabbat, and so our house was constantly filled with delicious baked goods and treats. I’ve always had quite a sweet tooth and fairly healthy teeth, so whenever I got good grades in school, straight to the candy store we went.
I clearly remember a lot of my friends and peers commenting about their weight, and me thinking, “OMG, who cares? Let’s talk about something that actually matters!” Easy for me to say back then, I was a lot skinnier, and I didn’t have to work for it at all. A lot of my friends dealt with eating disorders and obsessive exercising and I was just totally oblivious to it all.
As soon as I moved to Israel for seminary at the age of 18, and food wasn’t a given for me, the weight gain began. I never knew when my next meal would come, so I just went crazy whenever I was offered food. I think I gained a good 15 lbs those two years. My eating habits didn’t really change when I went to college and I was mostly eating cereal, eggs, sandwiches and pasta. Ironically, I was afraid to walk too much in Israel, so I took a lot of taxis, and when I moved to New York for college, I started walking a lot more, and so my weight pretty much plateaued.
Then I met Dovid, the foodie. Most of our dates consisted of trying out new restaurants and ordering wayy too much off the menu. We got married and continued in the same vain. Only now, my in-laws owned a bakery and my husband owned a restaurant. So you could say food (and not the healthiest of sorts) was always available at my fingertips. I lost some weight when I was pregnant with Matis (thank you nausea!), and then proceeded to gain it all back plus some after I stopped breastfeeding. This past year has been one of the worst, because of everything I went through. And to top it off, I’ve been living at my in-laws while we wait to move in to the new house, and so I’m, in a sense, back in the mindset of not knowing where I’ll get my next meal from. There’s a lot of ordering out, and eating whatevers around. While I’m exceedingly grateful to my in-laws for not only being gracious enough to open up their home and fridge to us for so long, I cannot wait until I have my own kitchen again. I have all these plans for meal prepping, and bringing only healthy things into my home.
Listen, being addicted to food isn’t something that goes away, but there are ways to make it easier on myself and I’m looking forward to that. Incorporating exercise is something I’ve been getting back into recently, as well, and boy does it feel good to be treating my body with respect. I don’t know why I always thought being healthy was an option. It’s not. And though I’m not exactly into all this “your body is your temple” stuff, I can definitely see that G-d gave us our bodies as a gift, we can’t just not take care of them. It’s not only disrespectful to ourselves, but also to G-d (or the universe, or who/whatever you believe in).
Throughout life, food has been my constant. It’s there when I’m stressed, when I’m sad, when I’m happy, and when I’m bored. I literally have a nightshirt that says “I enjoy long romantic walks to the fridge”. I am currently at my highest weight (almost 200 lbs) and though my OCD tells me to just get to 200 already, my brain tells me enough is enough. I think I’ve so much internalized how addicted I am to food that I don’t even bother questioning it any longer. But that’s going to change. This year is going to be the one that I take care of myself and the life I’ve been given. I can’t wait to share my journey to health with all of you. If you want to join me, send me a message and I’d love to support you, and be your exercise buddy if you live nearby, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, accountability is key. Have a healthy new year everyone!