I’ve been thinking a lot about food and losing weight recently. One lingering habit I have left from my disordered eating is associating exercise with weight loss. There is definitely some merit to this claim, that exercise can help one lose weight, but my inability to exercise does not mean automatic weight gain. In all honesty, the first thing I thought of when I found out I could not walk for 6 weeks was, “How will I exercise?” Getting up to go for a run in the morning is so ingrained in my mind that it has taken quite some time adjusting to a new morning routine.
For me, my disordered eating was always about control. There are very few things that one has direct control over and deciding what to eat is one of those things. Exercise is another thing you can control. When I discovered that exercising rapidly increased the amount of weight I lost, I started to exercise quite frequently. I am glad I started the habit of regularly exercising, but my mind set when I started was not a healthy one. Exercise should be something you enjoy.
My injuries this year added an enormous amount of stress to my life, and as a result, I have slipped a little back into my habit of trying to tightly control what I eat. I have lost my control over exercise, so food is the only thing I have left to control. I know I have slipped a little into my old thinking, but the fact that I am cognizant of this pattern makes it different than when I had disorder. I don’t think that restrictive eating is “healthy” any more and recognize that when I start to have those thoughts, it’s time to adjust my thought process. I also can recall exactly what it feels like when I don’t eat enough, and I never want to feel like that again.
My body is trying to heal and I need to give it all the fuel it needs to do that. Now is not the time for me to be over-thinking my food choices, when there are more pressing issues at hand. Remembering that food should be a friend is better than treating it as a necessary evil.