Confession: I have fully indulged myself and taken advantage of the "free calories" that breastfeeding burns. Over the last (almost) eight months I have been a non-discriminatory eater, enjoying all things cake, ice cream and chocolate related. I've piled the peanut butter on toast and called it a "healthy" snack and have turned my nose up at spinach far too often. And for the last eight-ish months I could not have cared less.
But things are changing.
Suddenly my body doesn't seem to want to continue on this non-nutritional course. Since finding out I was pregnant with Eleanor I have been oh-so-lenient in my eating ways. I don't really regret a minute of it. I look back (way back) remembering how I had such great intentions of a healthy and fit pregnancy. While I wasn't out of control by any means, I wasn't exactly healthy and fit either.
It has been 16 long months since I first knew I was pregnant. My how much has changed in those months. My life today is so different from the life I knew then. And so much better. Yet, I find myself cycling back into old thoughts and habits from days controlled by disordered eating and weighty issues. For starters, my eating is catching up to me now that Eleanor is no longer nursing 10 or 12 times a day (yes that was our life for months!)
In fact, Eleanor is down to just 4 or 5 nursing sessions a day and my metabolism is taking a hit. I can no longer justify eating five scoops of ice cream or going for seconds and thirds on dessert. It's not just dessert either. It's my tendency to choose the french fries over the baked sweet potato and the chips and salsa over the carrot sticks, or the diet coke over the water. My good, habitual eating habits have fallen far and I struggle now to make good decisions with food.
As I cycle through these realizations my first instinct is to restrict. I feel the need to stamp another label on eating or find a new trend to follow. Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, etc. Every time my mind reaches to these places I remind myself that this isn't an easy fix; it's not a short and quick problem. This is my life and I need to find a balance that will last just as a long. No 3-week plan, no quick cleanse. It's about learning to make healthy choices most often and relying on God for strength and endurance.
I tend to crave "naughty" things. We all have a craving for something. I believe my real craving is for God, yet I try to fill that void with food. Maybe you try to fill the void with clothes, money, busy-ness, etc. I don't want to cover up my bad eating with a band aid and call it a day. I want to reach into the root of the problem and find a solution. I want to crave time with God not food. And I want to fuel my body with whole foods that help me feel strong and good about myself. I don't want to have another "diet" to follow that will allow me to feel better about myself through controlling my food. I want less control. Not more. Make sense?
I don't know where I'm going with this here. It is just a proclamation of where I am today. I'm struggling with the desire to cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, etc to get where I want to be, yet also desiring a life of balance not restriction. In a perfect world I want to eat to live. I want to fuel up for the tasks of life without over thinking food or over-eating or indulging. Yet, I also love food and I love that it is a passion so I don't want food to be dull and boring to me either. I feel caught in this web, in the entanglement of my desires.
As I try to find a balance of the right amount of the right kinds of food for my day-to-day life I am hoping to seek God's guidance more and my control less. I hope to find a balance of healthy eating and enjoyment from food and not to worry as much about my weight and how I compare to other women. I want to be me and I want that me to be as close to God as possible.