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October 14, 2010
tags: food, health, self-nurturing, thoughts
by Hannah


{This is something I have never really shared publicly, but for some reason I felt led to today. It feels so strange to be putting it “out there”, but I hoping that my transparency on this subject will be somehow encouraging or helpful to someone out there.}

As I sit here eating my quinoa and green beans for lunch, I’ve been reflecting on my relationship with food. It’s an odd thing, the emotional connections involved in what we eat. My attitudes about food have changed drastically throughout my life.

As a teenager- studying ballet and coping with the constant pressure within that craft to be lithe and thin- I had quite an unhealthy view of food. I even feared it. I dabbled in liquid fasts and veganism (not saying being vegan is bad, at all, just at the point I was doing it for all the wrong reasons). I restricted my calories, counting them obsessively, while dancing and exercising for hours each day. I lacked energy to the point where I frequently felt light-headed.

My dancing came to a halt when I began to get intense migraines on an almost daily basis. Maybe it was body’s way of forcing me to begin healing. I no longer felt quite as much pressure to stay skinny, but my perspective on food and my body had been damaged. I fluctuated between overdoing it with very unhealthy foods, and not eating enough. I did not feel whole and healthy, and frequently berated myself for lack of discipline.

My mind and body have healed so much since that time in my life. I saw a counselor for a while I was college, and I finally reached a point where I felt comfortable in my skin. I celebrated by getting the word “victory” tattooed on my ankle in Hebrew- the language of some of my oldest ancestors, and of the book that helped me to get through it.

I got this tattoo knowing well that I still had a long way to go, but I wanted a permanent reminder of this victory over self-loathing and depression.

Now, my relationship with food has shifted from being about weight, to being about health. I still have weeks where I go crazy with the refined-sugar domino effect (the more you eat, the more you crave), and I know it makes me feel sick but it is hard to stop. Dairy is the same way for me- I like it, but if I eat too much of it I feel awful. Yet too often I eat a lot of these things anyway in the name of “indulgence”- I always pay for it later though in the form of stomach pain, headaches and fatigue.

On the flip side, I have learned that whole, living foods (like to today’s lunch I mentioned) give me energy and make me feel fantastic, and yet I am not always motivated to prepare them for myself. There is a domino effect here too though, because if I get in the habit of eating a lot of veggies, fruits, and whole grains for a while, I do actually crave them.

I am hoping to get to a truly balanced place, in which moderation rules and nothing feels restricted or deprived. I want to make food decisions on a daily basis that really nourish my body and make me feel good, because that is a form of self-care as well. I want to want to make these decisions. And so the journey continues…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. colourherhope permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:59 am

    Thank you for being so brave to share. It spoke to me actually. Maybe I’m the reason you felt led to share (hehe).

    I actually wanted to talk to you about a holistic approach to eating, health, etc. I am making changes for my little family and literally starting from scratch. I know close to nothing. What kind of advice would you give in starting? We’re at a point where we want to feel better and we know that the body shape will come with that, but right now it’s about FEELING better inside. I am going to write a blog soon, asking for advice if you want to think about it and write it there or fb me :)

    Anyways, thank you for sharing Hannah :) You are an inspiration, I hope you know that!

    • Hannah permalink*
      October 14, 2010 9:53 pm

      I will be thinking about it. :)
      And thank you!

  2. Lauren M. permalink
    October 14, 2010 10:20 pm

    Loved this blog. It’s definitely something so many of us struggle with on a constant basis, and I don’t think anyone really realizes it.


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