crunching numbers

crunching numbers | Journey for JessiThis is a post that needed to happen, ASAP. I have a list of posts that need to happen, eventually, but this is a pressing matter and I have to get it out of my head.  After completing my Whole30 in January (check out my Whole30 diary here), I adopted a food log back into my life.  I hadn’t weighed or logged my food in, well, almost a year, so why did I pick it back up?  I was beginning a new fitness program that included nutrition and diet advice to assist me in leaning out and it was highly recommended that I measure and log everything that went into my mouth.  I didn’t moan or groan about this because this is what I used to do, for years and years of my life.  Not a morsel went into my mouth without me logging it.  It was religious.

This did not go without problems, though.  In the spirit of the new blog motto of honesty, I am honestly telling you that this egged on my closest and oldest frenemy named Eating Disorder.  We had an abusive relationship for years.  It was not until this last year that I finally felt like I let go of all bits and pieces of her strangling hold on me.

I grew to a place of self-love, -confidence, healing and nourishment.  Food, I learned, was not the enemy as my former “friend” misguided me to believe.  Food was, in fact, the greatest gift I could give to my body.  A body I wanted to start treating with the love and respect it has always deserved.

Fast forward back to now.  I have been weighing and logging my food for about two months now.  The results?  Detrimental.  Instead of losing fat, I have gained it.  Instead of finding happiness in my successes, I have found defeat in my set backs.  I have been fighting these feelings now for about two weeks of creeping self-doubt and hate and body bashing and trashing and, therefore, feeding my body trash again because I didn’t feel worth anything.  Then something incredible hit me today.  I need to f*#%ing stop logging and weighing and measuring.

I was no longer eating food.  I was eating numbers again.  I was beginning to walk a dangerous dance along the fence of my old acquaintance again, and this time, that was NOT okay with me.  Today, I began eating food again, not numbers, but food.  And guess what?  I started eating better too.  Because when I am less focused on numbers and more focused on nutrient density and making sure I have a healthy spread of meats and veggies etc.,  I no longer hurriedly log my meals (as I was eating them) and pay more attention to my body and the act of eating and feeding and nourishing my body.

The numbers game works for many.  High level athletes and fitness newbies alike, they can healthily lose and sustain their weight through the numbers crunching method.  But for those that have deep emotional ties with food (good or bad), this method may be the anchor weighing you down (on and off the scale).  So find what works for you.  I’m not preaching you ditch your food scale or your food log app, unless it’s not working for you.

I will never be able to stop being a walking encyclopedia of the caloric contents of food, but I can stop applying it to my life.  And I have.  It’s a path I can’t walk again.  It’s a fight I fight almost every day, but the less I struggle and stress about it, the more I have found it settles quietly into the background of my life.

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