Breaking up with food

RememberFollow Piloting Paper Airplanes at it’s new home. I will stop checking this blog sometime in April.



After a tumultuous relationship, it’s finally time.

I’ve never really enjoyed food. I made it work because, well, I have to. Going vegetarian was easy because I didn’t like or eat a lot of meat to begin with. I distinctly remember when I starting disliking cheese as a kid; I love certain cheeses now, but I’m an all–around cheese person. Eggs have never been my favorite (as a kid I was scandalized to be eating a baby bird).

Breakfast meal. Stock Exchange. {}I like cooking fine; don’t love it. I don’t overly enjoy sitting down for a meal. It feels like a waste of time to me. I’ve been known to just forget to eat. The quality time with people I care about is important, but meals have never been about the food. I love snack things like granola bars, nuts or fruit that I eat on the go.

Now, there are certain meals I could die for, of course. And sweets… don’t get me started on good sweets. Ice cream = eye balls made of hearts. My annual Easter bag of jelly beans… um, don’t touch. I lust after a good bar of dark chocolate – add organic and fair trade, you might lose a finger if you take some.

The point is, I look at food in one of two ways: a chore or a naughty treat

Anyone else? Just me? Hm k.

I started down this break up path a few months ago. I blame Kris Carr. It started when I read Crazy Sexy Diet and began evaluating my relationship with food. I learned to consider food in terms of pH balance, glycemic index and “cleanness.” I’ve noticed how what I eat directly affects my mood, my energy and my emotional balance.

The buzz term floating around the interwebs is food is fuel. It was a “duh you dummy” – er, I mean a positive “ah ha!” – moment when I really thought about this. I can now replace food = chore with food = fuel. Big difference in my head. Good fuel makes my body and mind run right. Good fuel = good runs = good sleep = good mood Larissa.

Peace out old outlook on food. Hello new, smarter, positive, more productive relationship.

I’m still figuring out exactly what this new phase looks like. It’s been a few months of experimentation. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Treats are not my enemy, downfall, failure, insert–more–negatives–words–here. 

    They are meant to be enjoyed and savored, and I don’t need a lot for that to happen. The last few months I have “let” myself be less careful about treats, and I haven’t gained a bit. It’s much less mental stress to eat something I like in moderation than refuse to eat it. Best part: guilt free because it’s “allowed”. Let me have my cake and enjoy it to, thank you very much.

  • Sugar is in everything.

    So if I have an Asiago bagel with light cream cheese, or lasagna with white pasta… that’s my sweet treat of the day right there. I’ve sworn off nearly everything white. This wasn’t hard, as we never purchase white pasta, white bread, white rice, etc. And we make our own bread with organic wheat flour and no sugar. Cereal breaks this rule but we almost exclusively buy organic and I don’t eat cereal every day.

  • I don’t need a lot of dairy.

    I feel better when animal products are just not in my diet all that much. I swapped my beloved yogurt for sugar–free apple sauce and haven’t looked back once. I evaluated what I was eating with cheese and realized there were plenty times cheese added little to nothing to my meal. I still eat it when I want it, but only when it’s my favorites (i.e. shredded cheese on a veggie tortilla, meh, didn’t matter. Feta on my salad, love it). Eggs happen maybe once a month. I would rather eat an occasional meal of good, organic chicken and less meaningless dairy.

  • Green smoothies make my insides happy.

    I know, I know; someday maybe I’ll stop talking about these. Everything just feels and works better when I drink a good, clean smoothie. Move over, genetically modified, overly–processed, chemical–filled powder protein supplements with the really dumb/ looking flexing muscle man plastered on the label. I mean seriously. People actually buy that stuff?? So many better and healthier products out there.

  • Eat when I feel hungry.

    I’ve been upping my mileage and thus upping my appetite the last few weeks. Jon has been like, “you’re still hungry? You don’t normally eat this much.” By “this much” he means what equates a snack for him. *Blasted fast–metabolism people…*

  • Eat what works for my body.

    I am not blessed with a fast metabolism. After years of a hate–filled negative relationship, I’m finally able to move on. I am blessed with my metabolism and I need to learn how to best treat it. I’ve come leaps and bounds in learning to eat for my body and I still have a lot to learn.

The result? I feel better, physically and mentally. I’m stronger, faster and more balanced. I’ve even lost weight.

Learn to eat for your body. Make that the goal. Begin to accept how it works and feed it things that make it feel good, and eventually, we might learn to fully love our bodies. Let’s get rid of phrases like cheat meal and start saying things like my well–deserved and much–appreciated treat of the day. Yes?

Have you ever worked through a “food breakup?” How have you changed the way to look at food? Any strategies or lessons that really helped you?

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