Good Me, Bad me.

Mersea Island cottage. Essex blogger and influencer. Photo by Colchester Streets

I’m aware this is the same as a book title but this is actually more of a personal post about me and my relationship with food. The past two or three years, my love for food has grown – cooking it and eating it – but so has my waistline.

I’m aware that size isn’t everything, but as a woman, it’s hard to be above a certain size these days. I’ve seen models that are size 12/14 being called ‘plus size’. It’s outrageous as 10, or more years ago, there’s no way a size 12 woman would be classed as plus size! It’s demoralising. In conjunction with this, mental health issues are on the rise and I believe social media has a lot to do with that. I know that seems hypocritical as part of my job is managing social media, but it’s true! There is so much pressure on men and women to look a certain way, people are judged for the way they look or dress and it creates insecurities. I think it has for me, anyway.

But that’s not the point of this post. I wanted to write about my relationship with food and how it yo-yo’s constantly. Being a food blogger and someone who enjoys eating out, trying new place, it’s important that I keep evolving as a cook. However, I’ve found that it’s caused me to have an up and down relationship with food. I love cooking. It relaxes me, eases anxiety and makes me feel in control. But, when I cook due to feeling anxious, I find myself cooking the foods I love and find comfort in. It’s not uncommon for people suffering with poor mental health to turn to food for comfort. The hard part is admitting it and trying to find a way to stop it.

I didn’t realise this until a few months ago. I found myself craving all the bad things, and giving in to those cravings. Crisps are my go-to snack when I feel shitty about myself, and without even realising, I was eating more than I should have been. Another thing that hinders me is alcohol. I bloody love a good G&T or a glass of fizz. Drinking is such a social thing and it’s a relaxing thing to do at the weekend or in the evenings. But there’s so many calories in alcohol. You don’t even realise until you step on the scales!

My bad relationship stems from ‘rewarding’ myself after I’ve been eating well and not drinking alcohol. I will have a Chinese takeaway with Tom, have a few gins, have some bread and then I’m back at square one. I really hate myself for that. I have the lowest self-esteem right now and I feel like I’m a size 34.

Food is my comfort. I know it’s always about breaking the habit, but when you feel deeply unhappy within yourself, it seems impossible. After today though, I’ve said no more drinking until we go to London next week. I’m planning my meals and will be trying to do 10,000 steps each day. I know I can do it when I put my mind to it. Unfortunately for me, my mind is slightly fragile at the minute and I think that’s the bit I need to work on. The past couple of weeks, I’ve had no energy to do the things I love and I really want that motivation and drive back. Poor mental health affects my physical health and I have seen that lately. I just want to feel happier within myself, but I know I’m the only one who can do that.

So why the post? I think it’s more of a reminder that I need to change some habits and probably stop beating myself up so much. I have a good and bad relationship with food, but it’s something I can and will change. Eating better doesn’t mean I have to stop doing the things I love. I just have to have more moderation. I know that how much you weigh doesn’t define you, but the demons in your head can be quite powerful and I need to quieten them.

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