In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love:
“I’m in love. I’m having a relationship with my pizza.”
For almost all aspects in my life, those words ring true. Not only am I perpetually single, I have almost always had a strong relationship with the foods I eat. It is very important for me to enjoy the food I eat and to have an experience while I eat. In my family, every meal we eat is made with a lot of love and is surrounded by a happy conversation — it is a tradition that makes me value meal-time. However, the bad part about this relationship is that a lot of the food I eat are horrible for my body.
Here is a list of foods that I love to eat:
- Pizza (God, I love Blaze Pizza)
- French Fries (it’s a lifestyle, ok?)
- White Cheddar popcorn (I only eat Smartfood)
- Bread (I love any type of bread)
- Dairy… it can be yogurt, cheese, milk, etc.
- Soda (I know, this one is bad)
As you can see, the foods that I like to indulge in are either extremely unhealthy for me, unnatural to eat, and simply things that should be restricted from a healthy diet. And I have been working on that from the moment I was diagnosed with diabetes — it has been a struggle as I have had trouble putting myself first. I need to find the balance between eating healthy, working out, going to work, waking up early, friends, academic work, extra-curricular activities, and family. More importantly, I need to break my bad eating habits in order to feel better, happier, and healthier.
What I find so interesting is the fact that un-healthy foods, especially artificially made products, have an addicting factor to them that makes it hard for the body to not crave it. And this is exactly where I feel like my body is at: I need to start fueling my body with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, less dairy, more lean protein, and no artificially made anything. It will be a struggle but I am definitely down — it is about time I take control of my body again.
With that in mind, I have been on the search for better options and to understand why I have trouble breaking my bad eating habits. For the most part, I have been quite lazy in terms of finding options that work with my budget and the amount of time I have to cook/pick up these options. I have been getting better at finding options that are much healthier than what I eat now – I replaced popcorn with snappea crisps, I replaced white bread with wheat bread, and I rarely eat french fries nowadays. This means that I have found great snack substitutions but have yet to find a full meal option on-campus that settles well with my stomach.
You know, I have always had a sensitive stomach but it has never bothered me to the extent that it does now — I have never thrown up so much due to food poisoning as much as I have within the past six months. I need to be really careful with the things that I eat and at this point, I have slowly been running out of options as living on campus sucks in terms of food.
Now that I am older and have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I have realized that my relationship with food — particularly healthy food has not been the greatest. As I am someone who has always dealt with being bigger than everyone else around me, I always wanted to find the easiest way out. I wanted to eat foods that would instantly slim be down, which by the way is a nonexistent thing that someone made up, or I would cut out meals so I could have more snacks. Essentially, I was always on the hunt for a way to make my body magically become healthy instead of putting in the mental and physical work to get that to actually happen.
For me, health has never been easy. It is a daily commitment that I need to keep in mind whenever I eat and I know I will get better at picking foods that will make me feel good and will keep me full. And who knows, maybe I will get abs like Harry Styles at the end of my health journey.