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Throughout my life, I have always had this unhealthy relationship; no, I do not mean an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend that I was with. No, my unhealthy relationship is with food. It’s okay if you’re laughing right about now. You’re probably asking, “How do you have an unhealthy relationship with food?” Well allow me to explain...My childhood was iffy. I was bullied constantly and I was already overweight as a child. By the time I was five, I was about 90 lbs, and no, I am not joking. Many things probably contributed to my obesity. However, one thing I can always remember is whenever I was sad, I would eat. First off, that was a big no-no in the medical world. Every time I was bullied, I believed it filled a void. Later on, I realized that “the void” was my sadness. As I kept growing, so did my void, and so did my weight.
My entire life, I believed that I was just an overweight kid. I never thought that I had an unhealthy relationship with food. Not until a couple of weeks ago. I went to a weight loss specialist and I was told I needed to be on a 1500 calorie diet. “1500 calories — wow, okay, I don’t think that I will make it.” However, I was doing an okay job, until it only became about numbers. I would be obsessed with whatever number is under the “Calories per serving” column. I downloaded countless apps to help me keep track of my calories. My world revolved around 1500. It became my favorite number after a while. Every time that I would eat, I would either be proud of myself or feel terrible. It did not hit me until one night, I ate a hot dog. There was honestly nothing special about this hot dog other than the fact it was about 300 calories. I was at 1257 calories and I didn’t need much left to fulfill my goal. So, I had the dilemma of going to bed with 1257 calories or going to bed with 1557 calories. The obvious choice is 1557 calories because I was starving. However, that night, I cried — I went up by fifty-seven calories. That may not be much to you, but that was everything to me. I got carried away with the number and I did not see that I am hurting myself even more. I stopped counting my calories — and believe it or not, I am losing weight now. I am nowhere near my goal nor am I losing tons of weight. However, for once, I can say that I am not sad.
So from someone who has an ongoing toxic relationship with food, I wanted to give you some words of wisdom. Numbers are overrated; I don’t care if it is how much you wanna weigh or how many calories you want to eat. Throw the ideology out of your head. It will make you feel worse. I still have not made my peace with food, but we’re in a better place. So I need to meditate or just deeply think. I know it sounds crazy, but imagine food as a person, or even write a letter to food. Obviously, a piece of steak will not respond back. However, to heal any relationship, you have to talk through it; you will feel at peace when you begin healing that relationship with food. Do not — I repeat, DO NOT beat yourself up every time you’re hungry or you ate something. It makes you feel terrible and in my case, I’d cry.
I hope you take my story and it helps you in more ways you’ll even know- no I haven’t conquered my relationship. I am taking baby steps and I believe you can take some with me.