I used to stuff my face with anything and everything, and I would never even give a second thought to how much I was actually consuming. I would fill up my plate with huge amounts of food because I felt that I needed it just to not feel hungry anymore, and then I would always have more in order to feel full. I would often grab things to eat when I wasn’t even hungry but just felt bored and needed something to munch on.
The problem is that the quick snack I thought I was having was actually usually an entire meal. I considered it small because it was smaller than what I was used to eating for a meal, but that didn’t make it light or healthy in any way.
Since I have changed my eating habits, I have started to recognize certain destructive behaviours that used to be present in my life. Anywhere I go, I see people who are just sitting there, mindlessly shoving empty calories into their face without regard for their health and it makes me sad.
Sad because when I look at their face, I can always see the guilt and depression that is resting just below the surface. I know how it is. I used to do this exact thing. I wasn’t enjoying my food, but I was eating it anyway just because. Most of the time, the food didn’t even taste good, but maybe I felt like I had to eat or I was just socially and emotionally withdrawn from those around me and eating provided an escape.
If I didn’t feel like engaging with people, I would eat even more just to keep myself occupied. I always had an excuse not to talk if I was just eating my meal. When I was home alone, I ate because I thought it would make me feel happier. It never did. If anything, it only made the depression worse and worse.
I don’t intend to shame anyone by writing this, but I do want people suffering like this to know that there is hope to change. I love food, and I eat “unhealthy” things pretty regularly. I have access to many things at work that are unhealthy, delicious, and I will happily eat it, but there’s a huge difference. I have a taste instead of a plate. A couple chips instead of a bag. A few fries just to enjoy the flavour of them.
I wish that I had learned this sooner. I wish I had paid closer attention to what I was eating, and truly judged whether or not I really needed what was on my plate. Was I actually even enjoying my food? Probably not. In fact, if I don’t enjoy something now, I will just immediately stop eating it. Why bother wasting calories on something that doesn’t even taste good?
I know that I don’t need to eat these unhealthy foods to get my nutrition, and that means when I do have them, I enjoy the treat even more. Unhealthy food can really be delicious, and eating it in smaller portions actually brings me happiness now instead of depression.