Growing up we always had family dinners and my Mom cooked most of the time. I think it is important to eat dinner as a family and looking back it means a lot to me that my family did that. My high school days of cooking mostly included bean dip, fried burritos (yes homemade deep fried burritos), PUPPY CHOW, brownie batter-I mean brownies, cake, cookies, you get the point. I played soccer, burned a ton of calories, and didn’t care what I ate. I played soccer for a year in college and when I decided to stop playing, I freaked out because I didn’t know what would happen to my athletic body.
Even though I ate a bunch of junk in high school and my early college years, I had good knowledge of how to cook good meals from my Mom! I learned more in college, when I got an apartment. I had put on about 15 pounds my freshmen year and it was mostly muscle from soccer (I weighed 137). I was okay with losing some of the muscle (I looked a little manly just sayin), but I was scared of gaining weight. I decided to learn more about nutrition and tried to start eating healthy. I learned a lot from reading different diet books. Eventually I took a nutrition class and realized how unbalanced my eating was. My nutrition class taught me to follow the Food Guide Pyramid (now called My Plate). Though it was great for me to learn about nutrition and the right way to eat, I started to become too healthy. I started exercising a lot and eating less. It came very close to an eating disorder…I was not eating enough calories for how much I was exercising. Thankfully, I had some great friends who were there to encourage me and bring me back to reality. Though I realized I had taken things too far, it was very hard to change my mindset. Food had started consuming my thoughts and with that came a lot of guilt. I went home for summer break and my parents were concerned (obviously, I went from 137 to 110lbs). I started eating more, but in a very controlled way. The next semester of school, I started getting into a crappy cycle of binging. I never threw up my food, but I would eat until I felt sick…then feel really crappy about it and start restricting my diet again. I was binging because my body was feeling deprived, then when I overate I felt so guilty that I wanted to restrict my calories again. Through that cycle I gained about 20 pounds (some of that was definitely needed, but the cycle of binging made me feel really bad about myself and my health).
The next summer through some studying, I became convicted that food was becoming an idol to me. From a Christian standpoint, this would be considered a struggle or stronghold which was really distracting me from God's purposes for my life. I am a follower of Christ, but was just in a rough place mentally (I was consumed in what my body looked like and what I was eating). This was a turning point for binging. I tried to start listening to my body…eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full. That can be a little difficult when you love food.
As I went into my senior year of college and starting to feel better about my body. I was at a healthy weight of about 120 and eating pretty balanced. I still binged at times, but not as often. I also found some blogs that really helped me out with nutrition. Blogs like Kath Eats really showed me that people can eat healthy and gave me ideas on how to do it. So, where does that leave me now? I still struggle, but my outlook on food and my body is changing for the good. I have more good days then bad and don’t binge near as often as I used to. I have asked God to free me of my mindset, and He has helped me a lot. There are still times I have to refocus my attention because it is easy to slide back in to destructive patterns. I am learning though and feel a lot better than I used to.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-3
This struggle keeps me humble, it reminds me that I can’t do it on my own and I cannot be perfect…no one is perfect. This is where the blog comes in. Healthy at Times says it all. I have learned there are many reasons me to be healthy: Mental health, energy, healthy body, heart health. God created me, and I want to be in good health to serve Him, however that may look. I started my blog because other blogs helped me so much over the years. I have learned a lot about cooking from reading blogs and magazines and finally decided to start my own. At the end of October, I set up my blog with Cliff’s help. It has been a great way to keep up with what I cook and how I cook it. Also, I love sharing what I make with people, so it is an easy way for others to have access to the recipes I try. It motivates me to cook balanced meals. I make a variety of meals, some really healthy, some not. I recently found out I have high cholesterol, so that has changed my eating a little. I have gotten back to some healthier habits. When I eat healthy, I have to eat more so that is something I am getting used to. I also try to include the ultimate comfort food which is God’s word. Ultimately I hope you will get new ideas for cooking, learn about nutrition, and find encouragement from this blog.
In case you are tired of reading this lengthy blog and are wondering this is what I made for dinner. Nothing new, but totally tasty.
Homemade dough from last week, pizza sauce on half, olive oil on half, topped with tomato, basil, pepperoni and cheese.
Hope you all have had a good week. I am so excited about the Olympics starting tomorrow!