Milkshakes

A Self-Love reflection from Steve

I love that every day I am accomplishing new things, things that I never though I’d be capable of doing.  And that has helped me love myself a bit more, because selflove is not really something I’ve felt deserving of before.  It’s all very much a work in progress, but it is progressing, and that is quite awesome to me 🙂

Dear Milkshake,

Have I got a story for you!

———-

My parents got divorced when I was four.


Throughout my childhood my Dad used to make milkshakes for us..it was a treat.
It was how we bonded. It was the escape from the divorce, weekends at Mom’s house, the confusion about what was going on and the pain that my parents were going through.

We always stopped by the ‘7-11’ for a fudgesicle. Food was never something that we couldn’t have. In fact food was the release in my family.

I never really enjoyed food, I always enjoyed it cause it took me away from things. This is something which I took throughout my life. It never nourished my aching heart, it never made me feel happy.

Dieting is a funny thing. When I was heavy I was SO proud of myself for losing weight. However, with the pounds lost the increase in perfection and personality/passion isolation ensued.

For eight years I vasulated between ‘being good’ and ‘taking a break’ because it was exhausting. However, after taking breaks I would always go back to dieting because ‘that’s what I knew’. Really, it was because I didn’t trust myself to listen to my body.

I always felt I needed to be dieting. I felt validated.

One relationship took pretty much everything away from me. I ended it with no sense of self, no sense that even dieting could validate me anymore..because I didn’t keep them in my life.

Food, once again became my release.

Blogging, has now become my release. You see, what has hit me and what I’ve thought about a lot..is that blogging is like dieting in some ways. The number of views on my page–validation. The number of comments–validation.

Dieting, blogging, talking about my past, wallowing—is my only ‘passion’/’identity’ that I’ve really developed.

All of these things have been a part of who I am. However, for the past four weeks of meeting new people in my new job..something hit me…this is all I talk about: ‘Have you seen Food Inc., I can’t believe American food, I am Vegan, I have lost weight, but I still struggle, you should drink green tea’I have realised that my whole intrinsic sense of self is wrapped/warped around food.

What I have discovered is that I want to become a woman who has passions which are healthy, varied and balanced. Where my light shines. Where it’s not about my inner-thigh fat. If I did or didn’t exercise. If I did or didn’t binge.

I may go back to food as a passion–it always will be. However, it’s with an appreciation for what it tastes like, it’s beauty, etc. Not for calories, -or-lack their of, making cupcake with grainy protein powder, etc. It’s about finding a relationship with food which isn’t selfish and restrictive. Rather adoring and appreciative.

What I have noticed is that currently, my successes are around being good with food and exercise. What about that fact that I am running a residential college and developing new student leaders? Taking the plunge and becoming a nurse? Maintaining an approach to dating and sexuality that is healthy for me? Developing my faith?

Nope..none of that is currently as important as me ‘being good’ to food/exercise.


I am a food/diet/weight loss blogger.

But that’s all that I am.


————-

What hit me after writing this to ‘milkshake’ is that dieting/weight loss/food abusive relationships are many times the thing that we identify with. It’s the SOLE and ONLY way that we appreciate, validate, and hold ourselves back.

If you’re on a weightloss journey, do you feel that it’s becoming more and more you’re only focus?
If you’ve reached goal, is it still your only focus?
Do you have passion/identity outside of weight/weight loss/dieting/exercising?


31 thoughts on “Milkshakes

  1. love2eatinpa says:

    first of all, you were so cute at age 4! look at the beautiful woman the adorable little girl turned into.

    i can SO relate to your post! I often feel like my obsession with food/recovery/blog has become my life and identity. nevermind that i’m a mom of two, a wife, take care of a house and do freelance work from home as well. so while i have reached my goal and have been binge-free for over two years, food is still my major focus.
    HOWEVER, the reason for the strong focus is that i am now finally aware that i have an eating disorder and am working very hard to deal with it the best i can via seeing a therapist, reading books about it and blogging about it. so there is a fine line there – we are focused on food because we are continually becoming aware of ourselves, but a line has to be drawn where we can ‘snap’ out of that mode to focus on the other things in our lives. a tough thing to do!!

  2. missyrayn says:

    It used to be my sole focus. I was the “healthy one” and like it like that. Now I’ve learned to enjoy food that makes me feel good. I’ve learned to enjoy exercise instead of seeing it the only thing that sustains me. I take days off when needed (Iike tonight) and don’t beat myself up about it.

    I love blogging about health but also about my life. You can make your life about the things you enjoy and not the things you think you are supposed to enjoy.

  3. Alexandra says:

    I have found that things related to diet/exercise/weight loss/healthy living are at the forefront of my mind for a good portion of my waking hours. But the way I see it, I used to never give those topics a thought, and that is partially what got me to the point where I NEED to focus on it now.

    Thankfully, I’m not at the point where it consumes ALL of my thoughts. It’s not my only focus, as I still do non-weight loss-related things that I enjoy. But yes, it does take up a lot of my thoughts these days, and I feel that, in my case, it’s necessary at this stage in my life.

  4. Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) says:

    That is a very deep post, Mish. I think that blogging does take some of the focus off of the obsession of food and all the issues surrounding it- weight loss included. I always remember reading advice about trying to lose weight…”when you feel like eating, go for a walk, take up a new hobby, call a friend” bla bla bla. So cliched, right? well, I suppose that blogging is like taking up a new hobby and calling a friend (or a few hundred!) all at the same time 🙂

    • Mish says:

      It totally is like that. What I have to honestly be careful is not letting my self-worth be attached to numbers with it. I know that sounds STUPID..but it’s how I’ve validated myself for so long.

  5. Reluctant Blogger says:

    I think that blogging is a great release for you and for many of us. I’m not sure how I would manage without it. I wish I had had it years ago.

    I don’t think it causes us to focus too much on our issues – I think it helps us to work through them and get input from others who have valuable and interesting things to say. It is also companionable.

    I love the photo of the 4-year-old you.

  6. laura says:

    hi mish!

    wow, i love this post. i can relate 100% (well, im not really a food blogger, but i was one for 3 months).

    i grew up at a normal weight, but always had weird habits around eating. my family never really had family dinners and i grew up with less-than-ideal food habits. i started to gain weight in highschool and right away put myself on a diet. i would lose weight and gain and on and on, the cycle started and continued. i became a vegan at 16 and lost about 15 pounds. it was my identity completely. a skinny vegan. i preached it, ate it, didnt buy/wear it, you name it. i even became a raw foodist for 9 months, completely lost my periods, and secretly binged on vegan junk food once every couple of weeks, which were of course followed by 3-10 day juice fasts. i convinced myself i was just trying to be healthy.

    a few years later, on a spontaneous whim, i tried eating meat again. a part of me realized that i had friends that had their own identities and they were confident and amazing and they ate meat and didnt have any weird diet hangups. i also noticed they didnt all have “life passions” and werent wrapped up in an external thing to give them an identity. anyway, yes. i started eating meat again. and i loved it and started to have more energy. i know vegans who do well being vegan, dont get me wrong, but it was just wrong for me.

    i still struggle with trying to find my own identity without external things. of course i have my likes and dislikes, and i realized that one of my “likes” is health. and food of course. so i buy local organic grass-fed meats and produce and such, and i do what i can, but i am not too strict when it comes to eating out, etc. i see the smartest, most confident people are people who do things in moderation and enjoy life by doing whatever they want to be doing. it honestly still is an addiction i struggle with, trying to identify myself with “passions.” im always thinking.. “maybe i could paint. ill get a paint set and be a painter” or “i’ll be a rock climber” or whatever. it is hard to just be “me.”

    i think it stems from a desire to be different from who you are or who you were growing up.

    i think when we step back, though, and look at little things that make us who we are, we realize that our identities dont have to be extravagant. i understand passions and i admire then greatly, but i think it is more real to have a bunch of “little passions” that make us who we are as individuals. like, i cant stand wearing jewelry. silly, little, but uniquely me.

    this could be a blog post in itself! i know its long, your post just really spoke to me. =)

    • Mish says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I love your approach and I think that no matter what eating approach someone has or doesn’t have the most important is that they eat whole, clean, susatinable foods. Good on you.

  7. christie @ honoring health says:

    What a great post, Mish. I think about the same thing pretty often. I DO have passions outside of food but sometimes I feel that my pre-occupation with food gets in the way of those passions. I wonder what will happen when I am 60 years old. Will I be sitting in the RV traveling the world obsessing about food? I sure hope not.

    • Mish says:

      “I wonder what will happen when I am 60 years old. Will I be sitting in the RV traveling the world obsessing about food?” That hit me. Thank you.

  8. Tina says:

    Okay since I’ve started commenting on your blog I know I say it every time, but I seriously love love love it! How did I not comment for so long? Anyways…what a true post. I am 100% with you on that. For the LONGEST time, my fitness and how good I was at eating healthy and making progress on becoming as fit as possible was how I defined myself. And you know what. I don’t think I even fully realized it until reading this. Only recently, has the fitness part and constantly pushing myself harder there had to take a strong step back due to my current goal of trying to get pregnant again (my body won’t hold a baby if I’m doing anything too strenuous). Now, I’m really focusing on the other areas of my life and developing more pride and personal definition from them. And faith is one of those important things that is part of that, so yay for you for wanting to develp it too 🙂

    • Mish says:

      Isn’t is amazing when you think about other things, esp a little human being, that our life shifts? I have never been in a situation where I have been thinking about getting preggers. however, I always think ‘what if we lived our lives and ate for someone else..how would that change?’.

  9. BK says:

    virtual hug.. definitely have to get past the obsession.. this can apply in a variety of things.. once you learn to love who you are everything else is just an enhancement.. took me a long time to learn it and stop obsessing over the other stuff.. 🙂

  10. Tami says:

    What a thougth provoking post. I love your topics and your insights.

    I have had weight issues since I was 17 and I am now 50! I have lost and gained weight over and over again. My self worth is definately wrapped around what weight I am at. I have let being over weight keep me from going places, seeing people and doing things I wanted to do.
    At my heaviest I was 49 pounds over weight. I am currently 10 pounds over my weight watcher goal weight (I had been 10 pounds under my goal weight at one time) and have been fighting this same 10 pounds gaining it and losing it over and over again for the past 3 years. It makes me mad and dissapointed at myself. I find it embarrasing and all those negative feeling send me looking for food for comfort.

    I think about it every day. I am a wife and mother, I am constantly thinking about food with planning our meals, shopping for food and preparing food.

    I am working hard at changing my relationship with food. It takes time to change the self chatter. It takes time to change from the “diet” mentality to making a healthy life style choice. I am getting there. I now focus on progress not perfection.

    I just started a blog and recently found blogs to read like yours and it has been so helpful. Isn’t it wonderful to find out you are not alone? That lots of other people share your struggles and are overcoming them.

    Feeling hopeful makes it easier to keep moving forward.

    • Mish says:

      I love your story and your blog. I love what you wrote ‘I now focus on progress not perfection.’. I think that’s key. I can get SO side tracked with not being perfect in the moment and/or the day and that blows ALL of the 100lbs that I have maintained to the waste-side and that’s just honestly silly.

  11. caronae says:

    Thanks for sharing this 🙂 I have not lost weight or had an ED, but I have always had a pretty bad body image. Lately, I have begun to see food in the way you talk about here, as something of pleasure and interest, but not obsession. It’s been really freeing for me to focus on whole foods and the process of cooking and enjoying meals, I find.

  12. Kara (@ Kara's Marathon) says:

    I used to take pictures of every bite I put in my mouth to be accountable and a “better” food/health blogger, but it was making me more obsessive than I already am. I am MUCH more than what I eat!

    Your blogs are always so thought-provoking and insightful – thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with the world! 🙂

    • Mish says:

      It’s funny cause I used to take pictures of everything as well and I am just tired of doing it. I just am over it to be quite honest. sharing good recipes and/or thoughts is more important to me.

  13. louisianagrown says:

    I feel like with every single post you do, you make huge revelations in your life. You’re a woman finding yourself! What more do you need to be?

    • Mish says:

      Sometimes is exhausting. But I am FINALLY where I want to be. It’s like coming out of the jungle and into an oasis. 🙂

    • Mish says:

      This was a hard post to share. I am glad that I am not the only person who has struggled like this. It’s not anyone’s fault, persay, it’s just what evolved.

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