Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Huh...well that's new...

A strange thing happened to me last week and I feel the need to scream it out into the void.  Maybe not scream,  but loudly express to the masses if they are interested  enough to listen.

First,  I realized many years ago that I love food. Not just food in general,  I love interesting concoctions of food.  I love apples and gourmet cheese,  fig jam on jalapeƱo rosemary toast, bacon infused goat cheese stuffed dates dipped in a sweet cherry sauce.  I love food.  Reading the Hunger Games actually made me hungry because the food is described so eloquently. I don't just love food though,  I love great food.  You won't see me eating McDonald's or taco bell unless it's the last option at 3 am and I'm about to die from starvation.

Second, it's a well known fact in my friend group and my family that I am an advocate and a deep lover of really good beer. Wine is a close second as I drink it often, but a really tasty beer just always hits the right spot. It's not just about the flavor though it's about the process and the brewery. The people behind the magic. I love supporting the small breweries, and not just because I am from San Diego and some of the best breweries are located there, but more because they have worked so hard to create something I love so much. I must give them my complete and total attention.

Third, I have a ridiculous sweet tooth which amazingly as my mother and Grandmother told me, my taste buds have changed. I no longer crave the ultimate sweet sweet candy and pure sugar, I crave the decadent and the grand. Mint fudge swirl ice cream mixed with mint chocolate chips, creme brulee with a side of fresh strawberries and whip cream, fresh pumpkin cheesecake, eclairs, oh man the list just goes on. Again, I am obsessed with food, but only the best kind. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the healthy food too, I love my veggies and my fruit which is why this mass love of good things has become a very very big problem. I may think externally that I am eating quite healthy, to be honest I do still try to eat as healthy as possible, but the truth is that I love even healthy food too much that the idea of portion control just goes right out the window along with microwaved meals and fast food.

Now the strange thing that happened to me......I realized for the first time ever that I myself didn't find what I saw in the mirror attractive. It was a strange occurrence, and one that kinda came as a strange out of body experience because it was in no way self battering to my ego or damaging to my self esteem. Honestly, it was more of a blunt understanding that I had indeed gotten to a place I told myself I never would. I can't honestly say that this moment hasn't been creeping up on me because it most definitely has, but I can say that I didn't really understand the emotion and truth of it until I saw something I didn't want to see in a way that I didn't want to see it.

People are so conscious of the way they look these days that it is incredibly hard to look at your own body and say, "I love myself." I have those days too don't get me wrong. I have to tell myself that it's ok that I have red blotchy skin, that it doesn't matter that my teeth aren't all that white or straight, and that I may not have luxuriously thick curly hair, I have long beautiful hair that is for me. I am like the rest in struggling with the daily idea that what my body is...is beautiful, but there is a caveat to this. I love my eyes, my lips, my long legs, the mass of freckles in random places, I love my toes and my hands. I do love myself in the areas that are just me, no changing it in any way, I love those features. BUT....what I don't love are the areas I have allowed myself not to care about because I never fully understood what I had until I lost it. 

When I was looking in the mirror last week I realized that I was far to big around the middle, I am like a fresh green apple walking on long decently muscular legs. My arms are too big and wiggly and lets not even talk about what happened to my back (where does that extra fat even come from!!??). At one point I kinda laughed and thought, "Well now this isn't what I was planning on." I can't help but think about how ridiculous it is that I let myself get to a point that I can't even see the "physical attraction" I used to see in myself. That right there is a problem. 

You might be thinking, "Jess, you need to love yourself no matter what you look like." I agree...that's why this hit me so hard. I love myself too much to keep looking like this! I love my mind, my heart, my soul, I love myself enough to know that I went too far. The hard part is knowing you went to far and not knowing how to rewind and get yourself back to where you were. Where you felt good. It all starts with my obsession with food. It's hard to give up on it, but it is source of energy and enjoyment, I need it as much as it causes me harm. I won't be that person that eats nothing, I know that's impossible, but I need to eat less and be more aware of what I am putting into my body.

The moral of my slightly over expressed experience is that I haven't and won't stop loving myself because of this. I am on a new food journey to find a way to enjoy while eating less. I think the biggest step to take is to recognize what you are doing and then understand why you do it. Once you understand, you have to take the steps to correct the wrong and understand that there will still be downfalls because perfection is impossible. The last step toward success would be to believe you will get there and hold onto patience and understanding of change takes time. Right now I want what I was five years ago, but I can't have that right away. It will take time to achieve. 

I love myself too much to allow myself to remain this way, I will steadily walk toward change because life is too short and precious to stay in a rut of dislike and unhappiness.