I remember so vividly the feeling when I was standing in the kitchen one afternoon after my weekly visit to the dietician.
At just 18 years old, I wasn’t overweight.
I was trying to be perfect.
Losing those 3 kilos, to me, meant perfect. And oh – seeing a dietician was a trend amongst my girlfriends. It was a popular luxury.
That day, her telling me I had gained 400g affected me. It really did. I came home that day feeling betrayed by my own body. I was so disappointed with myself. I felt like a failure.
I was studying health, after all, and I felt I couldn’t even fix my own health.
These visits to the dietician would forever change and impact my relationship with food. Because, back then, being thin meant healthy to me. How come I couldn’t just lose the weight?
It’s something I’ve thought about a lot in preparation for my wedding. As a bride-to-be, the assumption is that of course you’ll be trying to lose weight. So many guides and articles are geared toward that. There are bride-specific diet and exercise regimes, programs promising you’ll drop weight fast in time for your wedding, and then general expectation that you need to improve your body in order to be the perfect bride.
This is why I’m so grateful for the day in my kitchen. In that moment, I jolted myself out of that state. It scared me to my core just how ridiculous it was that a few hundred grams (that could have just been water weight, PMS fluid, whatever) was affecting my daily life. My weight would make or break my mood for the whole day. It somehow defined me.
And that, of course, had an incredibly negative impact on my relationship with food. To manage my weight (for it to be perfect) I had become restrictive and obsessive with my diet – like so many women today.
I remember standing in my kitchen and having a real uha moment. I realized I would rather be overweight than do this to myself anymore. It was torturous being weighed every week and have the loss or gain of a few hundred grams define me – or define my mood for the week.
It was also in this moment that I decided to jot down my thoughts and feelings into a blog – and show people how I wanted to fight this desire to be perfect and express my journey to heal this broken relationship I had developed with food and my weight.
That is how the JSHealth blog was born. And it’s also my secret to being a stress-free bride. I know that if I was still caught up in that mentality I would never have gotten to where I am now.
I wouldn’t be able to let go and let things unfold the way they are supposed to. Because when we’re trying to control our food and our diets, we’re inevitably trying to control other parts of our lives too.
I wouldn’t be able to focus on all the incredible love and support my fiancé and I have received as we prepare for the big day.
And I get it. As a bride-to-be you can feel enormous pressure to look and feel perfect for the special day – I still feel this. But I also know that the complicated relationship with food that results from this doesn’t help me or make my body feel good.
Healthy eating is the key to healthy and happy living. If you know you are taking care of your body and giving it what it needs, it is so good to you in return. Don’t try to look or eat perfect – eat in tune with your body and I promise you will see results. Most importantly, you will feel the best you ever had.
Our relationship with food has a huge impact on our emotional and physical health – and the relationship we have with everyone around us too. I choose to have a balanced relationship with food so that I can focus my energy on the relationships that really matter.