My name is Abby, and Food is my Frenemy.
Okay, so you and food are frenemies. Explain the enemy bit, would you?
When I was 17, I began to worry more than ever about my appearance. I hated my stomach, my thighs weren’t as small as my friends’, I ate too much, I exercised too little. So, the most logical thing I could have done would be to eat less, exercise more, and work on improving my self esteem, right? Instead, I chose to take the unhealthy, rocky road of an ED, making frequent pit stops to binge, purge, and wallow in self loathing. I tried my best to hide it…even from myself. Eventually, though, it wasn’t admissible to the”girls will be girls” category of behavior anymore; I was bulimic.
Not many people knew; I was not “sickly skinny”— in fact, binging and purging made me retain water in the aftermath, making my weight fluctuate drastically day to day. I either didn’t exercise at all, or I tortured myself with cardio day in and day out. Looking back, I can’t believe I treated my body that way. Now, I treat it like it deserves to be treated. The gym has become my favorite place, lifting weights my favorite pastime. No longer do I spend hours on the treadmill wishing the fat would simply melt away before my eyes; instead, I work hard to make my body strong, fierce, resilient, and yes, even beautiful. It’s okay to have aesthetic goals, too — even if you’re recovering from an obsession with your appearance. We’re only human, after all. Take a look at my physical transformation (photos are 6 years apart, but most of my transformation occurred in the past year):
Yup, I’m holding McDonald’s in my hands in the first photo. Oh, the irony, you guys. Now, many changes happened between then and now — I lost some weight, put it back on, lost it again, & then fell somewhere in the middle— but what has evolved the most over the years has been my happiness. When I was heavier (and ill), I didn’t enjoy food. In fact, it made me miserable. Food was a source of guilt, and eating (read: binging) was a compulsion. I can’t tell you how unhappy that made me. Often, I missed out on life while my mind was consumed by the hatred I had for food, exercise, and myself.
Okay, now we know. So, how did you become friends?
One thing I know for sure is that I love food. I love buying it, cooking and baking it, looking at it, taking pictures of it, smelling it, and, most of all, eating it! Although food and I have encountered a few bumps in the road, we always come back together in the end. I’d just be too hungry without it. My interest in nutrition, fitness, and wellness was spurred by my own experiences and struggles with my health and body image, but it peaked while I was studying psychology — specifically, applied behavior analysis and modification — at Northeastern University. In my studies, I learned a great deal about us crazy creatures, why we behave the way we do, and how we can change the way we think to change the way we act. I also took a class specifically on eating disorders, which only made me yearn for more knowledge on the subject. Now, I continue to take non-degree seeking courses on nutrition, writing, and psychology, conduct independent research on weight training and sports nutrition, and am pursuing my NCSF Sport Nutrition Specialist certification so that I can write more knowledgeably on food and fitness topics. I hope my progress can inspire others to take control of their lives and break free from the hold food and exercise has on them — parts of life that should be enjoyed!
If you have struggled with an eating disorder, you know what I mean when I say that it eats at you. What we must do to combat those horrible feelings is eat our way whole again. Join me on this journey toward happier, healthier lives, without feeling like we’re sacrificing a damn thing.
Oh! One more thing…
If you’d like to share my recipes & photos:
You are more than welcome to share my recipes on your own blog or social media channels! However, publishing someone else’s recipe word-for-word is considered copyright infringement. Please acknowledge that the recipe is adapted from Food Is My Frenemy, and link back to the original recipe post.
As for my photos, I would prefer you to contact me before publishing them on your blog. Whether you choose to do so or not, please pay me the same courtesy and acknowledge that the photo is mine, (for example, caption the photo with “Photo by Abby of Food Is My Frenemy,”) and also link back to the original post; even if you edit the photo, please attribute it to Food Is My Frenemy.
The overall point of pointing these guidelines out is to ensure that proper credit is given; bloggers should stick together and give each other shout-outs on a job well done! That being said, I’d love for you to feature any of my recipes or posts!