At what point does it become obsession? PART 2: Food
Yes I follow a diet plan specific to my sporting needs, but am I too meticulous?
In 2012 people started to lift my shirt at the gym to see the six-pack that was revealed in a photo on Facebook.
I became overly self-conscious about my image in 2012, which lead to being quite underweight. People now knew what I looked like and I felt as though I needed to maintain my image especially because of being so publicly open about my goals.
Restricting my meals to 3-4 per day and lowering my carbohydrate intake dramatically left me turning to cakes, ice cream and more junk food for energy.
I was 62kg in September 2012 and went to 58kg within about 3 months of this diet. I completely fell off the wagon over 2 months of injury putting it all back on – I then felt so guilty I dropped lower to 55kg within 3 months.
I thought being lighter meant I would run faster so I did what my dietician at the time told me to do which was to go on a weight loss diet. A good example of when I should have listened to my body saying, “feed me you horrible person” but I chose to listen to the dietician. Bad move.
Australia’s own, London Olympian Sally Pearson made an innocent yet life-changing decision about her diet which lead to a potentially dangerous one leading up to the World Championships in 2011.
It was something she could control, which convinced her it would win her a gold medal at the world championships. “If I remained anal to the extreme, then I would win. If I didn’t, I would lose. It was a scary mindset,” Pearson said in her book Believe.
Just like Pearson I started weighing my food to the gram. I was the healthiest weight I had ever been in late 2013 and looked much stronger. I was eating 7-8 meals a day with a huge amount of carbs so I thought it was fine.
I found it fun at the beginning weighing my food, following a strict guide and cooking lots. It wasn’t until I screamed at my sister for eating some of my perfectly weighed out chicken from my container or wanting to punish myself for eating some chocolate that I realised I was now obsessive.
I avoided social events because of temptation, I stopped eating out because I couldn’t measure the macronutrient content of the food and I didn’t have my scales with me. I know it sounds silly but that was a serious problem for me at the time. I was constantly hangry (hungry and angry).
I had a meeting with my current dietician a few weeks ago and said I can’t do this anymore, I am going crazy and I want to hurt people! I decided enjoying my life, being able to eat out without worrying exactly what’s in it or having to weigh it to the gram and staying in a healthy body fat range was more important to me.
Sometimes being the leanest person doesn’t mean you’re the healthiest, happiest or the fittest.
Enjoy your life, eat the naughtys in moderation, and if you are on a specific diet don’t let it control you.
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Written by Cloë Neophytou @cloeneophytou