Here I sit, thinking about what I want to write regarding the topic of food. In all honesty, food has been a snuggle blanket that I wrap up in after a bad day or even in times of celebration. About 20 years ago it started to become an issue. Struggles in life led me to run to anything edible to take my mind off a situation. In high school it got worse with pressure to fit in and occasional teasing about my size twelve frame. I feared gym class and hated the days where we ran the mile. I often faked having cramps those days. Do any of you feel my pain when remembering high school gym class?

I would sneak food to my bedroom and hide it under my pillow to eat in secret. I always felt guilty for taking seconds, and thought people secretly judged me for taking more food. I was grasping to have some control in my life, the ability to make a decision. Some of you may be thinking what could have happened that caused me to get that way; I will tell you that it was just life and being a teenager during didn’t help.

Life happens as to all of us and we all have a snuggle blanket that we run to. For some people it is spending money while for others it’s drinking, or being in a relationship. Mine just happened to be food, something that our bodies can’t live without. I was living to eat not eating to live. There is a big difference my friends!

Some would say that I needed a support system, and I had one. My family was and has always been a great support in my life, encouraging me to make wise choices, reach new heights and conquer fears. My struggle was not a product of my surroundings or a lack of support. Food was what I chose to cling to. Let me make myself clear, I made the choice. The struggle is real my friends! Do you feel me? 

Tears are coming to my eyes as I write this and honestly I didn’t think this was exactly what I wanted to say, but obviously my heart thinks differently. So here I sit, at my kitchen table bearing my heart for thousands to read. It scares me to death. This opens up my heart on a whole new level. I hardly share this part of my journey but here I am being as transparent as glass. 

With all of that to say, I have made this year about reinventing myself which includes how I view food. Food is fuel for the body and I am learning what that means. I have done many “diets” all of which gave me instant results but caused me to restrict myself in a way that was not realistic. Sure, it worked for a time but I eventually gave up. Why? I need to learn how to EAT! Now, if you are currently on a diet plan, I am not dissing your efforts or saying your choices are wrong. I encourage you to go for it and I am proud of you for taking the step to gain self-control and learn new healthy habits! I am simply sharing about my choice for me. Now, I am sure many of you have struggled with climbing out from under your snuggle blanket. If you haven’t I would like to meet you and learn your secret ways! 

Recently I have started seeing food differently. I am measuring out my food according to the portion sizes suggested on packages, making sure I eat more vegetables and fruit, limiting (not eliminating) grains and dairy, and enjoying lean meats. My Fitness Pal has also been helpful in teaching me that I used to eat WAY more than I needed. It has been empowering to have self-control when learning how to use food as fuel. I am also moving more with the help of great friends, amazing music, and a desire to be unhindered by own body. It’s all mind over fork.

For all of you who are currently wrapped deeply into your snuggle blanket and are scared to peek out from under the covers, I want you to know that you are not alone in the struggle. For those of you who are in the journey of exploring life outside the snuggle blanket, you are not alone. We are not alone, so let’s remember to stand together.

I want everyone to grab a fork and hold it high, come on, stand in your kitchen and grab your forks or utensil of choice and raise it high in declaration! “I WILL enjoy my life with food, embrace healthy changes, and allow myself cake for dessert because nobody is judging.”

Who’s with me?

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Jennifer Beck

Jennifer is someone who always has a smile to give! She enjoys writing about a variety of topics that woman can relate to and hopes to be an encouragement to others. She enjoys Mexican food, spending quality time with family and friends, watching musicals, traveling, and trying new recipes. Adventures have taken her to five different countries most of which were to serve others and share her faith in God. She now enjoys the good life in Nebraska and enjoys working with children. Creativity is another passion she has whether it's photography, painting, or crafting she is always seeing things from a unique perspective.