6 years ago I changed how I ate and I blogged about the new foods I was discovering & recipes I was trying. I documented my journey out of a world on inner-grocery aisles, boxed foods, fast-food, and drive-thrus, into the world of whole foods. The kind of foods my Grandmother grew up eating. As the food I ate became more routine and predictable I wrote less and moved to Instagram where I could just post pictures of the food I was eating each day. Less about how to make what I was eating, and why I was eating it…more just the food. The simple food I was eating. I chose the name @HappyBodyFood because that is how the food I eat makes my body feel, happy.
A lot of people who graciously followed that blog asked me over the last few years why I stopped contributing to it? I wasn’t sure at the time, I only knew it didn’t feel right and wasn’t coming naturally.
What I can tell you now is I started to filter my thoughts. I started to care what people thought, would think…were thinking. I didn’t realize this for a long time, but I was slipping slowly back into a darker place, one I had spent most of my life in, hiding a lot of pain behind food. I started binging again, but I was binging on healthy foods. Still, too much of a good thing is still too much. I was losing weight, pretty easily eating real food, but I wasn’t any happier. So the passion for sharing my clean-eating journey started to feign.
The last few years on IG have been awesome. I have a support group, a community if you will, of people rooting for me and joining me in the fitness/weight loss/healthy-eating journey. I really don’t think I could be as focused, and as excited about healthy eating if I was going it alone. The people I have met on IG have truly become friends, having helped me in countless ways. Here I had the space to test the waters of exposing my vulnerabilities. I found the further I went, the better I felt. It turns out owning faults is very empowering.
6 years ago I weighed around 220 pounds. I can’t be sure because I buried my scale deep in the closet under coats, a bathrobe, and a box of clothes, some still with tags on them, marked “someday”. My skinny clothes were buried under a bunch of baggage just like my skinny self was. (I was even heavier prior to that. After my Son and before my Daughter. I know one doctors appointment the scale said 244lbs. More on this number later.)
What I can tell you about eating less, and eating real, whole foods is that you will lose weight and you will feel better. My hair is thicker, my skin glows, and my energy levels are pretty even and consistent…as is my mood. I can also tell you that I have not gained any of the weight back.
But eating healthy, looking better, and losing weight did not make me any happier. At least not in the way I had always imagined it would. Mind you I have been heavy my entire life, all of it, from age 7 on. So there were a lot of years to fantasize about how being thin would equate to being happy. If only I weren’t fat, my life would be perfect.
What was missing from my life were Primary Foods. The foods that fill your soul up. Physical activity, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, spirituality and the most important Primary Food, in my opinion, self-love. I actually didn’t even like myself.
I will write more about how I found my own Primary Foods, and a passion for life, in posts to come. But initially I just want to be clear that the food we eat, Secondary Foods, will never alone heal our hearts, minds & souls…though they are very powerful healing tools, but it is only when Primary and Secondary Foods combine your life will be changed forever.
When you eat real food, and you don’t eat too much of it, you will lose weight and you will feel better. It is THAT simple. But it is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. This end goal so many of us chase fat-to-skinny, unhealthy-to-healthy,out-of -shape to fit, cannot be achieved without tackling the piece of the puzzle that has no measurable quantity. No modern day science, invention, medication, surgery, or potion, can help any of us with the one piece of the fitness puzzle that often prevents us from finding and maintaining success; the “emotional” piece.
So in starting this blog, the next chapter, or maybe the first chapter, I have to start at the beginning.
I am Jennifer, I am @HappyBodyFood, and this is my journey from unhealthy to healthy…but more truthfully this is my journey from self-hate, to self-love.