I know what it’s like.
To feel deprived.
To devour each piece of good in your life immediately because you don’t know when you’ll get it next.
To “Taste the Rainbow” because the rest of your life seems lacking in sunshine.
No, I get it. Memories.
The only connection you have to the good times is to eat what was eaten – just hoping that the click-sizzle-swish of a soda will bring with it a taste of that moment you felt alive at a birthday party.
It never does. And you know it never does. But what you know, and what you’re willing to do to feel like it’s a possibility, don’t see eye to eye.
Did I truthfully love the taste? I can honestly say, in most cases, I’ve had a lot better.
I didn’t eat for taste. I ate for the faded memories – flashes of joy I’ve rarely felt. It’s the repeatable and purchasable becoming the symbol of the magic moment when all was good.
And when I’m worried about paying rent, a stale whiff of a good memory always seems like a welcome reprieve.
But I’m always worried about rent.
I grew up learning to worry about rent, and food, and credit card debt. As a ten-year-old, I didn’t exactly feel empowered in those times when we were discussing which important bill to pay. I just contributed to the melting pot of worry and stress. Now I have my own job and the bills get paid on time.
But I’m still always worried about rent.
There were a few times when we weren’t worried about rent. And those times always came with chips and candy, cakes and cookies, sodas and ice cream. They came with hot dogs and burgers and fries and anything that could be combined with cheese.
When I used to see chips, I would realize they were just a mountain of salt and oil-soaked potatoes. But what I felt were the smiles and the music and the sweet silence of no fights. I may not have been able to go back and be where I once was, but I could eat what I once ate and maybe, by some magic, a breeze from those times would wash over the present moment.
How innocuously it seemed those things which added to my stress became symbols of a lack of stress. How ironic. What is worse is that most of us, including my former self, hold no delusions that these things are actually good for us or help us in any way. But knowing I should eat a salad didn’t effectively dissolve the connection between soda and sunshine in my memories. And when I felt like everything was dark, I reached for the memory of something different.
Until I didn’t.
Until I finally said enough was enough. I refused to allow myself to justify poisoning my body because I was stressed, the day was long, or I felt alone.
In the end, I was stressed because I felt like I didn’t have control over my life – and I was allowing myself to have no control with my eating to cope with it.
The day was long because the work was long, and I felt every minute of it because I had so little energy – and I was allowing myself to eat and drink things that drained my body of energy.
I felt alone because I was alone – and I was allowing myself to treat the one person I had, myself, like crap. And if I’m going to treat myself like crap, why would I expect others to want to be a part of that?
I decided to stop digging a deeper hole to destress from the hole I was in. And that’s when I started gaining control of my nutrition. Gaining control of my nutrition went hand-in-hand with gaining control of my fitness. Gaining control of my fitness led to gaining control of my mindset. Gaining control of my mindset to gaining control of the rest of my life.
That’s what Broke Ass Nutrition is all about. I want people who feel like I felt to know how much is possible despite their “nothing.”
And we’re going to start by calling out and throwing out the trash that tries to keep us down.