Why Food Isn't Your Enemy

Why Food Isn't Your Enemy

Advice on how to change your mindset.
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Earlier this week, I came upon a memory of being a senior in high school. It was prom season, I had a size 2 dress to fit into, and I was meticulously tracking my food intake in MyFitnessPal to make sure I was on track to look flawless the upcoming weekend at my senior prom. I entered all the food I ate into the app and tracked my exercise. My daily goal? To make sure I burned more calories than I ate everyday. To be "in the hole". Negative. Zero calorie total intake. I remember one night bragging to my mom about my continued "success." I was terrified of food. I was terrified of not being "skinny" enough. At 17 years old, food was my biggest enemy and I was letting it destroy me.

What I've learned since then is that it doesn't have to be that, and it shouldn't. Over the last 5 years I've developed a healthy relationship with food, but it didn't happen overnight. Trial and error, many mentors, lots of reading, and working on my mental health is how my perspective on food shifted. If you are someone who finds yourself controlled by food, I have a few suggestions and strategies to jumpstart your journey toward a healthy mindset.

If you've noticed, I've mentioned mental health and I've mentioned having a healthy mindset. That's because that is where this all begins and comes back to. It's not food that's the enemy, it's you. It's your own brain and emotions controlling every negative thought that filters through your head. Food is just food. The only reason we eat is to fuel our bodies with the energy it needs to help us perform our everyday errands, go to work, run a few miles, or simply stay awake. Food is only there to keep us alive. There isn't a single emotional need for food, so why do we tend to fill voids and mask the emotional wounds with it? Easier said than done, but work towards finding an emotional disconnect between yourself and food. Food is just food. You don't have to give it any more credit than that.

Stop using exercise as a tool to compensate. Don't eat to "run it off later" and don't run so you can "eat it all later." Exercise should never be means for punishment. You should workout because you love it -- the sweat, the challenge, the endorphins -- not for "damage control." If you workout every day because you actually want to, you'll reap emotional and physical benefits. Don't let a calories-in-calories-out mindset control your desire to exercise, because that will take away the joy of working out all together.

Lastly, stop rewarding yourself with food when you've accomplished a goal, finished a project, or made yourself proud. Food isn't something you need to earn (like I mentioned, we need it every day!) so you shouldn't treat it as such. Maybe buy yourself that dress you've been eyeing for awhile instead. Or maybe that purse you'd die to have. There are many things that can be deemed "reward worthy," but food shouldn't be one of those things.

Take a moment and reflect on your relationship with food. How often do you think about food? How much does it control your life? Free yourself from the suffocating grasp that it has on you. Harsh as it may sound, remember that it's not food, it's you. Don't be its prisoner.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

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Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

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