Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Thin Line Between Healthy and Obsessive

I haven't blogged at all this week. I haven't been on since last Friday! Bad blogger! I was traveling Monday and Tuesday, and although I had post ideas, I just didn't have the extra time to write them. And this post has been sitting open all day and I haven't written a thing until 5:30pm. Oops. But, on to the post ...

As I get further into this journey of healthy, clean eating, I am starting to wonder if I'm being healthy or starting to get obsessive. I think that there are things I do that border on obsessive. I want to think these behaviors are just healthy, but at the same time I worry a little bit. I don't want to start having an unhealthy relationship with food.

Last weekend my parents were in town. We went out to eat at a local restaurant that I love, and I ordered my favorite dish - a pasta dish with grilled chicken, andouille sausage and creole cream sauce. Then, because it was my mom's birthday, the staff sent over this delicious chocolate cake with whipped frosting, chocolate sauce oozing out of it and topped with toffee crunch. Wow, it was a wonderful dinner! However, once I got back home, I felt incredibly guilty over what I had ate. I beat myself up over it. Over one meal!

I track everything I eat. I weigh everything to make sure I only eat a portion size, no more. MyFitnessPal has been set at 1,200 calories for a year now and I was sticking to only that amount of calories. Not even eating back any exercise calories, and I burn around 450 to 500 calories six days a week currently doing cardio, plus doing weight training. I was only netting around 750 calories most days - probably not good. Also, I've feeling exhausted during and after my workouts, which I know isn't normal. Workouts used to energize me!

On Sunday, I spent the majority of the day doing research on how many calories I should consume. I went to numerous sites and did all the calculations based on my current weight, what I need to eat to maintain it, and was just amazed at how many calories I should be consuming. Most sites put me at around 2,000 calories! MyFitnessPal still puts the calories way lower than what most sites told me and I don't know how many calories I should really consume. 1,400? 1,700? 2,000? However, for right now I'm just trying to get my mind wrapped around the fact that I need to eat more. It's a struggle for me to go over that 1,200 mark. I freak out when my calorie count is over that. I know I need to eat more to maintain my weight, not put my body in starvation mode, and become the healthy, fit person I want to be, but I just can't get over the mindset of only allowing 1,200 calories. 

I think the majority of what I do is healthy. I focus on eating fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and grains, and I avoid processed foods, added sugar and cut back on dairy. All of that is good, but is the rest of it? Is it normal to weigh every thing you eat? Or constantly track every single bite of food? Is it healthy to feel guilty over eating pasta and cake on occasion? Or not eating ice cream ever because of the guilt I would feel? I don't the answer, but I know I'm struggling with it. I don't want to become obsessive, or have an unhealthy relationship with food. I want to be able to enjoy food while filling my body with healthy nutrients, but also allow myself to eat those "unhealthy" foods in moderation. 

So where is the line between healthy and obsessive? Have I crossed it??

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