Balancing french fries and skinny thighs

So I realized lately that it’s been almost a year since I had french fries.

Almost an entire year.

I used to be that girl who could eat and eat and eat and never gain weight. You know, that girl everyone hates. And then, in the post-college years, that changed a bit. I feel like I might be in danger of pissing off some readers, so, here’s my daily disclaimer: I wasn’t fat, by any means, but neither was I comfortable with how I looked and how I felt.

Last year around this time, I made some changes, cutting out a lot of starches and exercising more. I did lose a little weight, but the biggest change has been that I suddenly don’t have the need to eat every two hours or so. Seriously, I would eat and then be starving just a couple hours later. Now I am doing a better job feeding my body things that it can use instead of eating pretzels all the time because I think they’re an okay snack (after all, they’re low in fat, so what’s not to love? Apparently a lot of things). I feel a lot better, and I have more energy. Looking better is just a nice benefit. And I’m fitting into clothes I thought were lost to me forever, so that’s exciting stuff.

It’s interesting to me to think about the balance. I think I have a fairly healthy body image compared to a lot of my friends. I have never had an eating disorder (except maybe overeating). So my parents did a good job there for sure. But I was allowed to just eat whenever I wanted, which led me to eat more when I was tired or upset, or just because I was bored. If we have kids, I want to help them learn about making good food decisions at an earlier age. But how do you achieve that, especially with girls, without making them paranoid about everything they put in their mouths?

I think more about what I eat now, but I am also eating better. I do miss the fries from time to time, but I don’t crave them like I used to. (I mean, I gave up fries one year for Lent. That’s how much I love them.) And I haven’t cut out everything that I love. I’m trying to find that balance between loving food and eating healthful foods. The balance between looking and feeling good without turning mealtimes and snacktimes into a battle or something to be feared. I don’t want to overthink the eating, because I think that’s taking things too far. But I am becoming more comfortable with my new eating patterns, and I am trying to make good decisions.

And, I’m waiting for a very special occasion to break my french fry fast.

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