Hello! My name is Ashley Rogers and I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I love anything sweet, cheesy, and don’t get me started on Dr. Pepper. But, I’m also desperate for change.
A quick backstory: I’ve always been skinny and have never really had to worry about the food I ate or my weight. Occasionally I would workout but that was it. I was skinny and that was enough for me.
But then in the fall of 2015 when I was in my first year of teaching, because of depression and anxiety, my doctor put me on a low dose of Zoloft. It was like my body completely forgot how to metabolize food, and my weight quickly increased. I was so grateful though for the anxiety and depression to be gone, I just accepted the change.
After the events that unfolded at the beginning of this past school year, see this post, I had more free time and much less stress. I decided to talk to my doctor about tapering off of Zoloft. (It is SO important to consult your doctor for this and that you taper off of an SSRI because the side effects are AWFUL. Even though I started at a very low dose and was only on it less than a year, it was still a slow process full of a lot of headaches, irritability, and fatigue.)
I hoped that since the medicine caused the weight gain, that getting off the medicine would mean a quick drop in that weight. Yeah, that did not happen.
Ready For Radical Change
Today, I’m unhappy with my weight, my overall health, and the relationship that I have with food.
While I am good at eating in moderation, I am not good at eating whole foods. I can be an incredibly picky eater and most of what I pick out is vegetables (I know, I know!). I love carbs in any form, but the truth is, carbs do not love me back.
When I stepped on the scale and saw a number 15 lbs more than my usual weight, tears came to my eyes. I had been struggling with how I looked in the mirror, and now the scale was telling me what I feared. I also have always suffered from irritable bowel syndrome and the symptoms got to a point where they were intolerable and unmanageable.
My super sweet husband held me as I cried and told me how beautiful I am (yeah, he’s pretty much amazing) and offered to help me figure out a diet plan. As kind as his offer was, I knew that a “diet” was not what I was looking for. I wanted a lifestyle change, something that would radically change not just my eating habits, but also the thoughts and emotions I have about food.
Something had to change.
I originally was really interested in trying to complete the Whole30 program; however, with the stress of life as it is, having to be that particular and selective just made me even more overwhelmed than ever! I started to freak out when I thought about the time commitment grocery shopping and extensively reading labels would be, and how nervous I was that I would spend my nights after work slaving away in the kitchen cooking.
Instead of the Whole30, I’m just seriously cutting back one thing at a time. I’m obviously starting with added sugar since that is honestly the one thing that does us absolutely nothing. And because this is probably one of my biggest weaknesses in regards to food.
I’ve felt called lately to take better care of my body. A few weeks ago I remember someone telling me this quote by Elisabeth Elliot, “We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.” Wow, right? How true these words are friends!
If you have a similar story or experience (or words of encouragement), I would love to hear from you! Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!