Book Recommendation: "It Was Me All Along" By Andie Mitchell
I love books. I love reading. My interests in genre have changed a lot though over the past few years. I used to only download YA dystopian novels to my kindle and ravenously consume them to the point of losing sleep and missing subway stops. I'm not saying I don't still love these books (currently re-reading the Harry Potter series for the 5th time), but I have now expanded my library to include a wide variety of health and wellness options too.
One story I read recently was a memoir by food blogger, Andie Mitchell. It's called It Was Me All Along and it's about her weight loss journey and dealing with binge-eating, body image, and finding a healthy balance. It's a raw, honest account of the struggles she's encountered and how experiences from her childhood to college have impacted her weight.
One of my absolute favorite chapters is also the most terrifying. Andie discusses a time in her life of becoming too obsessed with losing weight, to the point of developing a disordered relationship with food. She mentions how the anxiety of shredding so many pounds influenced her behavior to such an extreme that she withdrew herself from friends and family, avoided social situations which included food, and even broke down over eating meatloaf and potatoes. I didn't want to admit it to myself at the time, but this had also happened to me. In the fall of last year, I hit my lowest weight (probably since middle school), and I was on cloud nine. But the most telling indicator of my toxic obsession was a fall foliage trip I took with friends in Massachusetts.
I wouldn't drink even a sip of wine, I picked up some raw veggies and fruit from the grocery store while my friends ordered burritos, and I even declined to eat at a restaurant and instead ate a salad in the car afterwards. I was convinced that getting off routine, even in the slightest, would derail everything I've worked for, and I would have to share that with my thousands of Instagram followers. While I was still eating enough, and all nutritious foods, the fear of gaining weight from "cheating" consumed my mind like a cancer. What makes me more upset than anything is that my memories of that trip are mostly about my anxiety of food choices rather than just living my life and enjoying a weekend with friends. And you know what? A month later, elections happened, and I was so upset that I binged for months and gained about 20 pounds. And that set off a whole other slew of problems.
The passage in Andie's book that affected me more than anything else was her realization about binge-eating and slowly developing balance. The paragraph I'm referring to reads:
"I began to recognize the danger in attaching too much judgement to the foods I chose. Chocolate cake wasn't 'bad,' carrots weren't 'good,' and Bavarian cream doughnuts alone didn't make me morbidly obese. I was the one who abused the food and gave it character. I was the one who combined them all in massive quantities, eating well beyond fullness. I learned to view food as a neutral entity, not positive or negative."
What a statement. So accurate, so well-said. I think this page alone justifies why I recommend this book. If you want to read someone's perspective about weight loss and the roller coaster of emotions associated with it, I'd grab this one off the shelf.