I was inspired to write this post after meeting a really sweet woman on the web last week, Jessica Scheer (go follow her!). We met after I posted a message to Marie Forleo’s B-School page about my new business idea and she was really supportive. We started sending messages back and forth she told me more about herself and her goals; she wants to be “empowering ladies in their 20s to think BIG and nourish their bodies with great food”. It got me thinking about how I ate in my twenties and how her coaching could have been of great use to me, especially in my mid twenties.
In my early twenties when I was still an undergrad and running competitively I was relatively well balanced.
I said relatively!
I was running a lot of miles a week, and by time my junior and senior years had rolled around my body had gotten used to the strain. The food I needed to take in to make me perform well enough had me eating all the time, I rarely missed meals, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining hall all the time. The only semi negative thought I have about my early twenties and my habits is about exactly what I ate. Perhaps if I had paid better attention maybe I could have had more nutrients that would have helped me sleep and perform better. But then again, with all the stress of college, being on the team, a part-time job and all the boys I dated, I really don’t think adding another stress to my life would have helped me that much. I never shied away from junk and ate a lot of tootsie rolls and gummy bears. I was super obsessed with the Big Kat kitkat bars one year, they were kind of my life blood during long and late editing sessions. I never felt guilt or ever thought much about what I ate in terms of calories, I just knew if I was hungry, I’d eat. If I was really hungry I’d add a salad and a milkshake. Life was great, my metabolism and the amount I exercised burned everything up.
Drinking away the wages
My mid-twenties were a different story. Starting grad school and living in a house where I had to start paying my own rent and other real life expenses was tougher than I expected. I was psyched to get a real job in the fall semester of grad school, but did not realize how little I was being paid for all the responsibilities I was given. Granted, I was greener than a lima bean, so they owed me very little, and were taking a big chance by hiring me. I spent a lot of money drinking my calories and eating bar food because that’s what I did in order to socialize. I do have to give a little credit to my awful mostly selfish boyfriend at the time, he and his cousin would cook meals and often include me in the count since I was over there a lot (they lived together, oh boy that’s a whole other story…). They would cook, I would take my boyfriend out for meals. As I mentioned I was not very good with money. I didn’t eat a lot at that time, I started living on pasta and butter when I was left to my own devices, so the quality of the food I was eating was pretty low. I’ve always been pretty intuitive with hunger, and never ate more or less than I’ve needed, however WHAT I was putting in my body was more of the problem. Also I’d skip meals on occasion but more because I was drunk and it was too late, more snacking versus real meals.
salad, chicken and wine! So classy when San came to visit after I moved into my studio apartment
In my late twenties, I started to get a little more mindful. Sure I still indulge in drinking, eating cupcakes, brownies, ect, but I’m also thinking about switching up the pastry for the fresh fruit, or ordering a salad instead of French Fries. My experiment with the Paleo Diet paid off in some ways because it helps me know that I can actually cook well and quickly! While my husband is usually the one who makes the meals in our house (he’s a vegetarian) I plan on finding some really great new recipes to add into our routine and hopefully share more of the cooking responsibilities now that I’ll be home. I’ve gone from being able to eat everything and anything I wanted because I ran so much, to going through a few years of self destruction through drinking and no exercise, to now seeing the bigger value in nutrition and knowing that if I’m going to get stronger and faster it’s going to play a larger part now that I’m older.
Have you always been mindful of the food you eat?