But, I didn't always think that way.
I've had issues with food for a long time. I didn't have a diagnosed eating disorder but I definitely had eating issues. I would restrict what I would eat, how much I would eat, etc. and not in an "I'm dieting" way.
I have always been an athlete. I started swimming when I was 8 years old and continued until I was a second year in college. In the prime of my swimming career I was swimming 8 times a week at about 2,500-4,000 yards a workout for 10 months out of the year. I needed food to survive, but I still had issues with eating especially in high school. It probably had to do with who I hung out with and the need to fit in. I was not stick thin and tall, I never ever will be tall. I had broad swimmer shoulders and huge legs.
I wish I realized that those shoulders that were "broad" and those legs that were "huge", were "powerful" and "strong". Luckily, my issues with food didn't ruin my swimming career. I do wonder if I felt the way I feel about food now, if I would have performed better. I'm 99% certain that I would have.
After I stopped swimming competitively (I still remember sitting in the car while Mike was getting the required physical and realizing that my swimming career was over), I gained weight. Mike was still swimming and I ate the same amount of food as when I was swimming, but I wasn't. I wasn't really that active and after awhile I started to really hate what I looked like.
I again had issues with food. Restricting what I ate and definitely not eating enough.
Luckily, running and triathlons came into my life. I didn't start this journey to lose weight, I had already lost it albeit in an unhealthy way.
I'd never have accomplished this if I didn't fuel properly
Running and triathlons have done so much more for me than keep me "skinny" and "slim" (I'd actually prefer to be described as strong). It has helped me realize that I NEED food to survive. Everyone who runs with me knows that I am going to ask, "so where are we eating after?". I don't calorie count (luckily I never have done that), but I assume I eat 3,000-4,000 calories a day. I need to if I want my body to perform the way I want it to.
I don't worry about eating a piece of candy or having dessert every once in awhile because I've been in a place where I didn't let myself enjoy those things. That doesn't mean that I don't try to eat mostly healthy, but I also do not deprive myself of any kind of food.
Food has controlled me in the past, I'm not going to let it do that to me again.