Humans of Agni

Rebecca, Nashville

"Something I’ve really struggled with is not being able to work out like I used to — there are small changes that build, like my joints hurting more each year now as a result of putting a lot of pressure on my body from my college lacrosse days. And that means while I used to be able to run every day, now it’s maybe every other day. With that evolution my diet has also had to change, which can be confusing and hard to keep track of. When I was playing lacrosse in college I never really thought twice about what I was grabbing off the shelf, I didn’t feel like I had to. It’s hard to imagine that time now — I’m so much more thoughtful about what I’m eating. It’s hard to believe that at one point I’d grab a big chocolate milkshake, go out late, have energy for practice the next morning, and not feel sick at all.

Over the last few years I’ve slowly discovered that I have so much more energy when I maintain a balance of healthy fats and carbs. I’ve also found how important it is to be good to my body beyond just the food I eat. To love and appreciate my body, even when I don’t really want to. That makes such a big difference for me. Just going out for a short walk sometimes feels like it fuels me in a big way, and I love treating my body that way.

When I was at my old job all of this was really hard, I was definitely stuck in a different mentality when it came to my food and health. I was so stressed out all the time — my energy and happiness levels were definitely at a low. And I think that when you’re in that place, it’s easy to mix up or feed those feelings into the feeling or need to restrict so you can control something. When I was super stressed out I was both trying to control and also not thinking at all — literally just trying to find something convenient and fast. I didn’t feel like I had the time to do a lot of research and look things up, let alone try to cook a new recipe.I tried to restrict myself from certain foods and then would feel guilty when I broke that. 

I think everyone has their own personal body and health needs, and often we push those aside or just ignore those based on things we read online. It’s still hard to talk about even now, but it’s such a real thing in so many people’s lives so I think it’s important to address.

Now I feel like I’ve really made it a priority to tackle cooking and feeding myself in a way that will make me feel food. I used to be embarrassed that I was so bad at cooking that I didn’t even want to try it. But I think that was just an excuse. I’ve found a few Instagram accounts that have been really helpful and are beginner-friendly. I follow a few of them, save some of the recipes that look good, and then try a new one every now and then. Recent favorites for me have been bowls and tacos. There’s this taco recipe I found with chicken or shrimp and a mango salsa — it’s so delicious and surprisingly easy!

I feel like media feeds so much of the food anxiety we experience, but I’m slowly discovering there are also really helpful and supportive platforms out there, which is amazing.

I’m starting small and building up slowly. And I feel like that’s exactly the right place for me to be."

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