Old Eating Habits

Thinking back on high school eating and exercise habits.


I never realized how daily calisthenics in gym class and a few other key factors really affected my ‘natural’ slimness in high school.

I took it for granted.

Looking back I think part of it is that someone else had control of that. They told me I had to go to gym class. And with a few eye rolls I had to do jumping jacks, situps, pushups, burpees, go to the weight room (Tuesdays and Thursdays), or run a certain number of laps.

Is that why people have such success with trainers? Because someone is telling them what to do?

My eating habits and height also contributed.

I know I had poor body image, but I don’t ever think I had an eating disorder in high school. For breakfast I usually had a banana or nothing at all. It’s not that I was limiting calories, it was more, I didn’t want to go poop. Especially at school.

Eating meant possible gas, stomach pains, embarrassment. I would need to leave class and announce it to the world. Would the teacher even let me leave?

Going in a public bathroom where the mean bitches could be mean (I don’t even know what would happen, but I had a good enough imagination).

Lunch was almost always less than $1. Growing up my Dad was very very frugal. I was not the kid with lunchables, pacific suns, hot lunches, or anything similar.

If it was fun we probably got it at Aldi so the off color, off branding, off flavor was nothing to be proud of. Oh you have Gushers?? I have these grey oozers that barely have any fruity corn syrup in them.

So, I never asked my Dad for money and there wasn’t always school appropriate things to take for lunch or I didn’t want to.

I grew up putting half of my money into savings and the freedom to spend the rest. It wasn’t much, but the ‘fun’ half went towards school lunches, and anything else. Daily lunches averaged around $1.  75¢ for a bagel with cream cheese and 25¢ for a milk.

Hardly any calories. Certainly no nutrition.

Day in. Day out.

Dinner was probably the best meal of the day, but first there was post school snacking—which I only realize while typing this that, that was more likely my lunch. I would make a sandwich, have chips, or eat leftover coffee cake on the counter. Interesting.

Dinner was usually a meat of some sort and a frozen vegetable. Our freezer, we had three of them, were filled with ice cream, bags of Aldi frozen vegetables, and meat.

The best meals my Dad made were crockpot chickens with carrots and potatoes. Sometimes even celery. They were pretty well rounded and always tasty.

And I always had cottage cheese. Good old cottage cheese.

So, I think I naturally fluctuated between restricting and binging, but I don’t think in a completely unhealthy way?? But I don’t know. It’s a hard thing to have perspective on.

Any binging I did was usually in the summer when my friend and I would walk from our East side homes the 2+ miles across town to Kiss the Sky and somewhere along that journey we would stop at a 7-11, White Hen Pantry, or gas station and pick up a Squirt or Cheetos—both if I was lucky.

I was and am still proud of my ability to put away a bigger bag of Cheetos. The crunch sensation, the cheese, the SALT, the leftover coating on my fingers. I still haven’t found a vegan snack as satisfying. But I gave up Cheetos long before I was vegan.

There was often a big snack after school and that’s probably because my lunches weren’t big.

I wonder how many calories I consumed back then on average??

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