Changes For The Better – A Quick Talk About My Relationship With Food

Apparently, I was feeling a little wordy this morning as I got working on this post, so I’ve got lots to talk about today. Especially down towards the bottom of the post, but we’ll get to that in a second.

I will say first that this week has really been a pretty darn good week so far. Work has been fairly even-keeled…not too busy, not too slow. We haven’t been too super busy in the evenings, which has been nice. We got some great Baby Tooth updates. And, for whatever reason, I keep finding myself in this calm, content state of zen. It’s sort of weird, actually. I’ll just be sitting at home and suddenly feel so relaxed and happy (despite the fact that I feel like we still have about 1,001 things to do), and I start thinking about all of the things that I’m so thankful for in my life. This is super out of the norm for me…not to say I’m usually a spastic maniac…but it’s just, I don’t know. Different. Is this a pregnancy thing? If it is, I’ll gladly take the positive side effect.

But back to the food, since that’s our usual talk around here. Yesterday included some pretty good stuff, starting with breakfast.

love grown foods hot oats

Love Grown Foods hot oats (now available on Amazon!) in peach almond vanilla mixed with blueberries. Always a great choice for when I’m running late out the door in the morning.

Part of the reason breakfast had to be quick and easy was because I took a little more time on making my lunch yesterday morning.

veggie sandwich

As I was getting ready for work, I realized I was reeeeeally in the mood for a big veggie sandwich. So I slathered two pieces of whole wheat bread with some sun-dried tomato hummus and added mixed greens, provolone cheese, pickles, tomatoes, and cucumber slices.

And in order to prevent the sammy from getting too soggy, I kept the pickles, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a separate baggie and added them once I was ready to eat. It was perrrrfect.

veggie sandwich

I was feeling suuuuuper hungry around lunch and I knew that the sandwich alone wasn’t going to cut it, so I also managed to grab another bag of the hummus popped chips that I raved about recently.

Unfortunately, as good as that lunch was, I felt like it barely made a dent in my hunger (apparently I was making up for Wednesday??). I had to run out quickly after eating, and while I was out I found myself with a sudden, strong urge for a vanilla ice cream cone from McDonald’s.

I know…how odd and random, right?

Thankfully, there’s a Micky-D’s right down the road from our office…

vanilla ice cream cone

So I pulled through the drive -thru, ordered my $1.00 cone, and thoroughly enjoyed the mini guy on my drive back to work. It toooootally hit the spot. Like, I can’t even begin to explain. :)

There were a few other snacks scattered throughout the afternoon, but none of them are nearly as exciting as the dinner Jay and I wound up throwing together last night. Apparently, yesterday was a day of major “gotta have it” cravings, because around mid-afternoon yesterday I could NOT get pasta with alfredo out of my head. Literally…I thought about it all afternoon long.

Thank GOODNESS we had all of the ingredients on hand to make my favorite skinny alfredo sauce.

skinny alfredo sauce

To our bowls of pasta (a random mix of veggie rotelli and regular farfalle) we added some sliced chicken sausages, lots of alfredo sauce(!), and some sauteed broccoli and grape tomatoes.

skinny alfredo sauce

It was heaven.

And I must say, I’ve REALLY been enjoying all of the food I’ve been eating lately. It feels SO good to just eat what I want and not have to worry about how “bad” it is, or any other garbage like that, which used to inundate my brain on a daily basis. I recently found myself looking through a few old blog posts (much older, back in 2010-2011) of mine and some of the things I came across really made me cringe. The things I would say…the way I somehow felt I had to explain food choices if they weren’t “perfect”…the foods I’d eat (or lack thereof)…the extreme exercise I’d do following a day of eating a “treat.”

It was really disappointing to read. But at the same time, it was incredibly eye-opening, and I’m so thankful that I have that documented to look back on now. To see just how much things have changed…and to me, I totally see those changes for the better. Was I thinner? Yes, of course. Was I happier? Not really.

For some of you, maybe you think my eating choices aren’t as “healthy” anymore. If that’s the case, no harm, no foul. We all have our own ways of approaching food and eating, and if our eating habits don’t necessarily mesh, then that’s okay. No judgement here.

I know I’ve mentioned this briefly a couple of times on the blog (and I know I still need to really gather all of these thoughts and share them with you guys…this is just a little snippet that I suddenly found myself thinking about), but I’m really excited to continue this new relationship with food that I have, well beyond pregnancy. Granted, I’m sure some things will change once the pregnancy is over (I’ll be shocked if my cheeseburger obsession continues, but who knows? 😉 ), but I’ll take that as it comes.

To me, life is just wayyyy too short to spend all day worrying about food. I’d rather just enjoy it (and share some of the good stuff with all of you along the way).

What do you guys think?


  1. says

    I’m so glad to hear you’ve been feeling so thankful and at peace lately! That’s so great and you deserve to feel the best.
    Also, I’m happy to hear where you’re at with your food choices. It does seem like you’ve made lots of strides and changes, and as much as that might make you cringe at the old posts, it’s also an amazing thing to be able to look back and realize all the positive changes you’ve made in life and health!
    This was really inspiring to read!

  2. Kathryn says

    I say good for you! I had a bad relationship with food when I was younger. With my first pregnancy, I went crazy overboard at first. With my second, I was more like you are now, I exercised, ate good foods with some not so good foods, and found that I was healthier than I had been in a while. Now I just have to get back to that…

  3. Lauren says

    Such a good post, Courtney…I have been reading your blog for years and I am so encouraged by your new relationship with food! I am the same age as you and I feel sometimes like I’m becoming more at peace with just EATING and not stressing or trying to undo any ‘damage’ with hours or working out…then other times I can’t seem to shake it. I already know that one of my biggest regrets looking back on my 20s is how much time I’ve wasted on being so focused on food, etc. so why can’t I just get over it??? It is so frustrating but again, I am encouraged by where you are now and I think you have such a great balance :) And you look so amazing!!! Looking forward to more on this subject from you!

  4. says

    I have to say that it is SO nice to see how much more intuitive and relaxed your approach to food is. It’s honest and I personally find it much more relatable. Sometimes I find myself judging my own eating habits because of how “perfectly” bloggers seem to eat day-in and day-out and it’s really refreshing to see that you eat ice cream and chips and pasta (real, not spaghetti squash!) sometimes, just like I do. Sure, it might mean you’re a few pounds heavier than you were, but what difference does it make if it keeps you happy and sane? You still eat healthy foods a majority of the time, get workouts in when you can, and it just sounds all-around more sustainable. I fully support this :)
    Sara @ Magia e Pasta recently posted..[Recipe] Poor (Wo)Man’s Pesto

  5. says

    Pregnancy really does have a way of putting food into perspective. You realize you’re nurturing and growing a human being inside of you, and deprivation stops being an option. For me, even 10 month post partum, I still adhere to that attitude and don’t deprive myself anymore. It’s verrrrrrry liberating.
    As for calm and zen being side effects of pregnancy? I don’t think least not with me. I was an anxious mess by 30 weeks and going to L&D every couple of weeks thinking my blood pressure was through the roof because I had pre-eclampsia (I didn’t, but the anxiety *was* making my blood pressure crazy high). So yeah, enjoy the calm and zen! (Maybe if/when I have a second, I’ll adopt that feeling from you)
    Lauren @ Confessions of a First Time Mom recently posted..Attachment Parenting

  6. says

    This is why I love your blog, you’re so real. You show how you’re not some perfect person eating broccoli all day every day. I think it’s easy for bloggers to get caught up in creating the “perfect, healthy meal”, but that probably doesn’t even taste good. I agree that I would rather eat what I want instead of denying myself it, which just leads me to overeat anyway. It sounds like you are in such a happy place in your life! :)
    Ashley @ Life and Fitness recently posted..As Of Lately…

  7. says

    I think you are so right on with this subject. Life is just WAY too short for us not to enjoy it. I think it’s all about balance and there is nothing wrong with indulging a little bit. Usually on the weekends are when I do it but almost every night, I’ll enjoy a little treat after dinner. So happy you feel the same way.
    Karen recently posted..Insta-Thursday

  8. says

    Having a healthy relationship with food is a part of healthy living and so many of us continue to struggle with that concept and continue to think about good food versus bad food. We need to live our lives and enjoy the food that nurtures us (and enjoy the food that doesn’t nurture us so much too!). We are only human and by no means perfect and never will be. So why do we try so hard to be perfect? We compare ourselves to others when we shouldn’t. We need to learn to listen to our own bodies and quit comparing ourselves to others. I love this post and I hope it inspires others to adapt to a more relaxed way of healthy living! Thank you!!
    Melanie @ Beautifully Nutty recently posted..Fudgy Dark Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free)

  9. Karen says

    I actually enjoy reading your blog MORE now that you seem to have a healthier and more “real” relationship with food! I find it easier to relate to you and enjoy reading!!

  10. says

    I have been having a lot of the same ideas…without them being pregnancy induced. :) It has been interesting looking back on what I used to think and do as regards food and exercise, but, unlike you, I have gone to the OTHER extreme. I’m now so much more caught up in choosing the ‘right’ thing, exercise, etc. than I was two years ago, and that makes me sad. I’m working to get back to the place where it’s just enjoyable. Thanks for these comments, no matter how brief–I do not think you are being wordy at all! I’d love to hear even more.
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted..Thoughts on Body Image [An Open Letter]

  11. says

    Courtney, I absolutely love this post and relate in so many ways! I have read your blog for years now and it had always been one of my favorites because you are real.. You don’t try to be someone you aren’t and I appreciate that your blog grows and changes the way you do as well. My food philosophy has changed so much in recent years and I am not a ‘perfect’ eater either. I love food and enjoy indulging, and I am learning to calm my thoughts around food as well. I don’t read blogs that make me feel bad about my meal choices or preach to their readers what they should or shouldn’t be eating. I feel great when I read one of your posts and that’s the way it should be!

    I will continue to follow your blog as long as you continue to write. <3

  12. says

    You GO girl!! Thanks for posting this. I have been through a similar situation to yours. I too had a negative relationship with food and my body. But I think i have come a long way, as you have. I now eat a much more balanced, normal mostly Paleo diet. It is what works for me and makes me feel awesome. And like you, yes I was thinner back then but not nearly as happy and really not even near as confident. I even made a big step yesterday and gave all my old clothes to Goodwill. That was huge! But I thank you for posting this on here today. It’s awesome and I am so happy for you!

  13. Annie says

    I say a big AMEN!! This is why people love your blog. I love this revelation. I’ve learned, rather quickly, that life is entirely too short to be so obsessed with it all. There is entirely too much to enjoy and I find it so sad when people can’t do so. Good for you!

  14. Jennifer says

    Courtney, I have been reading your blog for just over 2 years now and can I say how refreshing your blog has become since you have changed your outlook on food? I am a few weeks behind you in my pregnancy with baby #1 as well, so I love reading your blog. I’m so happy that you have found this new outlook on food, and honestly I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look better! Food is yummy and meant to be enjoyed in balance, and I think you have finally found that! Good luck on your ‘home stretch’ with the pregnancy, and don’t feel too crazy about your 1,394 to do’s, mine is right there with you!

  15. says

    I used to try all sorts of diets and ways of eating, and since I’ve found my balance of focusing on whole foods but not sweating the treats (namely wine and pizza), I’ve been happier than ever. I never think in terms of calories anymore, a feat that once seemed impossible. Now when I get out of balance and my jeans get too tight (like now ;)) I reign it in a healthy way instead of getting angry at myself and going into deprivation.

    You know what my favorite thing that has happened lately though? My body confidence is SO MUCH higher now that I’ve had a baby (ok, a toddler). Not because my body is better (it’s not), but because I truly appreciate what the body can do and I treat myself with much more respect now.

    Anyways, didn’t mean to write a dissertation in your comment section, but it just makes me so happy to see others come to a peace with eating. I struggled with balance for so many years in high school and college and love the place I’ve landed in. Good for you Court! :)
    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) recently posted..What Do You Expect from a Babysitter?

  16. Alexandra says

    Loved this post and could not agree more!! I used to have the same relationship with food and when I look back and think about how many hours of the day I wasted thinking about what I ate, what I was about to eat, when I would get to exercise to burn it off it makes me ill! Its so cliche but I always think if tomorrow was my last day on Earth would I worry about eating this cheeseburger or care that my body wasn’t rock hard? NO! Life is SO fragile and way too short to waste time thinking about those things! Of course I value being healthy but I think that ALL foods can be a part of a healthy lifestyle in moderation! Love your new outlook and glad to hear you will keep it up long after pregnancy!

  17. Diana says

    So happy for you, Courtney! I am expecting twins this fall (!!) and the pregnancy cravings have completely changed the way I eat. I am still struggling to adapt to taste buds and a stomach that are unfamiliar to me. I love reading your blog (as always) and seeing your healthy pregnancy progress. xo

  18. Annie says

    Good for you!! Pregnancy/kids will definitely do that to you! Once you throw the responsibility of caring/setting a good example for another human in there, then everything that seemed so important (i.e. extreme workouts, denying yourself a treat, etc.) before now seems so miniscule! I have a toddler and am lucky if I get two workouts in each week, but it doesn’t matter bc it’s more important that I take him to the park after work then bring him to the gym daycare so I can get a workout in! The 5 extra lbs are totally worth it in the end!

  19. says

    I just want to let you know how much of an inspiration you are to me. I am currently in the process of recovery, and find myself up against a battle to remain unhealthily skinny daily. The truth is, I love how I feel when I eat well and actually fuel my body. Yes, I was tinnier when I was starving myself throughout the day, but I wasn’t happier. I was obsessive, exhausted, moody, scared, and never satisfied. The fact that you went through your own ups and downs and have made it through the toughest times gives me so much hope for myself. Thank you so much for being such an amazing and strong role model :)
    Brittany @ Balance and Bananas recently posted..Anthro OBSESSED.

  20. Lauren says

    Your food choices seem pretty darn healthy to me and have me questioning my food choices during pregnancy! I’ve been guilty of using the pregnancy excuse to eat Poptarts and Little Debbies. I crave bad stuff…def not veggie sandwiches and yogurt!

  21. Olivia says

    I recently have gone through a similar situation although I’m not pregnant. I had been struggling with my approach to food for a while and would do excessive excersise if I ate something “bad.” Gradually I just happened to get out of that mindset for some reason and I can tell my body is happy where it is! I am so much less stressed because I don’t worry about food all day and just try to keep it balanced. Its so nice to hear of all the other people who have changed their approach to food because I think that there are some people who make others (me especially) feel as though I have to be super restrictive in order to be healthy. I’m glad to know you aren’t one of them!

  22. Heather @fitncookies says

    I love what you said!!! Life is too short to just worry about food. I’m so glad you are enjoying your new way with food. I would never think you don’t eat healthy! But in the world of healthy, you still need some indulgences! Congrats on all of this! I can’t wait to hear more :)

  23. says

    Amennnnn, my friend! I’m in a similar place with food right now- eating and enjoying rather than eating and worrying! My eating habits are much laxer than the past, meals aren’t planned, and treats are happening more often than not…and you know what? I’ve really never felt better! The biggest change is that I no longer feel sluggish all.the.time! Part of me thinks that could be due to the reduced exercise intensity, which is much to do with gone worry of having to “burn off” everything extra I ate!

  24. says

    This is such a great post. I read a lot of health and food blogs and I always find it so inspiring when people have a good relationship with food. You’re right, life’s too short to worry all of the time.

    I too have found my attitude towards food has changed drastically. I used to worry all of the time about what I was eating or how much exercise I’d done. Since I’ve started travelling and have had less control over what I can eat (because of what’s available) I’ve been working on becoming more relaxed. It feels good to enjoy food and just feel happy :)

  25. says

    What a great post! You just articulated many of the same things that I’ve been thinking throughout my pregnancy as well. I guess with a little one on the way, it just changes your perspective and priorities. Congrats on this new healthy food relationship!
    Chelsea @ Cardio and Cocktails recently posted..Mount Rushmore

  26. Katie F. says

    Yes! Awesome post Courtney! I think many of us have been there and looking back it’s like….why?! Food is good! Not killing yourself daily on the treadmill is good! I’m loving the approach of fueling my body with healthy, good food (treats too!) and exercise w/the purpose to keep my strong and healthy.

  27. Krystina says

    Thank you for sharing this! I feel like I’m trying to break away from the same habits you had in the past. I really do love food and enjoy trying new things, but I will never allow myself to order or cook anything truly indulgent. And if I do, I feel very guilty and work out or run extra hard the next day. I have been having days, more frequently now, that I just tell myself to shut up and enjoy life. I like dessert and glasses of wine and shouldn’t feel guilty about eating it. I live a very healthy lifestyle and deserve to splurge every now and then. And I have a fiance who loves me for me and I’m sure, would LOVE for me to stop complaining about “feeling fat.”

  28. says

    I get random cravings for McD’s too… but it’s usually for their fries and sweet and sour sauce. Definitely feels good to satisfy that sucker, though.

    And definitely no judgment about your diet not being as “healthy” as it once was, because honestly… I think that obsessing over food and clean eating is actually a lot less healthy than just giving in and going with the flow. I’ve had a lot of the same revelations lately, and when I look back at home much time I used to put into meal prep and planning, it actually makes me cringe. Sure, it’s great to eat healthy, but not to the point where it’s taking over your life. And if experience has taught me anything, it’s that the more time I spent obsessing over food, the less healthy I became. Funny how that works, but I’m super happy that you’re experiencing these changes as well :)
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted... thinking out loud #31 .

  29. says

    First of all, that sandwich looks AMAZING! Second of all, McDonald’s ice cream cones are delicious! They are one of my favorite summer treats :).

    Third…thank you for this post. I definitely find myself struggling with feelings of guilt over making “bad” food decisions, not eating “clean” or “healthy” enough, and when I do not work out “enough.” This is a daily struggle for me, but one that I am trying to work on. You are right. Life is precious and worrying about food should not be such a big deal!! Thank you for the inspiration to give myself a break! :)
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted..WIAW: May 15, 2013

  30. says

    I LOVE this post. Being a reader of yours for a LONG time, I’ve noticed the difference you’ve made in your eating habits; in fact, I’m SO happy for your to have made these changes because it’s something I’m striving for at this moment too. It’s nice to know it IS possible and although it takes time and learning it’s okay to not have “perfect meals”, the outcome is reward itself. If anyone thinks your eats are not “healthy”, they can shove it. Healthy is listening to your body and enjoying food… If you don’t enjoy what you’re eating or punish yourself for eating something, you AREN’T healthy. So proud of you! And although I have a long way to go, I’ve grown a lot since my first posts as well. Progress. :-) <3
    Lauren recently posted..It was a sign.

  31. Viveca says

    This is so interesting to read because I started reading your blog a few months ago, and you really inspired me to try to eat in a more balanced way. I really respect your approach to food – I wasn’t a reader during those earlier years, but since I’ve been reading your blog, I have found that I myself am more comfortable making food choices based on what I actually want and not what I think I should want. You are really an inspiration!

  32. says

    Could not agree more! I too have realized how much time I used to spend a few years ago worrying about making healthy food choices 100% of the time and never getting the chance to REALLY enjoy a “treat” because I was too busy thinking about how I would compensate for it. It’s so ‘free-ing’ to just let it go and truly enjoy food. Now I concentrate on fueling my body the best way I can with healthy food but I know that indulging here and there isn’t going to kill me and certainly isn’t going to instantly add 5 lbs. 😉 So silly.

    I find an incredible amount of truth in this post and can totally relate. Thanks for sharing!!

  33. Heather C says

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post today, as I’m 16 weeks pregnant & like you have always been pretty ‘hyper’ about life in general, worried/anxious/etc yet I’m the opposite now – I still have concerns but I’m completely content knowing, in my case, the God’s in control. It’s the most calming, serene feeling ever and I’m SO grateful to be experiencing it now :)

    I’ve always had a ‘bad’ relationship with food & am thankful that during this pregnancy I’ve basically just relented to listening to my body. I can only eat until I’m full instead of gorging myself because something is good, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I pray that continues after baby, I’ve managed to not gain not even 10 pounds yet even though the items I’m eating are not the healthiest, moderation has kept everything in check. It’s been fascinating to finally understand hey the body uses what it needs and you won’t gain weight if you just listen and let it do it’s ‘thing’. It’s liberating, right?

    I want our child to have a really healthy relationship with food, so I’m praying these habits continue – same for you =)

  34. Nicole says

    First off, it’s always refreshing to hear a woman’s perspective on food and I think your brave to admit all the feelings you feel on your blog. Secondly, good for you! I’m so happy your relaxed and feeling good during a big time such as pregnancy. I have recently developed a better relationship with food and exercise (and I’m not pregnant, but still) at 25. I think for some women it takes awhile to develop this certain comfort and love for their body. Hope the best for you!

  35. says

    Thanks so much for sharing Courtney, it’s been so fun to follow your pregnancy! So excited for you and for your little man to get here!

    I couldn’t agree more with what you had to say and I think finding a healthy relationship with food is something that a lot of times is really a work in progress your whole life, especially as a woman (and I can imagine even more so as a blogger who’s blog has a emphasis on healthy eating). I really share similar thoughts to you that food is an awesome part of life and not something to stress about all the time, because that’s just silly. At the same time, I’ll go through periods where I’m just like “who cares? indulge!” and I’ll eat a lot of heavy foods/sweets for a few weeks and then I’ll see the negative effects in my body (not just weight gain, but lack of energy and just how you feel when you eat a lot of food that’s not super nutritious) and then I realize I need to reign it in a little and bring more fruits and veggies into my life :) But if we go out to a restaurant that’s known for something like mac & cheese I’m never going to be that girl that’s like oh none for me thanks, I’m just getting salad–I truly love and appreciate good food so I want to enjoy it! At the same time my husband and I do travel a lot so I do feel like I’m constantly trying to find a balance between enjoying myself and making sure I’m getting the nutrition I need. But honestly, I think a lot of it boils down to growing up and realizing there are bigger issues in the world outside of yourself, because I think that constantly stressing about food is really kind of small-minded and selfish. I know because I also used to be a lot more fixated on what I ate, how much I weighed and it was a very me me me attitude. But now that I’m a little older I kind of feel like if I want to eat a cookie, I’ll eat a cookie, if I don’t, I won’t. Same goes with working out. Granted I do care about health and fitness and I want to take care of my body, but I also want to focus on being a good friend, loving my family, and caring about larger issues in the world beyond just what my own bathroom scale says because at the end of the day, whether I’m 5lbs lighter or heavier is really not that big of deal in the scheme of things.

    Whew, longest comment ever. Ha :)
    Jane {In the Pink and Green} recently posted..What a Week

  36. says

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re at a great place now…I can relate to what you said about food consuming your thoughts in the past…I deal with that often now and I’m working on changing that because, just like you said, being happy and truly enjoying life is just so much more important.
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..Judgment

  37. says

    I totally agree. The same thing happened to me during my pregnancy. I was focused on overall healthy eating but wouldn’t avoid snacks or sweets like I normally would prior to pregnancy. I also found that my huge belly limited my portion size –>another healthy bonus. And after pregnancy, I have found that my eating habits are now similar to how I handled food during pregnancy, which I think is much healthier and balanced than before pregnancy. . .even though I thought I was being super healthy before getting pregnant. And now I weigh less than I did before I even got pregnant as a result. . . I think it also has something to do with chasing a toddler around. . .;)
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted..Running wardrobe (+ Feetures! giveaway!)

  38. Carolyn says

    I agree w Karen above. I am LOVING your blog now that everything isnt “healthified’ and ‘light’ and ‘suagr free’. To be honest, I stopped reading for a while because I couldn’t agree with those types of food. Those things can be far worse chemical-wise, than it we were to eat the ‘real’ food in a proper proportion. I came back just as you annouced you were pregnant (yay!) and I loving your approach. Congrats on everything!!

  39. Krystan says

    Good for you Courtney! I think your choices are great – well balanced and you get plenty of fruits, veggies, and proteins, but you aren’t afraid to splurge just a little. I know some of it can pregnancy and not having to worry as much right now, but I also think its a great mentality to continue after. We can’t indulge 24/7, but we shouldn’t feel guilty about satisfying a craving either. I think sometimes we become too obsessive about healthy eating and I don’t think that is healthy for us either. I’m a big fan of moderation instead of abstinence!

  40. Tara C. says

    GREAT post! and thank you for sharing. I have no doubt that your honest words will help many people.

  41. says

    It is really SO refreshing to hear from a healthy living blogger who is actually healthy! I’m sick of all of the food restricting, the excuses for treats, etc. that I see on some of the blogs I read. You are eating intuitively and it is just great to read a fresh and unique perspective from someone.
    Trixie recently posted..Update

  42. says

    It is so nice to hear you say what a peaceful place you are in at the end of your pregnancy. Pregnancy is supposed to be a wonderful time in your life and I am glad you are enjoying.
    Like you I have had my issues with eating and food in general. I am definitely at a different place in life than I have ever been and I am so much happier. It is much nicer not looking at food as the enemy. Being at peace with eating is a wonderful thing. This is such a beautifully written post. Thank you for sharing. :)
    Renee @ Fit For Motherhood recently posted..27 Weeks Pregnant – Glucose Test Results

  43. says

    I completely agree. Recently, I’ve gained about 5lbs. due to some birth control issues, and I’ve been shocked to realize a few things. I actually feel better, I think less about my weight, and much more content with life. If the only thing I have to trade for feeling that way is 5lbs. then I will definitely take that deal!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Keep Moving Forward

  44. says

    Amen!!! Such good points. And luckily for me, I’m in a similar place –I eat food that I want to eat. Simple as that!

    What’s funny though, is that I think because I am more relaxed about it, I am MORE in tune with my body, so my body is actually healthier (and I was the most fit right before pregnancy) than I’ve ever been in my life–even more so than when I was counting every calorie/obsessive. Which to me, simply goes to show that our bodies are smart-and that ‘fun’ foods should be enjoyed. Life is WAY more enjoyable when we’re not obsessing about food!
    Annette@FitnessPerks recently posted..So You Want to be a Fitness Instructor…

  45. says

    I completely agree with you, Courtney! You are in such a positive time of your life – you should relish in it! It would be a waste to spend it worrying every moment about what you are and aren’t eating. Good for you!
    Steph @ StephSnacks recently posted..WIAW

  46. Shannon says

    I think your new relationship with food is great! You’re a beautiful girl, and you shouldn’t stress about what you eat. You maintain a great balance between healthy eating and working out. When you look back on these years, you’ll be happy you enjoyed them with your family and friends, instead of locking yourself up in a gym or spending your time worrying about what you’re eating. Kudos to you!: )

  47. says

    I’m so happy you shared this with us!! Frankly, I think your eating choices are “healthier” now, since you now have a much better relationship with food. Sure, calorie-wise maybe they’re not so healthy, but in terms of your outlook, I’d say it seems like this is the “healthiest” you’ve been in a while! This is something we all need to remember, so thank you again for sharing it with us! :)
    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats recently posted..WIAW #50 (holy cow- fifty?!)

  48. says

    The joys of blogging…I cringe at my photos rather than my words from older posts! Yikes! I think beyond the food it’s the fact that you’re more relaxed and don’t feel others are judging you; hopefully it’s because your more self confident. You still live a pretty darn healthy live, incorporating good nutritious eats and a little of what you fancy and that’s what it’s all about! Power to you :)
    Shel@PeachyPalate recently posted..More millet!

  49. says

    I couldn’t agree more, and I’m so happy you’re feeling that way. I suppose we should eat the food we enjoy and the food that makes us feel good, because a lot of the time, those are the foods that our bodies need! Your last statement that life is way too short to be worrying about food all the time really rings true to me. Thanks for sharing!
    Olivia @ Liv Lives Life recently posted..Thursday Thoughts

  50. says

    I love your outlook on food! I am trying to become more like this myself. I have worried too much about trying to eat perfectly healthy all of the time for far too long. I am also learning not to go crazy if I don’t have time for a workout one day. Life gets busy, and I don’t want to let working out control my life. Thanks for sharing this post!

    Oh, and I have made this alfredo sauce before, and it is so good!!

  51. Stacey M. says

    A sincere thank you for sharing (some) of your thoughts about how your perspective has changed in the past year. I have been waiting for this post! I too lived a life very similar to yours in the past – what started out as an attempt to make myself healthier ended up being the worst 4 years of my life. It saddens me to even think about how I treated myself back then, not to mention the family members who tried to help me countless times. I am SO thankful I am no longer living that life – I was completely unhappy no matter how much weight I lost. I don’t think I’ve ever been as unhappy as I was back then – it is NO way to live, that’s for sure. I look forward to your next post on this topic – it’s one I can truly relate to.

    I have been reading your blog for almost two years now and I can honestly say that I enjoy reading more now than ever before.

  52. Juile says

    I love your approach to food! I find myself doing the same lately, try to keep it balanced and throw in the good stuff when I can, but if I want to order a burger AND fries, I’ll do it! Everything in moderation. I used to be a crazy control freak and yes, like you while I was thinner, I wasn’t happier. I am much happier now a few lbs heavier and free to eat cookies. :)

  53. says

    I think this is such a great post! It is really hard sometimes to find that balance between being happy with eating food and happy with yourself. I still struggle with this sometimes, but in the end, if I feel that I am being healthy overall, I can’t be mad about having an extra serving of nachos. 😉
    Alysia @ Slim Sanity recently posted..Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

  54. says

    I’ve kind of had the same epiphany this year too. I no longer beat myself up too much if I have that bowl of ice cream after dinner because I want it. I eat so healthy the majority of the time, I don’t need to worry about “working off” any treat foods the next day. It all sort of balances out in the wash, so to speak. I think running races and training for half marathons have taught me to appreciate my body and fuel it right to perform, but don’t be too restrictive. Too much of anything isn’t good. Bravo for learning to have a healthier relationship with food. That’s a wonderful attitude to have going into motherhood. You’ll be a wonderful example for baby tooth and future baby tooths (teeth?…ehhh) especially if you have a daughter.
    Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian recently posted..WIAW #52: A Day in The Life {What I Ate Wednesday}

  55. says

    It’s always great to read something like this. I’m so glad that you are finding a better relationship with food (one where food is not going to be the biggest and most stressful relationship in your life). I used to have an eating disorder and my relationship with food was like any other abusive one… it would make me feel bad, make me feel guilty, consume my mind, yet I would still go back to it for comfort. Glad you are seeing your body as more than just something to make clothes look nice. You are nurturing and growing a PERSON in your belly :)

  56. Julia says

    I think it’s awesome that you are learning to have a healthy relationship with food. Food definitely serves its purpose as a fuel source, but it’s also so much more than that. I’m studying to become a dietitian, and one of the main things they always teach us is that there are no good or bad foods. We just need to have a healthy relationship with food and eat well most of the time. It’s really neat that you share your story, especially since you are still promoting a healthy lifestyle overall. I love your blog, and that includes the recipes!

  57. Amanda says

    Congratulations Court! I for one love your new approach to food. It’s so healthy, and honestly your ease and happiness shines through your posts even more! As long as you fuel your body well but have room for treats, and don’t obsess over food, I think you’ll have a great relationship with food. Go you!

  58. says

    I love that you have a new mindset about food! I think I had a similar change when I was pregnant. I haven’t felt guilty about my food choices in years, but I did still have the tendency to count calories. It’s very freeing to stop doing the numbers in my head. Although if I’m honest, I still sometimes accidently revert back to my old way of thinking!
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Addie Grace: Future Supermodel

  59. says

    Firstly, your veggie sandwich looks awesome! That is totally something I would eat!

    I think your new relationship with food is great! I think it’s important not to deprive yourself of foods you enjoy and treat yourself sometimes. You only live once, right?
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted..Green Protein Smoothie

  60. says

    I love this post Courtney. Thank you for sharing. However, I have a perspective where I feel like I am right in the middle of where you used to be to where you are now and I can’t seem to come out on ther side. I have come a long way from where I used to be however, I know where I want to be with my relationship with food and body image but I am no exactly there yet…I know this will come with time, growth and experience but I am just there yet.
    I am long time dedicated reader, everyday even….You are so gorgeous on the inside and out and you are going to be such a wonderful mum. All the best and I am definitely happy and even proud of your new found approach. xx

  61. says

    I’ve just been going through this switch over the last 1-2 months. I noticed one of my readers recently left a recovery center for an ED which made me think…I REALLY hope that my bad habits/calorie counting/”bad food” talk/over exercising, etc didn’t spark anything negative in her. That in turn made me realize, why am I worried about her having a healthy relationship with food and being happy but not myself? And then bam…I had a double dip of rocky road ON a cone the next day, didn’t feel bad and never looked back. It’s still a bit of a struggle, but it’s SO freeing to not have to totally stress out about calories and micronutrients. Long (well short) gone are the days of eating soup for dinner because I didnt have enough calories “left”!

  62. says

    I’m with you, Court.

    I never had a horribly unhealthy relationship with food, but I worked hard to lose weight a few (several, actually) years ago, counted calories and tracked my workouts. I limited my sweets, snacks and alcohol and considered it “bad” when I overindulged or didn’t work out two or three days in a row.

    But now, at 25 weeks pregnant, I have new view of food. I’ve remarked to my husband several times that it’s so freeing to eat what I want, when I want (when I’m hungry) and not associate food, workouts and guilt automatically. Sure, I don’t make the healthiest decisions. Yes, I eat my fair share of ice cream or snack on large bowls of cereal. And sure, I have more carbs than veggies some days. But I love that I don’t have to count calories or track workouts, that I’m eating more intuitively and that I just move on a regular basis.

    Do I miss my thinner, often-running/training for a race self? Absolutely. But I don’t miss the stringency of all that.

  63. says

    The reason your blog is one of my favorites to read is because you’re so REAL about the foods you eat. You indulge in dessert, you go out to eat Chipotle (OMG MY FAVORITE) and you aren’t “afraid” of any food groups. I can’t tell you how many blogs shy from carbs and only have low-cal fat free no sugar desserts, and those are the ones I stop reading. I love love LOVE the way you’ve been eating (I feel like that sounds so weird) because it shows how you’re a real human just like the rest of us :)

  64. Kristen says

    I absolutely LOVE hearing your about relationship with food & how its shifted. Every little snippet you share inspires me that someday I can get to that point! I find it all so inspiring & so freeing! & the crazy thing is, when you’re on the other side of it – its so scary! “What will I look like if I eat what I want, How will I feel, Will other people notice?” But reading you everyday makes me realize that you can have a happy & healthy relationship with food.
    Thank you so much for sharing – Thanks Courtney!

  65. says

    I’m always reading but often can’t comment since I’m on my phone. Plus with all the CRAP we have going on. Anyway, had to make a special trip at night to the computer to say how happy I am for you to be at this place. When I was pregnant was when I first started seeing a more balanced approach to eating. It set such a great foundation. there were times after birth that I would let old thoughts creep back in when trying to “lose the baby weight” or soemthing, but then I always find myself back to the balance. I have no doubt you will too!
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Fit Friends

  66. Jessie McLaughlin says

    Yay Courtney! I have been a nurse for a long time and I love to see the ah ha moment with anything that helps the person feel better about themselves! We have made food a bad guy and it is not! I hope your love affair with food continues! Enjoy!

  67. Holly says

    Thank you so much for this post! I actually find your blog more relatable and inspiring now that you eat like you do. And believe me, you still eat VERY healthy and balanced!

  68. says

    So happy to read this today Courtney! Your style of eating right now is amazing – you eat what you want to eat, and you move on. That’s how it should be! I know that people get too obsessed over what they eat and how much they should exercise to ‘make up for it’, especially in the HLB environment. But you’ve gotten past that, and it’s so admirable. Keep on doing what you’re doing – you’re really representing what healthy living is about!

  69. says

    I’ve been a long time follower of your blog, and I have definitely noticed a huge change with the way you talk about food. Since you’ve becoming pregnant, you seem happier about what you eat, and more accomplished when you workout. When you talk about these things, it seems less like the mentality of “I ate bad which is why I’m working out” or “I had a bad day which is why I’m eating a burger.” Your approaches now seem totally normal, healthy, and no-pressure attitude. I’ve actually enjoyed your blog more now, because there is no shame if you skip a workout, and you celebrate the little treats in life (like that ice cream cone!) I think the fact that you can acknowledge your previous posts is what will make you such an incredible mother, the fact that you can see you used to have an unhealthy mentality when it came to food, and now you can step back and change for the better.

    You are truly incredible and inspiring.
    Georgia @ Trying Something New recently posted..What I Ate (in Toronto) Wednesday

  70. says

    I think you’re real and realistic and healthy- you’re balanced and it’s so comforting to read your blogs. You’re a great role model for women on healthy eating and I hope you can keep this after pregnancy- definitely lovin’ it!
    Bek @ Crave recently posted..Friday Favourites 17/5

  71. says

    I am so happy you shared this. Especially in blog world people can obsess about each thing they eat throughout the day and it is so tiring. I enjoy eating healthy and try to make good food choices but sometimes I just want a huge bowl of bad for you ice cream and thats ok. Life is short. Everything in moderation :)
    Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Friday Favorites

  72. Whitney says

    So happy you have found your balance! Are you nervous at all about losing the baby weight? Have you given it much thought? Just curious! :)

  73. says

    Like I am definitely glad you have found a better relationship with food. But…i do think that when you do have the baby, you should start slowly getting rid of unhealthy foods and focus on being healthy for not only you but for the baby because that IS healthy. Baby’s future eating habits come directly from the parents. I’m just saying. But you can do whatever. I’m glad you feel happier though and better. AND I so need to make that chicken looks SO GOOD!
    Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake recently posted..Eleven Questions Survey

    • says

      Hmm… I respectfully disagree. A mother’s ENTIRE lifestyle (environmental exposures, thoughts, mood, diet, exercise) impacts their offspring’s genome and dictates epigenetic changes. From what I see, Courtney’s diet is super healthy, providing both her body AND mind with nourishment. Anxiety, food stress, and disordered eating tendencies put the fetus at a MUCH greater risk for adverse outcomes than a few bowls of ice cream. Not to mention risks for the mother associated with even a minor calorie restriction (which would likely result if you ate only “clean” fruit/veg/lean protein in the later months- you’d fill up too fast with your expanding bump on these low calorie foods- not good!). I have never read anywhere in the scientific literature that a little (re: moderate) sugar/indulgence during pregnancy will harm the baby. After all, I would venture to say that the majority of the greats in the world today (Olympians, Nobel Prize winners, etc) all had mother’s whose diet was not OMGclean. Just my 2 cents 😉
      Lauren @The Homeostatic Mindset recently posted..Too enjoyable

      • says

        Courtney, I was just putting in my thoughts. I personally think that icecream and lots of boxed foods and the delicious baking you do just isn’t really that healthy. But thats me. I really didn’t mean to make what I said sound bad or anything :(

        And Lauren, I’m coming from my own experience, my parents grew up eating horribly because their parents did. My dad talks to me about it all the time. My mom and dad (around the time I was 10) started eating healthy, less sugar, and cheat every once in a while, and now we all (four kids) just live a happier healthier life knowing we are doing our body and digestive system a favor. I had no idea what healthy was as a little kid. And I just wish more kids grow up knowing. That’s all.
        Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake recently posted..Eleven Questions Survey

        • Courtney says

          Audrey, I appreciate your thoughts and thank you for sharing them, but I’m going to have to disagree with you. Your original comment made it seem like you don’t think I’m being healthy…and if that’s how you feel, that’s fine. I DO agree that eating “lots” of the items you mentioned can be excessive, and yes, subsiding on those alone would be unhealthy…but since I tend to enjoy some of these things in moderation, I don’t see that as unhealthy at all. There’s no way I would stop eating something such as ice cream once I have a child, because I would want them to grow up knowing that it’s a food that can be enjoyed and not something “off limits.” I think once a food is labeled that way, it only causes more harm than good…at least in my experience.

          I fully intend to educate my child(ren) on the value of nutrition by incorporating both healthy, wholesome foods, as well as treats such as ice cream which can (and should, in my opinion) be enjoyed in moderation. I would never want to bring up a child to make him think he had to eat “clean” all the time.

          It appears as if we have different opinions on the subject, and that’s okay.

          • Karly says

            I completely agree with you Courtney! I want my kids to see food as food. I don’t want them worshipping food because they feel they shouldn’t eat it. I want my kids to enjoy all different kinds of foods including foods that are less nutritious. I believe it would be much worse to pass down the diet mentality and disordered eating. I never want my kids to go through that!
            I love your blog now more than ever! I worried about you when you were eating so little and working out so much. I am so happy for you that you are embracing a true healthy lifestyle now! You are an inspiration to all!

  74. says

    There’s something about becoming a mother that really makes you realize what’s important in life. And it is NOT how many calories are in an ice cream cone/slice of pizza/whateva. I’m so happy to see you so happy :)
    Nicole @ Curly Mommy recently posted..Because you can

  75. Katie says

    I feel like you took all the words in my head and put them into this blog post. I’m so happy for you and your journey with food. Being pregnant taught me a lot about eating and food. I also learned it’s okay to eat treats and “bad” food once in a while. I look at eating now so differently and get so excited because I have no restrictions and listen to my internal cues.

  76. Carly says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I find it really inspiring to hear this shift. I find that I have been going through very similar patterns of eating myself. Food affects people in different ways. But it is most important to be happy. We cannot see food as just a way to survive – it is meant to be enjoyed as well. How anyone defines their relationship with food is a challenge. It’s really difficult to make it a healthy one and at the same time indulgent. Feeling guilty after eating something decadent is so common to many of your readers on this blog as well, I’m sure. Many women struggle with this, and it is definitely something that is unique to each person. Most importantly, finding the balance between the two is what you have done – and you should be so proud of that! It sounds like a silly ‘congratulations’, but I really believe that after all you have gone through (dating back to your history), it is well deserved!

  77. says

    I’ve jumped onto the blogging bandwagon a bit late, but have loved having such an amazing archive of inspirational blogs like yours to catch up on! I have been reading some of your beginning posts, and it reminds me so much of myself right now — my two sisters and I just started a blog,, and it’s given me a whole new outlet for expressing my passion for health, nutrition, fitness, and love for friends and family.
    I wanted to thank you for being so honest, genuine, and brave in your blogging. Your love for life is infectious :).
    Congratulations on your nearing due date :)!
    I’m also so sorry to hear about your loss; thank goodness you and your family have each other as such a strong support system!


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