The other day I wrote a post about the difference between healthy and a health crisis waiting to happen. Today I want to focus on what the slippery slope to a health crisis ‘typically’ looks and feels like based on my own experience.
I want to preface this by writing that to date this is the most personal story I have shared about food, my life and body related issues. I’m going to be utterly vulnerable here and say that this is the first time I have cried while writing a blog post.
It is my mission to inspire women who courageously realise they are worth far more than the damage they are doing to themselves. To be there for each and every one of the women who decide one day to say ‘Hell No’ to the BS dietary propoganda they are being swamped with Daily. To be there for the women who realise that there is unfiltered, unregulated shite on the internet that DOES not have their best interests at heart. And by best interests I mean a deep and rich undertsnaidng on whether this ‘propaganda’ is in factgoing to help or hinder you (body, mind and life).
My Healthy Journey turned health crisis
I’m going to map this out in ‘steps’ because from my discussions with many women about health turned health crisis, there’s a typical pattern.
Does my story resonate with you babe? Let’s dive in.
Step 1: One day I decide to get fit and ‘healthy’. I jump onto instagram or facebook, or talk to friends and see that someone is trying ‘fad diet A’. I talk to them about it and decide if it’s working for them, it’ll work for me.
Step 2: Despite ‘fad diet A’ involving a lot of culling (of some of my favourite foods) and huge dietary and life style changes (ramp up the gym I hardly go to anyway, give up coffee and drink lemon water- which I hate) I decide that I want weight loss so much (I’m neive in thinking I can have the ‘fad diet A’ and a great happy life, because I think how happy I am in life is linked to how I look) that the sacrifice is worth it. Go me! (full of gusto- for now).
Step 3: ‘Fad Diet A’ doesn’t really work (it’s a little too hard, but I don’t blame that- I blame myself for not trying hard enough), so I promise to start again, afresh on Monday. Monday comes and I do well until the weekend, where I slip up and drink alcohol. I feel (really) guilty, tell myself I knew I’d stuff up (I always do, I’m stupid like that after all). I (again) promise to try harder next time and in doing so pull the reigns in a little tighter (meaning I try beat the diet by adding my own rules- restricting a few extra things). Come on dammit! I can do this (I’m getting a bit edgy now).
Step 4: I start getting results so I pat myself on the back and mentally pin ‘dieting’ as my new found strength. People start to notice too and tell me ‘I’ve lost weight’ followed by ‘You look good’. I get told I’m ‘glowing’. This makes me feel good and gives me the fuel to keep pushing through. Life is deliciously sweet. I’m one happy chic.
Step 5: Getting a little bored with ‘Fad diet A’. It’s good and all but I need another challenge. It’s become so easy and my weight loss is plateauing (which can’t happen- that’s not a good sign). Decide that ‘Jo Blow’ at the gym is looking good doing a vegan diet and that seems to be ‘popular’ so decide it would be worth trying. Hit up google and find that there is a lot of benefits to going vegan. It looks a little odd, but hell- that won’t stop me.
Step 6: Start the vegan diet. Repeat steps 2-5 with different diets (gluten free, raw vegan, 5:2).
Step 7: Time for change up (again!). Decide I like this vegan diet and having dates with my blender each day is exciting (I mean guessing the horrendous colour of your smoothie creation each day is such a fun game to play right?!). I read something on social media about quitting sugar. Decide I’m terrible with sugar because I eat fruit and other ‘sugar bombs’ like a medjool date. This diet must be for me (I can’t be being naughty now by eating fruit!).
Step 8: Sign up like a bull at a gate for a quitting sugar program. Embark on a 8 week loooong journey. Feels so good to tell people my latest endeavour (people think I’m so strong for doing this). ‘Give up sugar? Wow. That would be hard’. Deep inside I smile. ‘Watch me and watch me do this well’, this new found voice inside my head says. I notice I’m starting to talk to myself in a really nasty way now.
Step 9: During the course we are told to eat fruit. I look at it, stare at it, sizing it up while also staring through it as if to see if it’s about to pull soemthing dangerous on me. Decide it’s too scary and walk away. Come back to it a bit later and decide to ‘be brave’. I take a bite and end up on the bathroom floor cyring. Yes that’s right: Crying over a piece of fruit.
Step 10: The list of cutting out foods continues because of what I now know is ‘fear’; though I say it’s because they are ‘sugar bombs’, ‘have hidden dangers’ are ‘inflammatory’ ‘are bad for your gut’ or ‘mess with your hormones’. That’s how I categorise food now. In fear based groups full of misconceptions, but to me it’s the only way- the right way.
Step 11: Body starts to break down. Period has gone. Skin is getting noticeably red and mottled. Acne starts to rear its ugly head. I fob off the period issues as ‘it has never been regular anyway’ (um, says who?!) and that it’s ‘on it’s way soon’. See this all as a phase that my body is ‘recalibrating’. It’s just getting used to not having ‘poison’ and ‘toxins’ in it. Yeah right sista!
Step 12: Period hasn’t returned for months. Start to worry. Acne is bad. Digestive issues are ruling my life (windy, runny stools, constantly bloated). Always tired. Friends are concerned (and letting me know). I still fob it all off. They are just jealous right?
Want to know the REST? How did I move from MESS to MISSION? Crisis to glowing?
Stayed tuned for part 3 next week. This is another post that will reveal how I healed my life- from getting damn honest with myself and being prepared to face my vulnerabilities and face my ‘issues’. It’s not easy- let me TELL you that now (but you know that). But it changed my life. And I would NEVER have it an other way.
Know someone who would benefit from reading my story? I would be so grateful if you shared this post with your friends. Big love to you for doing so.