I’ve made it no secret that what started as an innocent diet to ‘shift some stubborn weight’ turned into a full blown obsession with healthy eating which you can read more about here.
My mind was cluttered with thoughts of food: What I wanted to eat, what I shouldn’t be eating, what on the menu was raw-vegan-no-sugar-no-fun-no-life and whether it was ‘ok’ and ‘healthy’ to eat soy with a minute amount of sugar in it.
I felt this sense of achievement with how I ate. It was my ‘badge of honour’- I was admired for my ‘willpower’, ‘strength’ and ‘dedication’. Finally I felt like I could really ‘do’ something.
All the positive attention my new ‘thinner’ body was receiving and my new found self esteem drove me to the point where all I wanted in life at ANY expense was to figure out how to stay thin in the long run. So much so it drove me and many of my loved ones f-ing crazy.
And while it took me a long time to realise many key things that were crazy with the whole situation I had wound up in (namely that being crazy around food was wrecking complete havoc on my body physically and emotionally), one day I decided to finally give up.
It was that simple because I was that desperate.
And while calling it ‘simple’ is so entirely removed from the truth, I really did ‘simply’ quit everything I was doing.
…..because I always told myself that I could go back to living this crazy, obsessive, self loathing life after all if things didn’t work out trying this ‘other’ approach.
Yet in light of everything that potentially scared me about ‘throwing in the towel’ I deeply knew that “this whole thing just isn’t worth it; I can’t do any of it anymore.”
Of course I was shit scared about the possibility that I might blow up to a weight that scared me senseless by never dieting again, but I just didn’t see another way out. I couldn’t bare to be that ‘crazy’ around food anymore.
When people ask me what I did to achieve freedom around food and my body it’s when I chose to prioritise sanity over my body looking a certain way (that I manipulated).
That’s when my relationship with food finally fell into place.
….I started making healthy choices with food naturally, without all the ‘thinking’ and ‘obsessing’.
….I didn’t turn to food to fix my ‘problems’ so raiding the pantry and fridge became a thing of the past. Basically when I opened my mind up to the fact that I didn’t need to resort to food as a way of ‘controlling’ aspects of my life that were making me feel scared, vulnerable and anxious, I was able to start exploring other non food related coping mechanisms.
….I didn’t fear a block of chocolate or a tub of peanut butter, because I stopped giving food power….which mean’t its power over me diminished.
….I started to eat from a place of ‘trusting my gut’ which saw me eat when i wanted to and eat portion sizes that felt satisfying.
I committed to a “let’s see what happens” approach (and despite being sceptic, it got to the point where I was more sceptical doing what it was I was previously doing…because it wasn’t working all that well after all).
And while the journey wasn’t smooth sailing- one of the hardest things was all the rebellious eating I engaged in for MANY months- I kept going at it. I knew enough to know that the rebellious eating was all part of it- I had years of holding my body back from some of its favourite foods- food that was part of my childhood and heritage. It made perfect sense that when the period of starvation was over that it was time to ‘feast’. It would pass.
And through all the trials and tribulations my weight fell to its natural “set-point”, which was worth the whole journey.
.…There’s no more fighting with food
….No more crazy dinner experiences
….Staring at food and fearing the sugar, gluten and dairy
….Depriving myself of experiences because I wasn’t ‘thin’ enough (e.g. swimming, having sex, going out)
….Self loathing ‘shit storms’ after eating bread or ‘naughty’ and ‘off limits’ food
….Freaking out over eating an extra teaspoon of peanut butter
What would life look like for you if you chose sanity over being ‘thin’. What would it mean?
The best advice I can give you is that when we strive for sanity rather than being ‘thin’, our weight takes care of itself. It’s one of the best kept secretes that shouldn’t be a ‘secret’ anymore.
Are you prepared to give it a go and just stop dieting once and for all?