3 months ago I was introduced to Intuitive Eating. I told myself that if after 3 months if I didn’t feel like it was working for me I’d allow myself to go back to my old ways. I didn’t think it was possible to love myself or feel good without confining myself to a program or diet. I was scared but didn’t want to close the door on the ability to grow and change for the long haul. This short term goal has opened me up to continue the never ending process that is Intuitive Eating.
I began to read a book recommended by 2 friends that challenged my perception of health, food and fitness. At the time I was still working super super hard to break out of the cycle of losing/gaining the same 10 pounds, dealing with plantar fasciitis and also dealing with thoughts of being a poor example for my former business and feeling like “there has got to be something more to this because I’m so stressed and feel like such a fake I can’t take it!!!” I wasn’t happy and I was back to a binge/diet cycle.
While reading, the author of the book was asked the question: “If you were able to have a normal relationship with food and you no longer obsessed over food, maintained health, ate when you wanted to, and stopped when you were full and everything else. What if you achieved all that and didn’t lose a single pound? Could you be happy with that?” The question struck a cord but suffice it to say I wasn’t sure. But- I was intrigued.
So I said ok, I’m gonna try this Intuitive Eating thing, even though I’m a crazy person that has binge eating issues and I don’t feel like I can trust myself to be around food unless it’s clean and portioned. My first month was spent enjoying foods that I hadn’t in awhile, deleting diet/fitness apps, learning hunger cues, stressing over my clothes fitting tighter, throwing my scale in the trash LIVE on Facebook, and trying to convince myself that I could finally have a healthier relationship with food. I almost went back to MFP or low carb or the 21 day fix after feeling like there was no way I could love myself at a higher size or weight, but said I was going to stick it out for 3 months and reevaluate because part of me knew going back wasn’t the answer. So I began to read up on the Principles of Intuitive Eating.
The second month I began to feel a little more comfortable with trusting my body to stop when full and no longer treat food like it was my “last supper”. Overeating/binge eating was no longer gratifying, it made me very sick and was no longer numbing my feelings. You’d think that was a good thing, but I basically said goodbye to a coping mechanism I’ve had for years. Now I was facing my problems head on and it was overwhelming, because I feel a lot of feels and this summer was hard in a lot of areas of my life. Other changes happened- I began to struggle to support the lifestyle touted by my MLM and after a weekend surrounded by diet talk, exercise and selfies, I realized my business had no place in my new habits. Despite giving peptalks about weight only being a number, and you can help anything at any size, the resounding message was the successful way to have a business was “be a product of the product” and I was done following someone else’s plan for me. It was the hardest thing I had done in awhile because I knew I had impacted many lives through a weight loss journey, and now I wanted to backpedal and inspire others through a body positive message that isn’t well received in today’s health obsessed society.
This month has been a month where I’ve finally been able to embrace Principles 8-10 (respect your body, exercise, and honor your health). This month has been full of emotional highs and lows as I’ve said my goodbyes to my stepdad and instead of eating my emotions and repeating a binge cycle and I cried and prayed a lot. I quit working out for a few weeks. I didn’t beat myself up for being human and feeling sad during a really crappy time for my fam. I’ve been up and down mentally all month. Despite this I’ve done my best to honor my health (specifically mental health) by journaling, doing exercise I love such as Zumba, Yoga, and strength training and I have finally incorporated fruits and veggies into my eating for health reasons, not for losing weight. Taking the pressure off weight loss has changed so much.
So after 3 months, what did I decide? I’m sticking with it. I’ve come in self-love and forgiveness and embracing my own emotions. I truly believe my whole life is transforming as a result of this new path. Intuitive Eating has been a slow, painful process but it has opened up a new life of freedom for me and a new way to encourage others to live truly healthy lives.
PS: thank you to Sam and Anna, the 2 women who introduced me to the book that ultimately led me to this lifestyle. Cheers to 3 months diet sober.
If you are interested in learning more about Intuitive Eating or the book that led me to quit dieting for good check out my list of recommended reading by clicking here!