For as long as I can remember I have battled with myself. From orthhorexia to binge eating to overexercising, this cycle kept going for a long time. Although I had gained control over my BED in 2013, I still struggled with my body dysmorphia. Looking in the mirror all I would see is lumps, bumps, rolls, and bones. I did not see beauty, nor did I see the strength I had inside me.
Back in 2013, I truly dedicated myself to a more positive lifestyle. I tried to push away the negative thoughts and the little voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty or skinny enough. It was tough because I felt accomplished for overcoming my BED, but I still found myself loathing who I was and my body.
Working out was an obsession, eating “clean” was an obsession, becoming thin was an obsession. I tried every diet, exercise, meal plan, you name it I’ve probably tried it. Counting macros, hiring an online coach, counting calories, lifting weights, I was doing all of these things that I hated. I hated it all, I had no desire to be a bodybuilder or competitor but, I thought I did at the time because I followed so many young women who transformed their bodies doing these things, and although those things worked for them they didn’t work for me. Your journey is YOUR journey. Just because something “worked” for someone doesn’t mean it is right for you.
So, I was going back and forth between being this “IIFYM girl” to a depressed and frustrated overeater. I couldn’t find balance, I couldn’t find enjoyment in anything health related because it all felt fake. It didn’t feel right for me but, I kept doing it because “No excuses” right? That is some utter bullshit if you ask me. “No excuses” really? If you are sick with the flu and you don’t go to the gym, doesn’t that sound like an okay “excuse” to not workout? Well, if you had asked me that a few years ago I would’ve told you no.
I felt trapped, alone, and confused. I felt like no one understood me until I watched a YouTuber named Josie Mai and her video on Intuitive Eating. I was so intrigued by this I had never heard of it before but, it sounded very appealing. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, sounds easy right? Not so much. It isn’t an easy journey it has it’s ups and downs and lefts and rights. When I first started my IE journey I was enlightened and felt free, although the next day I was so concerned with what I was eating (i.e. calories, fat, sugar etc..) I just couldn’t get the diet mindset out of my head and that is the biggest concept of Intuitive Eating is that you need to let go of the dieting mindset and put weight loss on the back burner.
Wait…put weight loss on the back burner? The one thing you’ve been trying to achieve for over ten years? The one crutch you’ve had for all of your emotional turmoil? The only thing you felt that you could control? Gone? Yes. That has been the hardest for me to be honest. For so long I relied on weight loss and being on a “diet” to keep myself together, to have some sort of control over my life. I couldn’t control the kids bullying me in school, I couldn’t control the insensitive men I chose to be in relationships with, I couldn’t control my ever changing emotions in regards to my depression and anxiety so, weight loss and dieting gave me a sense of control.
It was that control that sent me spiraling down this black hole, into a place I thought I would never get out of. I was body shaming myself every day, every damn day and I was done. The last few months I’ve been really working on my Intuitive Eating, sometimes yes, I think about the calories in my food but, nothing like how it was before. I am slowly feeling the obsessive and restrictive patterns fall away, I feel so beautiful and sexy in my skin sometimes I just want to cry of happiness because I have never felt this way, but the best part about this journey is I finally am free. You know how good that feels? Fucking incredible. I eat chocolate, fries, pizza, rice, vegetables, fruit, you name it I eat it because I can. Do you want to know why I can? because when I am hungry I truly listen to my body, I ask what it wants, what it is craving, and I eat it. I eat it mindfully and when I feel my belly starting to stretch and become full, I try my hardest to stop. I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t but hey, that is totally okay. Like I said, this is a journey, it is your own, so make it the way you want it to be. The beauty of IE is that you are your own coach, you are the person guiding yourself to your happiness. Do not keep yourself in this horrible dieting mindset, let those insecurities and need to control go. Your body will figure out it’s natural weight and body composition, all you have to do is listen to it.