Are you ready to ditch a diet and learn how to have a healthy relationship with food and loving relationship with your body?
You’ve probably heard me speak about the journey of connecting with my body in past videos or blogs. You may be wondering, what the hell does that mean? Let me get clearer on what this process has looked like in my life.
There have been a couple of layers involved with the process of connecting that I refer to often.
The first is learning to listen to the still small voice inside me. Things, like trusting my gut and cultivating a sense and feeling of truth in my body, have come from implementing mediation. Meditation is where I have learned how to listen. I’m a reformed people pleaser which is a long term for co-dependent. I was the girl that said yes when my gut screamed no. I will talk more about this part of the process in future videos.
The second part of connecting was tapping into the infinite wisdom of my body pertaining to food, exercise, and hunger. This is what we will be discussing today. Before I get into the how I created a healthy relationship with food and loving relationship with my body, I’m going to share with you where I was and where I’m at now so that you have a little context before we begin.
As a child in elementary school, I was heavier set and insecurities around my body, and the weight began. There was some teasing about my body that was normal cruel childhood stuff. I remember being invited to a birthday party and I waited to be picked up. They never came, and I was crushed. That Monday at school the girls came up to me and said that they decided not to pick me up because my butt was too big for the truck. My heart broke as they giggled.
Growing up, we did not have a kitchen. We survived by the loving grace of McDonald’s, a toaster and a microwave. I was happy eating my cereal and toast and occasionally a microwavable dessert.
By high school, my weight fluctuated a lot dramatically. I started emotional binge eating after school. It was very common for me to put down a whole bag of chips in one sitting.
At 18 years old I moved into my apartment with a friend and let’s just say money was tight. I worked two jobs and decided to quit eating. I started taking over the counter diet pills while starving myself and the weight fell off. For the first time in my life people gave me compliments and told me I was beautiful. Once a stranger stopped me and said I was his dream woman. Overall people were just more kind to me. Something crazy happened here because I made a connection in my mind between being skinny and being loved. Little did I know where this path was going to lead me or how long it would take to undo.
At 19 I was consumed with an obsession with starving myself, and I decided that using hard drugs could help me keep weight off. Emotional eating and binging were happening more often.
At 23 I stopped using drugs and decided to begin purging. Starving myself and using drugs was not working anymore, so purging seemed like a good fit. I spiraled down in shame as purging became more and more self-defeating and humiliating. I couldn’t control when a binge or purge was going to happen.
At 24 rigorous calorie counting began. My mind and thoughts were consumed with how much of what I ate all the time. I weighed myself daily.
At 26 I started vigorous exercise as a form of self-punishment.
At 27 I started restricting entire food groups from my diet for years.
At 28 I had been in a cycle of losing weight and gaining it back for most of my life. I was unhealthy, and when I was thin, it didn’t look good. I was exhausted and defeated from the endless obsession in my mind and the lack of sustainable change.
Then I learned I was pregnant.
It was time to change my life, again. The stakes were higher because I couldn’t go on the way I had been. I needed to become a woman who could be a role model for her child. Someone was going to depend on me being well and teaching them how to be well. Oh shit.
Today my life is different.
When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.
I feel comfortable and confident in my body.
I don’t dread waking up in the morning and getting dressed.
I don’t obsess over my body or food.
I don’t diet or restrict food.
I don’t punish my body with exercise
I don’t struggle with dramatic weight gain or loss
My body isn’t perfect, and I don’t need it to be.
So how did I do this?
- Learned how to exercise as a celebration for my body. Using movement as a time to channel love and acceptance for myself. Mentally connecting movement to feeling good and loving myself.
- Learning to rest in-between strength training. Educating myself on what active rest is and why my body needs it.
- Paying attention to what foods feel good in my body. How do I feel after I eat such and such item? Shifting my focus to food that I want to eat more of because I enjoy it instead of what I don’t want to eat.
- Teaching myself about nurturing with nutrients. What foods have which nutrients and what do those specific nutrient do for my body. This will help you want to eat healthy food and acquire a taste for them. Which is a battle if you’ve eaten unhealthy processed foods all your life.
- Paying attention to other areas of life that bring you joy. Thinking about food your body or your weight all day is no fun. What else is happening in your world that is fun? Put some mental energy there!
- Find the deeper desire hidden underneath your want to be skinny. What do you really want? Is it love, kindness, confidence or acceptance? Perhaps you want to be desirable or not be alone. You can find creative ways to meet these needs on your own if you take the time to get honest with yourself about why you want to be thin.
- Get damn intentional about looking for things you love about your body when you’re in front of a mirror. Don’t spend your time picking yourself apart for all the things you don’t like. Balance out, by highlighting what part of your body is strong? What is beautiful? What do you enjoy?
- Stop snacking at night. Our body confuses tired for hungry. We use food as fuel so when we are tired our body will crave food. Don’t get these signals confused. When you feel snacky at ten pm it’s because you’re tired, go to bed.
- Get some sleep. Your body needs sleep to regulate hormones and repair muscle.
- Remember your body is on your side. Your body is doing everything possible to keep you alive. Choose to love and accept your body as it is today because it really is working for you and not against you. Are you doing the same for your body?
Channeling hurt, feeling of inadequacy, pain or anger into your body does not help you achieve long term results.
Alright, ladies, I’m going to reinforce this concept of becoming one with yourself and bridging the gap between unhealthy eating to healthy as we move forward. I will be introducing certain foods in upcoming videos and what they do for your body. I want to help you love yourself, your life and your body.
Please remember that the things I mentioned are called a process because they take time. Focusing your attention on one item for some time. No one is going to wake up tomorrow and do all the things I mentioned perfectly day one. Building a relationship with your body takes time.
Get support because you’re going to need it.