DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or a nutrition specialist. Also, if you have or have had eating disorders in the past you may be triggered by this post (and should skip if it's not for you). Just a per-caution as I want to be sensitive to others! This is MY journey and what is currently working for me in my path of health and wellness. As always, YOU do YOU.<3
Where do I begin?
I have been wanting to write this post series on my food freedom for MONTHS now.
But guys, I’m not gonna lie. This sh*t is HARD. Hard to put into words. Harder than any diet I’ve ever done.
I will start at the beginning.
It’s 2019. I am once again in my head of “oh my gosh I look fat.” This on our 6th Anniversary trip to the Biltmore by the way. I broke down and thought I obviously need to go on another diet.
I initially lost a bunch of weight doing the Whole30 back in 2015. Which only harmed my relationship with food. It was too restrictive. But it worked right?
I also flip flopped between Whole30 rounds and the RP diet plan. Both VERY restrictive. Because in my mind...I wasn't happy with how I looked. I was SO consumed with that the solution lied within diets that I never looked up.
Either limiting WHOLE food groups
Counting, measuring, STRESSING over every morsel of food that entered my mouth.
But since I had lost over 50lbs already, my body was DONE losing. It was in starvation mode.
And I was at war with my body.
Why won’t you lose weight?!
Im eating 1200 calories a day!!! (that’s a healthy amount for a toddler)
I’m working out an hour a day.
Still my body wouldn’t budge.
It wasn’t until I read about Hunger Directed Eating in April of 2019... did things start to click.
It wasn’t until I almost blacked out in my parking lot in front of my office from lack of food. AFTER getting tears in my eyes because I saw a fast food commercial. I DON'T EVEN LIKE ARBY'S.
It was the fact that I COULDN'T have it if I wanted to. It was then I realized how UN-HEALTHY diets were. Especially for your mind.
I WOKE UP.
I took the scary leap of DITCHING DIETS all together.
I was petrified I’d gain it all back.
That I’d eat pizza and chips forever.
But you know what I learned?
When you give yourself PERMISSION to eat whatever you want. It’s not so appealing.
Example:If I told you that you can no longer eat broccoli. Forever. What do you automatically want to eat?Broccoli.
By taking the restrictive labels off of food.
Food became NEUTRAL to me.
I began to TRUST my own physical hunger cues vs a diet plan that told me when/how/what to eat.
My relationship with myself began to heal. And so did my relationship with Jake (in regard to food and dates). He no longer feared asking to take me out to dinner or make me a dessert. Old Amanda would have been stressing and RUINED a perfectly nice gesture from her amazing hubs. New Amanda says YES and eats according to her hunger and it's just been so NICE to live life <3.
THE HUNGER SCALE
I use a hunger scale now:
- I’m ravenous and hangry
- I’m STARVING and a little hangry
- Hunger pangs - time to eat!
- Beginning signs of hunger (all foods sound good - not a specific craving)
- Neutral ( not hungry or full) - I try to eat until I’m at a 5. This way I’m never over eating.
- Content /slightly full
- Very full
- Unbutton my pants STUFFED
- IM GONNA BE SICK IM SO FULL
What I’ve learned is when I allowed my physiological hunger to be satisfied. Aka after all the years of restriction (since I was ten).
My mind needed to register that I’m no longer needing to be in starvation mode.
To LET GO.
And you know what?
I still lost a few pounds!!! By LETTING GO.
Trusting my body.
I learned that hunger isn’t an emergency.
It’s no different that any other physical cue:
Do you immediately go to sleep when you’re tired? No. You usually hold off
Do you immediately go pee when you need to?No. You can hold it a bit.
Same goes for hunger. The Kool-Aid man isn’t crashing through your door demanding you eat RIGHT NOW. Sit with your hunger for 20 minutes and see that everything is ok.
THE HEART WORK <3
I realized that what I thought was a weightloss problem was actually a symptom of my underlying emotional issues. I learned at a young age to cope with heavy emotions with food.
It makes sense.
Eating releases happy chemicals in your brain. Therefore food = happiness right?
But only for 5 minutes.
The food didn’t resolve your:
- Any negative/heavy feeling
Taking this step of WAKING UP to this toxic dieting cycle and not wanting to spend the next 50 years being shackled to a diet made me want to RUN the other way. I refuse to be on a diet ever again.
I didn’t gain a bunch of weight. I am no longer a slave to a number on a scale. I am no longer OBSESSED with food.
I am FREE.
After giving myself permission for a while, I began CRAVING a balanced nutritious blend of foods again. I also LOVE working out because of how I feel afterwards.
It's about CARING for your body. Fueling it with what is GOOD for it. Our desires may not always be what our body needs. Just like brushing your teeth or paying the bills. Those things aren't entirely "fun" but we do it anyways because it's GOOD for us. And we can keep the lights on 😉
This has been SO much harder than dieting. This is HEART WORK. Tapping in to see WHY are you looking in the fridge when you are sad/nervous/angry. It's becoming inquisitive with yourself.
I made a commitment to MYSELF this year unlike all the others. To be CONSISTENT.
CONSISTENTLY turn to God
CONSISTENTLY Love myself
CONSISTENTLY SHOW up for myself
Making friends with my previous "enemy" (the tissue between my ears) was the (and sometimes still is) the biggest hurdle. Especially if your inner B is as nasty as mine is. She can be the WORST critic!
My body and I. SAME TEAM.
I have NO CHOICE but to LOVE her.
I have my WHOLE LIFE with her
I am being so much kinder to myself than I ever have been
And that is my WHY for doing all of this. To love myself unconditionally just as I would a friend or family member.
I needed to turn inward to get to the next step:DIVING DEEP and UNLEARNING (stay tuned for Part II where I talk more about mindset change and unlearning a lot of things)
In the mean time, here are some of the resources I have used to help me along the way:
- How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good, Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside Out
- Instant Loss: Eat Real, Lose Weight: How I Lost 125 Pounds―Includes 100+ Recipes (i have read the forward and highlighted her inspiring mindset over and over again)
- Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
- The Fat Murder Podcast (SOOOOO good!)
Questions for you???
- What are your healthy ways to cope with heavy things?
- What things/activities do you do to help your mind/body/soul?
- How long have you been dieting? Can you relate to the above?
- Not a question but I <3 YOU!!! And thanks for reading and taking the time to do so!