I decided to go on a diet one day – and it nearly scarred my relationship with food for life.
Most of you know I had a very turbulent relationship with food and my body. But I’ve never shared the experience until now. So many of my clients and readers confide in me, tell me about their journeys, and I want them – and you – to know you’re not alone.
At 16 years old I started a diet. For fun. Why not. I wasn’t particularly overweight, but losing weight excited me. So I dieted. And I felt AMAZING. People were commenting. I could wear a bikini with such confidence. Wow…this is fun! I am on top of the world.
One thing led to the next…
I took it too far. As most of us do…
I became obsessive. It was inevitable – I have a typical Type-A personality and have the tendency to become a perfectionist.
A dieter. A fad dieter. A calorie counter.
I dieted and dieted to the point of food restriction…and I became incredibly underweight. I began fearing food. Food was the devil. I was jumping on the scale non-stop. I needed control over every mouthful of food and ounce of body weight.
It was exhausting.
And then, these restrictions led to bingeing on foods.
A very vicious cycle, because after the binge I would restrict even further. I know you get me.
Because remember…deprivation usually – and in my case, ALWAYS – leads to overeating the food I had deprived myself. This is a reason I ensure that In my personal routine and in my nutrition practice for my clients, part of the homework for a healthy eating plan is to incorporate foods you want/crave. I know the damaging effects of deprivation, and it never leads anywhere good. You may think you being ‘so good on your diet’ but somehow, some way, you will eventually eat that food…and you will likely overeat it.
If my diet wasn’t perfect, my life would feel out of control.
So I used food to control my life.
Being thin felt good. It felt like I could control EVERYTHING. It’s a very false sense of control, because you are not fixing the core issue. But in order to keep that feeling I had to keep the diet and weight under control.
It took years of self-healing, therapy and study about health and the human body, but I have finally freed myself from the tormenting thoughts. Well, mostly.
You see, sometimes those old thoughts pop up at certain times. This is because my mind tries to bring me back to patterns of the past.
“Jess, you don’t look skinny enough in those pictures.”
“Jess, you didn’t need that glass of red wine, did you.”
“Jess, you are not good enough.”
“Jess, you did not eat perfectly today.”
But now I am able to reign those thoughts back in and say…..
HANG ON A MINUTE. STOP. PERFECT DOES NOT EXIST.
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
YOU ARE HEALTHY.
I breathe deeply. Fill myself with feelings of gratitude for my healthy body.
I meditate. Practice yoga and mindful eating. I won’t allow those thoughts to take over.
But I have trained myself to recognize those thoughts as just THOUGHTS. They are not real. Remember – not all of our thoughts are actually worth believing. Most of the time it is just our mean girl or our ego taking over.
I wanted to share my top tips that help me from falling back into the bad body image trap.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
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