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Changing our relationship with Food and Healing from an Eating Disorder
I’m about to get VERY real with you all about something I’ve dealt with in my life. I hope that my story can help others (as I know a lot of my other health struggles have- I swear that I’m able to say that everything I have dealt with has been for a reason. I’ve been able to help others with similar issues to heal!).
I was recently recommend this book to read called Intuitive Eating because I’ve been always had my own struggles with weight and body image. The question that I was asked when I was speaking about my health was this: “Are you even eating enough calories?” And the answer was an emphatic “No”! This was a few months ago and it’s really made me think more about this, but I think I’ve been blocking out a lot when it comes to this issue. Now I see that this is something that needs a lot more attention than I’ve been giving it. As we heal, we literally have to peel back the layers of pain and trauma, and I think right now this is what I’m needing to address.
You see, I was one of those girls in middle and high school that basically starved herself to stay even remotely thin. Most days I would eat maybe 1 full meal, usually dinner. I’d go to school skipping breakfast and usually at lunch I wouldn’t bother with anything unless a friend offered me an extra snack. Why did I do this? Well because for one, we all know how the media has always been saying that you only matter if you’re thin. But I personally had a step mother at the time that was constantly telling me I was overweight. She’d call me fat, tell me I have huge thighs, and she’d make fun of me quite often. I dealt with this for about 6-7 years of my childhood!
Sometimes I think “oh boo hoo I had it so hard, get over it” but in reality, this was really something that set up me up for failure in life with food, dieting, weight, and body image. I never have really considered myself to have an actual eating disorder, but I definitely have never had a comfortable relationship with food. What happened is that these 6-7 years of being told I was fat and then realizing that I could only stay thin when I was not eating enough made me think that I didn’t deserve to eat because it would make me fat.
And when you tell yourself this long enough, you start to believe it and it becomes ingrained in your subconscious, even when you can logically tell yourself otherwise.
I cannot even begin to tell you all how many people have similar stories to mine. I’ve had quite a few clients at this point tell me that they’ve dealt with parents trying to control their diets as kids or they always struggled with weight issues from a young age. It’s quite disgusting honestly! How can these adult figures in our lives be so cruel? How can they degrade us as children, make us feel useless and gross instead of actually HELPING us?! Clearly I had a terrible metabolism already by the age of 7- but that was not MY fault. But instead of being helped, I was made to think that it was all my fault, as if I could control the way my body worked.
So what is my point with all of this?
DIETING does not work. Period. Think about it: How many people do you know that go on a diet, lose a lot of weight, then go back to eating normally, and then gain all of the weight back? Basically EVERYONE that diets! And then they take it out on themselves- they weren’t strict enough, they had too many cheat days, they had too many carbs or too many grams of fat, they didn’t exercise enough, and the list goes on. So many people these days that are dealing with chronic illness and adrenal issues have been a part of this group of chronic dieters too! We’ve all deprived ourselves of so many nutrients for so long, and our bodies are screaming out for nutrition.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
It’s time to take back our health and change our relationship with food. I highly recommend the book I mentioned above, Intuitive Eating, if you want a good start. I only got into the first few chapters and before I had my ah-ha moment. And I knew I had to share my story in the hopes that it gets more people on the right path.
I’ve written a LOT about weight loss on my blog before. It’s almost always the main concern that people want to address when they start out on a healing path. But I almost always have to mention that our bodies are not concerned with weight loss right off the bat- they are concerned with HEALING. As we heal, we lose weight. And many of my clients do lose weight easily once they start healing. But there are many reasons why weight loss will not happen quickly, and I do believe one of them is that we’ve really lost touch with how to actually eat to nourish ourselves.
I have to admit- even just writing this article has been a bit therapeutic!
Here are all of my other main resources on weight loss:
- First and foremost- learn to love yourself as you are! If you have dealt with a similar situation like I have where you grew up being bullied or shamed about your weight, look into emotional healing techniques as well- once we release our old emotions, it makes it a lot easier for the body to heal.
- Don’t fear fat!
- Don’t fear calories! Calories= energy
- Don’t fear REAL sugar– From Empowered Sustenance
- Get enough protein
- Learn How to lose weight without losing your mind
- Check out my recent post for my top ten tips on sustainable weight loss!
- Look into mineral balancing to help restore your nutrients
- Check out this interesting article about why diets don’t work!
- And you can also ready about why exercise isn’t the main thing that helps us lose weight anyway in this article. The author cites 60 studies about how exercise is NOT the key to losing weight.
- In the Intuitive Eating book, they point out a few major studies where those that diet are actually more likely to GAIN weight in the future.
- Love your Livers and Get that Bile Flowing!
- Remember that it is possible to gain weight while starting out on a nutritional balancing program. As you start to fix deficiencies and heal your liver, the weight will come back off- this time for good!
- Don’t neglect your colon health. We can hold on to old gunk (even more so if we’ve ever dealt with trauma in our life).
- An interesting post: How ‘adrenal fatigue’ could really just be an effect of starvation.
- From ARL Labs: “Many, if not all slow oxidizers are somewhat malnourished. This itself can lead to weight loss, but also to weight gain if one compensates by overeating in an attempt to obtain more nutrients. This is a very common situation, especially in those who live on refined foods. The body calls for more nutrients, so one keeps eating the ’empty calories’ in a vain attempt to obtain one’s vitamins and minerals.”
- I now have a class on Holistic Weight Loss that goes over this topic even more.