Sharing this part of my journey is something I've actually always wanted to do. I just wasn't sure when I'd be ready, I'm ready now. I'll begin this by saying I don't like labels.I don't like thinking I have "a problem". Today though, I want to share my story because I know from working with over 100 women that I am not alone in my struggle and for a long time my WHY--the reason I didn't give up on myself, was to be able to share this story. I wanted so badly to break the horrible habits I had with food to be able to help women do the same. I knew I could never be of help, If I didn't get my own shit together.
I'll start with this picture. I had my bestfriend take it one night after we went out for a cheat meal *cringe*. We got Jenni's ice cream--a massive amount. I had already stuffed myself from dinner, then we ventured to get this HUGE cone of 3 different flavors. Then? We went up again and I got a huge sundae.
"I feel sick but I want this"
"Why am I ruining my own progress"
"You know you don't need this"
"I'll get back tomorrow"
Those were a few of the things I told myself as I went back up that second time. The thing is, I wasn't hungry. I'm sure you could have guessed that though. I went up there though because
I couldn't stop, I didn't know how to stop.
The personal trainer who is suppose to have her shit together didn't know how to stop. I told myself it was just a cheat or relaxed night though, that I would be fine if I went out. I knew though, I knew I wouldn't know how to stop.
That's the thing. Extremes for me are easy, I can eat super clean and boring and it's simple. I can eat paleo, simple. It's because I have set guidelines, I know this is what I can and can't do. Finding that balance though--how the fuck was I suppose to do that?
I Created This
I never had this problem in the past, the feeling of not being able to control my body and binge on food even if I wasn't hungry. I was raised by a strength coach in an extremely healthy environment. Scales? We didn't have one? Body image issues? No way--all I knew was self love. It wasn't until I became a trainer. After a year of coaching, I saw people experiment with new ways of eating. I let everything I knew go away, and I gave into to eating and training for a body..not for health.
That started this cycle of eating for a body I thought I needed, then a cheat meal would turn into a binge because I had restricted myself so bad and I couldn't control the aftermath. I'd feel extreme guilt for the first time in my life then, I'd learn what it was like to actually hate myself. It was horrible.
I had created this mess, because I craved a body that wasn't mine. I got lost in a world I didn't know. Which led to binge, restrict, hate, binge, restrict, hate more.
I know healthy. As I write this I'm sad for the fact that I lost myself for so long--yet proud and humbled that I fought like hell to get out. I know what healthy is, and through the issues I had struggling with food, I was coaching women on how to love themselves and reach their fitness goals while simultaneously sabotaging myself like it was my job.
That's how I labeled myself. How I treated myself.
I can't tell you how many times I said to myself "NOW, right now you will get back on track. You have to." I would, but I would "fall off" again. Here's how I changed it.
I knew from working with so many women that I wasn't alone in this horrible cycle, and if I ever wanted to help other women break free from this pattern that I HAD create a healthy relationship with my body, and with food again. I created a mess, and if I could create something so big (on a bad scale of course), I could create something even greater--that served me and others and was good.
You see, there's no magical diet. I can't write you the perfect workout program and all will heal. I wish there was, I wish I could pull all the women who struggle with this from the ashes and make them feel worthy again and like food doesn't control them.
It's a choice though. I know, oh my gosh how I know, that it in no way at all feels like it is. We do have the choice though to commit to ourselves and not let food control us.
I have sat down and eaten a whole pie. I don't say this because I'm proud or I think it's funny. I ate this fucking pie and after 6 bites I didn't like it anymore, I ate it anyway because I felt like something In me was making me.
So when I say I get it, I do. I have a game plan for breaking free though, this is how it works:
Step One: Evaluate your relationship with food, are you in this kind of cycle that I've explained? Do you binge and restrict? Do you have a hard time finding balance and simultaneously reaching your goals? Acknowledge it. A lot of your issues here stem from thinking that you're the only one going through this. That you're the only one who could possibly be addicted to food, or binge eat like a crazy person. We think something is specifically wrong with us because we don't understand what is going on. So think about your relationship with food. Is it healthy?
Step Two: Now is the time where the focus of eating has to turn away from getting abs, or looking a certain way. When we are so focused on reaching physical goals, all we see is the body we want. Resulting in turning to crash diets and pills ect to reach those goals. The focus needs to turn on health. I think it should be a requirement to starting any weight loss plan that you have a healthy relationship with food first. That you understand why you should fuel your body right, why we need certain things and why having a healthy relationship with food is critical to you reaching weight loss goals, and most importantly those goals staying life long. Not a continuous cycle of losing and gaining.
Step Three: Start eating foods that honor your body. Meaning foods that make you feel good, foods that don't make you sick or hate yourself. We should treat our bodies like we love them. When we decide to say fuck it, and eat whatever we want--we are basically saying screw you. That's the last way we want to treat the vessel that carries us through life.
I can proudly say, I've won. I beat the shit out of whatever it was in my mind that I let control so many horrible actions I took against my body. I want you to be able to say the same thing. Break free from the chains that you feel are holding you from being happy with your body, with food and with your life.
Tips For Success:
-Focus on the task, not the outcome: Focus on eating a healthy breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, workout ect. If you have 50lbs to lose and are constantly thinking about those 50lbs and how long it will take, it is more than likely that you're going to spend so much time dwelling on that, that you won't put the effort that needs to go in NOW.
-Win the day: Starting a new workout program is great, but again when we focus on 90 days from now it's harder to be intentional with the present moment. So I don't like to think 1 week, 2 weeks or 90 days from now. I focus on "winning" one day at a time. Eat well, sweat and love your body for one day at a time. That is much more helpful than trying to focus on a huge chunk of time all at once. Remember, healthy is for life--not 90 days.
-Practice self acceptance then, self love: Everyone tells you to love yourself, as they should, you should love yourself. The problem is, you have to accept yourself as you are currently before you can love yourself. Allow yourself to accept where you are. It doesn't matter where you are or how much weight you have to lose. If you don't love yourself at 50lbs overweight, what makes you think you'll love yourself when that's gone? True self love is going to come from being at peace with who you are on the inside. Accepting doesn't mean it's okay to be unhealthy, accepting means that you are acknowledging where you currently are so you are able to move forward and allow loving thoughts to flow freely.
-Find what works for you: Where does a healthy relationship with food start? It starts with doing you. Everyone in the world isn't following one "diet", because there isn't one specific plan that works for everyone. This is where you have to experiment. Listen to your body and how it responds to certain foods. Find the foods that you like, that taste good, that honor your body and your goals...that's when a healthy relationship with food is made. When you finally are doing what works for you, and trying to follow 490458 different plans.
I wish I could have given you a three step simple plan that told you exactly how to break these habits. It has to come from within though, and I can't do that for you. I hope though, that my story made you feel less alone and gives you hope that there IS freedom. You can have a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Strong Chicks Rock
My mission with SCR is to help women get unstuck. Unstuck with their health and fitness and unstuck with life. To teach self love and acceptance. To help you punch every excuse in the face and to find fitness freedom.
If you need help, advice, a listening ear, or guidance please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am happy to help you in any way I can. I want you to be free.