I had a really messed up relationship with food for a long time and I don’t anymore.
I write the blog that would’ve helped me get out of my disordered eating and now I’ve created a course that would’ve helped me get out of my disordered eating ways. While my eating disorder started off with restriction, there came a time when my primal drive to eat overtook and that is when my behaviors with food went a different way.
At some point in my life, I started believing that healthy eating meant avoiding satisfying foods. It wasn’t about eating enough vegetables or whole grains. It was about doing everything I could possibly do to stay thin. Hello, thin ideal we are bombarded with daily. Every day I woke up and started playing a game I couldn’t win. I ate very “clean” and lite breakfasts and lunches (quinoa, low carb yogurts, no sweets, no fat, practically no anything)…and then I’d end up overeating at night. This overeating wasn’t just an extra piece of pizza. It was an entire bag of chocolate chips, an entire bag of chocolate covered raisins, an entire container of Trader’s Joe’s chocolate treats…all that left me feeling sick. I still can’t eat chocolate covered raisins without being grossed out by them because I (I don’t know a better word to put here) abused them.
Then repeat. Over and over and over.
I feel like I talk more about the restrictive part of my eating disorder than I do the bingeing part, even though the restricting is what kept the bingeing going.
There are two reasons for binge eating:
- biological reasons (under eating or restrictive food rules, which triggers a primal drive to eat)
- emotional reasons (you don’t want to feel a certain way so you dissociate from how you are feeling by bingeing and replacing that feeling with a feeling of fullness)
I had both of those reasons…
- biological reason: I was under eating at the first part of the day.
- emotional reason: I had low self esteem, social anxiety, loneliness (high school and college was a rough time for me), test taking anxiety, putting unrealistic pressure on myself to HAVE to do well…and I didn’t want to feel any of that. Focusing on restriction, food rules, achieving thinness and then the feeling of uncomfortable fullness after a binge gave me a fabricated sense of security that helped me survive for a while. But at some point I wanted more for my life than a focus on restriction, food rules, thinness and uncomfortable fullness.
My biggest blind leap towards health came when I decided to stop making my eating patterns about my weight. When I decided that I was going to let my body weigh what it needed to weigh and I chose to focus on truly healthful behaviors. Behaviors like 1) eating based on hunger, fullness and cravings, 2) moving my body in a way that felt good and not in a way that was aimed at changing my body, and 3) developing healthful coping mechanisms for handling stress and anxiety other than restriction/over eating.
There is a lot of information and tools that helped me get out of my disordered eating soul suck and I wanted to bottle them up and put them in one place…that’s why I created the course. While I don’t think you need more nutrition guidelines to tune into your body better…I do think some guidance on how to tune into your body and what is preventing your from tuning into your body is helpful.
Being on a diet/restrictive eating pattern never helped me be healthier, the only thing it helped me do is binge eat. If you are struggling with an unhealthful relationship with eating and your body, I hope you will look at the course curriculum and see if the titles of the different modules resonate with you.
I outlined the course in March of this year and have been working on it since then. It is the thing I am most proud of so far in my career and I know it is going to help a lot of people find peace with food and their body. I’m so happy with how it has turned out and (quite honestly) glad it’s finally ready! I have poured a lot of my energy and heart into the course and I can’t wait to hear how it is helping you.