Your body can process everything…it’s your mind that gets in the way.

I hate the whole idea that we have to be careful around food.  There is so much information out there telling us how to eat and you (and the freaking media/beach body people/weight watchers peeps/Whole30 dieters) need to remember that your body can process everything…it’s your mind that gets in the way.

Your body is perfectly capable of processing all types of food, but for some, your mind isn’t okay with you eating particular foods.  

If I had a dollar for every time a client told me they can’t eat grapes because they have too much sugar.  Or that they can’t eat sushi because ‘X’ pieces of sushi has as many carbs as a piece of white bread…

My thought is, “well I hope fruit has sugar and sushi has carbs! I need sugar/carbs just like I need protein and fat!”  Simple carbs (like the carbs in brownies, baked goods, white breads, candy) are just digested more quickly than complex carbs.  Their molecular structure has fewer components so your body can break them down quicker.  That doesn’t mean simple carbs are bad and should be avoided.  I mean, I don’t imagine you judge your hand for not seeing or your ear for not smelling, so why would you judge simple carbs for being digested quicker than complex carbs.

Simple carbs have a different purpose in your body than complex carbs, just like your hands have a different purpose than your eyes.  Simple carbs are for immediate energy and complex carbs are for more gradually released energy.  Neither are good or bad…they are just different.  And your body can handle you eating a variety of both.

So I’d love for today’s comment section to be like a virtual eating disorder/disordered eating support group. If you feel compelled, I’d like for you to…

  • vent about the disordered things related to food/exercise/body your diet-loving coworker says
  • share something you used to believe was true when you were in your ED but now realize how dangerous that thought was
  • share a disordered thought about food/exercise you still believe is true and are trying to call on your rationale mind to reason though
  • share a body acceptance/body love realization you’ve had recently 
  • share anything you think would be relevant 

If you’re in a place to give support, feel free to support other readers via commenting on their comment.  I’ll put in my input as much as I can too<3

(p.s. Give the comments below a couple days to build up…but if after reading through the responses you feel like you don’t know how to eat and you need a bit more support.  The ‘How To Eat’ Module from the How to Eat course may resonate with you and help you tap back into your body’s wisdom of how to eat.  I don’t think people need more education on nutrition to remember how to eat…they just need help awakening the instinctive eater inside of them.  And that is what the entire course helps you do.  Additionally, all the course modules are now available individually so you can pick and choose the ones you need most.)


  1. ARGH! Yes, preach lady. I wish everyone thought your way. The world would be far less triggering to people who are fighting so freaking hard to eat everything and break food rules. And have to fight off comments on how everything is unhealthy unless it is grown from the ground. Packaged/processed food is not good or bad. It is food. That is it. Yes it has chemicals: news flash!!!: ALL FOOD IS MADE OF CHEMICALS. What do you think a vitamin is? A f*&king chemical. Protein is a chemical. Everything in this world is a chemical. And so a poptart is not unhealthy. If you have a fear of poptarts: it IS the healthiest choice for you. If you are craving a poptart: it is the healthiest choice for you. Baked goods, with eggs and heaven-forbid WHITE FLOUR is not bad for you. It is all food. And food is not good or bad. I just can’t take it. It is like I need to take you, Kylie, and people who subscribe to your food philosophy and all just go move to an island by ourselves. That would be a safe place. This world, the comments (oh, i am going to splurge on this cupcake, this is my cheat meal, this is so bad for me), the ads, the food/body idol worshipping is just too much to take. Should I start researching and find an empty island for us?

    • I agree with this 100%! Like you, I am beyond sick of people feeling the need to preach about certain foods being “better” than others and banishing foods because they’re not a fruit, vegetable, or gluten-free. To me, the whole health wave have been taken way too far and investigating ingredients has turned to a harmful behavior. People no longer eat what they’re craving and create an endless list of rules of what they can and cannot eat. Honestly, I believe that many people are struggling with eating disorders but aren’t even aware of it because our society promotes weight loss, food “discipline”, and eating less. Don’t even get me started about the sickening medicine commercials I’ve been seeing lately for women to lose weight. I’m so sick of our society’s behavior towards food. It’s toxic and quite frankly disgusting. People are valued based on eating “healthy” and their size, when in reality there is SO much more to life! Not even a minute should be wasted on such simple and instinctive things like eating. After struggling with anorexia and nearly losing my life because of it, I have thankfully learned to completely shut out society when it comes to food and exercise. I have developed my own mindset that lets me live my life and eat things that for so long I restricted myself from and I couldn’t be happier! I don’t exercise everyday and instead do it when I want because it feels good instead of trying to burn a certain amount of calories. I no longer starve myself and feel like I’m going pass out 24/7. I’m all about baked goods and pop tarts and hell yes to white flour!! It’s funny when people talk about “treat days” and “cheating” because in reality they are being crazy. Life should not revolve around “eating healthy.” I’d certainly rather live my life to the fullest than be concerned all the time about what I’m eating. Sign me up for the island!

    • And the world would be more productive if people weren’t wasting time thinking “should I eat that? Should I not eat that? Is that ‘clean’ enough to eat?”

      LOL to –>”news flash ALL FOOD IS MADE OF ‘molecules’ (which combine to form chemicals!)” SO TRUE!

      YESSS times a million to you researching an island for us haha. It’ll be like bachelor in paradise minus the drama and plus finding your purpose beyond restricting yourself from eating a poptart ;)

      Thanks for the comment, Alisha!!

  2. “vent about the disordered things related to food/exercise/body your diet-loving coworker says” YES PLZ. my manager has joined what i like to call a diet cult, and she talks about it constantly. its a “nutrition protocol” (even that sounds cult-y and awful !?) where she goes to get weighed once a week and buys all her food from this business. one of the rules is that shes not allowed to exercise, because the plan doesnt give her enough calories for any exercise to be safe (WTF???) and she can’t eat carbs, fruit, sugar, most vegetables, dairy, alcohol…anything really. it makes me rage to hear her talk about what a great plan it is, and then she recommends it to everyone. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE????

    • LOL “my manager has joined a diet cult.” That sounds like the worst program ever…”not allowed to exercise bc plan doesn’t give her enough energy to exercise safely?!” YIKES! Anything external (boss/friend/diet) that tells you to fight your own biology is inappropriate. Movement feels good for the body (unless you have an exercise obsession and then it feels very bad)! Ahhh what an awful cult.

  3. After about 10 years of recovering from an ED, dealing with disordered eating/thinking, and now reading Intutitive Eating and your blog I honestly feel SO free after all these years. I listen to my body when it wants chocolate or a bowl of cereal or a salad or whatever! I feel so much more intune with myself. However, within the past week my Dad has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and it has really thrown us all for a loop. I’m now hearing WAY more carb talk than I want and that certain foods are “bad.” When I’m just trying to listen to my body and feel free from the diet mentality. I want to be supportive because I know this is hard for him and my family but I just don’t know how to go about in the best way for him and for me. If anyone has any thoughts or advice I would really appreciate it! <3 

    • Hi Andrea! This would be tough. Sorry to hear about your dad and the recent villainization of carbs. I’d start by saying I’m not a certified diabetes educator, but for carb intake with diabetes what is important is 1) consistency of carbs coming in (having carbs regularly at meals/snacks)…not depriving yourself carbs all day and then overeating carbs at the end of the day, 2) amount of carbs coming in at meals/snacks being balanced and 3) type of carb coming in. None of this is saying carbs are good or bad…it’s just saying if you have Type 2 Diabetes you are going to have to have a bit more aware of carbs.

      The diabetic exchange are actually how I teach people How to Eat again. They reconnect you to how to eat if the media/society wouldn’t have started telling you certain foods were good or bad. When you were recovering from your ED, you may have used an exchanged based meal plan. This exchanged based meal plan is pretty much the same thing as the diabetic exchange meal plan which I imagine your dad is on. Exchange meal plans are a bridge to intuitive eating. So if you ever used an exchange meal plan in ED recovery…I’m sure there is a lot you could help your dad understand about carb intake. Hope that helps!

  4. The prejudice against carbohydrates is so common in today’s society. A few days ago, our office full of women had a huge discussion about diets and how to loose weight. The women there swore by ketonic or ideal protein diets. However, when I suggested to eat an x number of calories with a ratio of 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein I received a lot of interesting comments: too many carbs, too much fat, not enough protein. It is sad to see what our society has come to, our society focuses so much on protein and has deemed carbs and fat evil, even though all 3 of those are essential. After years of undereating and avoiding food groups I am now nourishing my body with whole foods and make a point of eating enough. I couldn’t believe how much I am eating now, or how little I was eating before.

    • Hi Carrie, I’m super glad you are in a place where you can nourish and take care of your body now! Ideal Protein cracks me up! Part of their plan is that you get to eat “unlimited lettuce!” How lucky lol!

      Also. Ketosis is a medical condition that your body is not supposed to be in. In school we always learned if a patient is in ketosis, something is wrong. There is a treatment protocol for how to get someone out of ketosis and it blows my mind that people would choose to put themselves in that state.

  5. Your blog is so refreshing to read. Thank you so much for this truth!

  6. Oh my gosh, I love your blog. Thank you so much! Sometimes I feel like I must be taking crazy pills! I thought by the time I was in my thirties and married with kids, the food craziness would be just that, craziness. But I think it’s worse! I have so many friends who are gluten free for non-allergy reasons and they make their kids eat gluten free too! I haven’t had a birthday party for my kids in years because their closest friends are “gluten free” and I’ll be damned if I make a gluten free cake for my kid’s birthday. I’m so tired of this nonsense. My goal is for my house to be a food-positive zone. As long as we have no real, diagnosed by a doctor allergies, we eat from all the food groups. We try new things and we make cookies with real flour, gosh darnit!

    • Man, Ellen! I love this…”my goal is for my house to be a food-positive zone.” YES! Decrease stress/anxiety/pressure around food and make meal times pleasurable! You are raising healthy and competent eaters who can listen to their hunger/fullness/craving cues and will know how to eat without fear and judgement that gluten is going to get them.

  7. You are SO AWESOME.

    – My housemate is on Slimming World and I have had moments where I have found it triggering. (I hate this and am working on my own vulnerabilities that are causing me to get triggered after years in recovery.) But she, and I’m not joking, refused to go out for some celebratory cake and coffee with a bunch of us because she had weigh in the next day.I was speechless. Her weight the next morning was more important that going out with friends. So depressing.

    Having said that, if anyone has tips/advice on how to handle someone you live with dieting, I’d really like to hear your experiences on dealing with its triggers.

    – I used to be so so scared of fat during anorexia. I had a stand up row at Christmas about the olive oil being used so generously by my family. I was convinced fat would not just make me fat but was BAD for you. Even the ‘good’ ones. It’s scary how your disorder can demonise something so entirely that you literally fear something so nourishing. I now know it’s so important to us for growth and repair and also to just make things taste nice!

    – Don’t get me started on white/refined. I agree with everything you’ve said. That is one thing I have embraced totally in recovery. All the foods and no rules.

    I just love your blog! And your readers/commenters. Such a lovely community you are building so thank you! :-)

    • I don’t live with them, but many members of my family are still
      Immersed in dieting and “weigh ins” and “cheat days” and blah blah,,, but one thing I have started to do, with the help from my therapist, is to ask them to not discuss it around me as it makes me uncomfortable- it’s kind of awkward and they kind of were rude when I asked but I think it made me at least feel better that I brought it up !

  8. After 34 years of dieting, and about 1 of eating more intuitively, I realised that all those times I binged on ‘junk’ foods like cereals, cakes, chocolate etc and I thought I was such a loser, was my poor body crying out for some simple energy! I keep a very detailed diary (nerd) and I tracked back the times I had written the word ‘binge’. Every time was during a week I had hit a new low weight through the latest version of starving/fasting/extreme exercising. This realisation actually made me cry. My poor body was trying to defend itself against my attacks!! Now I am feeding myself properly and my body trusts I’m not going to try that nonsense again, I rarely crave that kind of food.

    As to a diet rule I’m trying to shake… I did intermittent fasting for a LONG time, I found it so easy as I’m not hungry at breakfast and then I had more to spend later in the day on junk. On the advice of a dietician I reintroduced breakfast which I love and it definitely keeps me more even throughout the day, but that nagging voice keeps telling me I shouldn’t eat when I’m not really hungry blah blah!!

  9. Dietitians here usually recommend not eating grapes, bananas nor ‘chirimoya’ (a very sweet fruit from South America) because of the carbs and sugar. When I was trying to build some muscle, a dietitian recommended me to cut fat so I had limited access to avocado (a staple in this part of the world), oils and nuts. It drove me crazy! Of course I saw results, but it also made me crave fat so much. I remember washing my mom’s salad because she had put butter and olive oil on it. Now I try to eat butter often to get rid of this idea that butter is pure evil.

  10. Carbs are necessary and not evil. All great things get a bad reputation.

  11. This post has totally resonated with me today. Working in the fitness industry, all I hear is negative talk from clients about food. In my personal life, I truly strive for balance but I become so self-conscious and upset with myself when I am around people who are super restrictive. Sometimes I find myself taking people’s food restrictions comments and channeling that into a reflection or judgment on what I am eating. I am working on it but it’s been hard to figure out

  12. I really see a huge difference in the way people who have not struggled with disordered eating and those who have. I feel that, for those who have not, dismissing a certain food as bad or avoiding bread for a few weeks to fit into a dress for a party and things like that do not cause them the mental pressure that it causes those who have.

    We who struggle with disordered eating fight hard to let go and just eat what we want, what we need. I really don’t think other people can understand because this just comes naturally to them, and they don’t realize how damaging such comments are to those who are trying to regain healthy eating habits. I always hear, ‘Why don’t you just not eat something sweet today? Just don’t, it’s easy. You’d lose so much weight’ I would like to respond that my body needs something sweet to feel satiated and that if I don’t, I will binge at some later date – which of course is much worse for me! But I don’t, because most people would think that is weird. Just the other day a coworker proclaimed she would no longer eat hummus because she heard that it’s full of fat an hidden calories (this is as I was eating hummus). Talk about disordered thinking!! Even if you can learn to shrug off comments like this, it’s still so difficult to enjoy and let go in an environment that is forever critical. Thank you Kylie for inviting us to share. Love to all who struggle with this.

  13. Something that came to mind for me to share after reading your post…For about 7 years I was using an app to log all my food and exercise, and my happiness would be based on whether my exercise could bring down my total calories for the day to a number I was satisfied with. I used this app religiously, I mean even on holidays and vacations, and sadly, my honeymoon in Europe. Last year, a Christmas “gift” to myself was deleting that stupid app. I no longer think about calories, just about how my body feels. I eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m satisfied, and try to think of what exercise my body feels like doing, rather than what I want it to do. For me, this means more Pilates and less cardio, and I look forward to it more now!

    I love your blog, Kylie! I look forward to reading every morning with my tea!

  14. #1- At a super bowl party this past Sunday we were filling our plates with food and my sister declared, “loading up on fat people food”. It curdles my stomach just typing that in. I was like “no, its just food”.

    #2- In my ED days I made up a rule that I couldn’t eat the same food more than once in a day. Like I could have meat or eggs or peanut butter only once. :( #3- What are your thoughts on having IBS (since childhood) and modifying foods that you choose to eat because you have observed they cause distress? I do believe IBS symptoms have a mental component but they also have a very real physiological component. Symptoms like embarrassing sulfurous gas and debilitating cramping are real. It becomes complicated in after ED because you have to walk a very careful line and people scrutinize your choices.

    • Megan, I have the same question. I’ve spent the last year trying to find relief from stomach issues and after all medical tests were (thankfully) exhausted I’ve had to modify what and how I eat. I hate that this brings back all those gross feelings of control over my diet. Trying to find a way to avoid trigger foods and not make a “thing” about it around family and friends is difficult. I don’t want my eating to stand out as different or restrictive. And I really don’t want to spend my day thinking about what I should and shouldn’t eat after 8 years of successfully moving past my ED.

      • Yes!! I am on the same boat. I have been having really bad stomach issues, and I need to go to a doctor, but I think it is lactose and gluten. It brings back my days of disordered eating, because I hate feeling like I am restricted. I want access to all foods that my body craves, but I also don’t want to be in immense pain and with uncomfortable gas due to that. How can we change our mindset around this?

    • Hi Megan!!

      I HIGHLY recommend, like cannot recommend enough, reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I have struggled with IBS since I was a kid and have been lactose intolerant since my middle school years, so recovering from an eating disorder was tough in that regard. The book explains it very well, but basically the authors talk about something called “gentle nutrition” meaning that you eat what is satisfying to you in ALL senses of the word. This means if something sounds satisfying to you, but you know that everytime you eat it you are writhing in pain (broccoli for me for example), you take that into account and make a decision based on your intuition in that situation. It’s all about progress, mot perfection, and just taking it step by step in my experience. Sometimes it is worth it to me to eat the dang homemade ice cream because its so freaking delicious, even though I know I’ll be in pain later and having a lot of GI issues. But most of the time, it does not sound very satisfying for that to happen, so I reach for non-dairy alternatives to satisfy my craving:) I hope this makes sense, this is just one example and my experience–I definitely encourage y’all to read the book and experiment with what feels good for your body!:)

  15. I love this style of post with conversations being sparked in the comments! I appreciate this view point on carbs. I will say I LOVE all types of carbs, but I have admittedly struggled with them at times. Long story short, I went to the doctor almost three years ago for I thought was an infection that I just needed antibiotics for. I had just eaten sushi and some udon noodle soup with my now husband, so in hindsight, it was not an ideal time to go in for a quick exam. My BG was found to be slightly elevated, so naturally I didn’t think clearly. I just panicked, lol. After visiting with my PCP, all was found to be perfectly well, but it left me feeling uneasy and confused. Fast forward to now where I have ditched so much control and disordered eating thoughts/behaviors, I feel free. But I still am working to overcome and get back to believing that our bodies ARE able to do many things and are resilient. I truly think that had I been listening to my body’s needs and eating intuitively rather than based on some stupid, “you need x servings of this”, then my body would’ve responded appropriately. :) Regarding coworkers’ behaviors, I am happy that one of mine is working to better her health as well as her husband’s. However, she talks about it as, “clean eating”, and I cringe at that. Her sister started WW, and all I could feel was sadness for her. I too want to use my blog to spread positivity, self-love, and better relationships with food. I love to refer people to yours as a “jumping off point” in ditching dieting and to start living!

  16. Amen! I developed anorexia when I was 14. I am now 29 and am still struggling. I have never been at a stable weight for more than a year. I have no idea where my body wants to be. It’s really frustrating being around people who are constantly talking about good food and bad food. Diet talk and food shaming is so freaking normalized. Can I just wear ear muffs everywhere? It’s so hard for me not to say things when I hear disordered eating being encouraged and preached.

    I second the IBS component. I’ve had IBS issues since I was a kid (pre eating disorder), but got a stomach bug 6 years ago and it has been way worse. To cope with it and be able to continue working, I stopped eating during the day and just ate at night. This is my biggest struggle right now. My lovely black and white brain freaks out with the thought of food during the day because I am scared I will still want to eat a shit ton of food at night.

    It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone in all of this. I’m not crazy, the disordered eating mania is.

    • Hi Hillary!

      I HIGHLY recommend, like cannot recommend enough, reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I have struggled with IBS since I was a kid and have been lactose intolerant since my middle school years, so recovering from an eating disorder was tough in that regard. The book explains it very well, but basically the authors talk about something called “gentle nutrition” meaning that you eat what is satisfying to you in ALL senses of the word. This means if something sounds satisfying to you, but you know that everytime you eat it you are writhing in pain (broccoli for me for example), you take that into account and make a decision based on your intuition in that situation. It’s all about progress, mot perfection, and just taking it step by step in my experience. Sometimes it is worth it to me to eat the dang homemade ice cream because its so freaking delicious, even though I know I’ll be in pain later and having a lot of GI issues. But most of the time, it does not sound very satisfying for that to happen, so I reach for non-dairy alternatives to satisfy my craving:) I hope this makes sense, this is just one example and my experience–I definitely encourage y’all to read the book and experiment with what feels good for your body!:)

      • Thanks for the input, Tailar! I agree that intuitive eating is about remembering you are a student learning how to take care of your body. Your goal is curiosity over judgement when discovering how foods make you feel without the ED influence.

  17. I cannot figure out how to comment on another comment to continue a thread {struggling ;) }, but I too have IBS, and I think in some small way, this propelled my disordered eating. I so badly wanted to control and eliminate my symptoms, so I believed if I became strict about my intake, then I could achieve that. While I know what foods settle better than others, it’s sometimes a matter of hormones or other factors that cause my symptoms to fluctuate. So I now work on eating what I enjoy and feel my body wants, I move my body in ways that feels good, and I take the symptoms as they come as best I can. Some days are better than others. Celiac Disease or another true disease/allergy causes a person to avoid certain foods for medical reasons, and I can see where someone could develop disordered eating from this. I hope more people can talk about their GI discomfort rather than treating it as a taboo subject. I think then we could help each other more!

  18. YES. Another client told me this week that she doesn’t eat bananas or carrots because they’re too high in sugar. So hard to break that mentality–I get fired up about it so I’m currently working on a blog post about the foods that we are told we “can’t” eat. Thanks for starting this conversation!

  19. I used to think my body couldn’t metabolize peanut butter because it was so high in fat… crazy right. Now I freakin’ love it. I also used to think that sweets would make me physically feel sick because the ingredients aren’t “clean.” My mind was so irrational!

  20. I absolute love posts like this and also, all the comments make me sad at the same time. What a waste of joy!

    1)I’ve had disorderd eating (not diagnosed, but in hindsight NO healthy way of eating) for about 15-16 years (!!). Now I am 29 and since about 1.5-2 years eating intuitively and BOY DOES IT FEEL GOOD. I also have been one of the people who didn’t want to go eating out with friends because then I would have had to eat restaurant food “and everone knows you shoudn’t eat that since they use way more fat”. I never binged but I had never, never not a day peace in my head.
    2) All the crap in my head made me feel waaaay more insecure about myself and my overall abilities and it lead to TWO broken relationship with my then-longterm-boyfriend and also another guy. That still hurts me sometimes, (even though I have now found my husband-to-be) that this eating disorder made ME behave in such a way. I always doubted myself and my then-boyfriend, if he really loved me and if he didn’t love his ex-girlfriend more BECAUSE SHE WAS THINNER! The poor guy.Also, a very short relationship before that ended after only 3 weeks because I was calling him like 5 times if the guy call 15 min when he said he would and I was so sure he would have found another girl, thinner, more beautiful, etc. Needless to say, the guy was totally into me but not into that CRAZY-me.
    3) Now I gained some weight in de the last months, which were difficult due toe internship and my father getting cancer. It it not easy having tight clothes AND a tight budget so I do hope to loose the pounds again. I have to be honest about that. I feel heavy and not like myself, since I didn’t move much at all. So I this week slowly start with Yoga and walking and being kind to my body and starting to regulate my sleeping schedule and not put too much stuff on my agenda and then…finding the feeling “me” again. Maybe, that is on my current weight and that’s it then. Or maybe with taking care of my mental and soul health, my physical body won’t need to hold on to the new pounds in town.

  21. I’ve just started this intuitive eating thing (like 2 weeks ago) and I’ve SO LOVED your blog! I’m a third of the way through the intuitive eating book too and so far I’m feeling so much more free! Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full…. what a concept! So simple but somehow it gets lost when we grow up in this kind of society. I love your hunger scale too! I’ve been eating less at one meal but more throughout the day. The only problem I have is I can’t always control when and what I eat for dinner regardless of when i’m hungry or what I think i’m craving (more on the craving below). How do you do intuitive eating when you’re married? Our dinner is determined by when my husband gets home from work (between 6-8pm). We like to eat together so I usually wait to cook dinner until he is on his way home. Sometimes it’s well past when i’m hungry but if I have a snack then i’m not hungry when he is or when he gets home.

    I know it’s only been a few weeks since i’ve started so maybe this will come with time, but how do I know what i’m craving? I can tell when i’m hungry but then I just eat what I want.. mostly chocolate. Which is fine. I’ve learned to not restrict anything. How do you tune into what you are craving though? Like i don’t think i’ve ever said “oh yea I’m craving pizza, or a salad, or cereal”. I’ve heard Does that make sense?

    Last question… about snacks. This may sound like a really stupid question, but at what point in the hunger scale do I eat a snack. I know for meals it’s between a 3 and 4 and I eat until i’m at a 6 or 7 (I know that’s not a rule, but a guideline). But do I treat snacks the same?

    Also, side rant. I LOVE that i’m allowing myself to eat what I want now with no restrictions, but man that grocery bill is getting expensive! At least when I didn’t allow myself to buy ice cream and cookies and a bunch of other stuff, my food bill was reasonable :)

  22. I used to belong to a gym that was 100% boot camps. I LOVED the workouts and it actually helped me really love exercising and start living a healthier lifestyle (I’m basically a Netflix Slug otherwise. My default setting is “supine”.) BUT part of the gym’s philosophy was pushing this crazy intense bodybuilding competition diet mentality. Low carbs, no white foods (I would seriously get emails about the five White Devils… yeah), lean meats, cheat meals, macro counting, etc. I could go on for days about the insane diet shaming that they did. I finally moved to a different state which caused me to have to cancel my membership, but I still find myself analyzing every food I buy and wondering whether it was an “approved” food at this gym… And I never even subscribed to their special diets! I just went for the workouts! It really goes to show you how much this information gets inside your head, even if you are actively trying not to listen. Now that I’m in my new city (it’s Houston, btw. Hi!) I’m still trying to readjust and find my new workout groove, and try to shut that shit down inside my head when I want to eat pizza with regular crust or whatever “White Devil” I happen to be craving at that moment. There genuinely are foods that I try to avoid because they bother my tummy (like cow’s milk or fried foods) but sometimes you just gotta endure the stomachache because OMG PICKLE CHIPS! I’m doing my best to eat intuitively and listen to my body, but it’s not always an easy switch to turn off when you’re used to a bodybuilder screaming in your ear about the evils of grains and cheese, you know?

  23. I was just sitting here reading this post and reading through the comments and gushing to my roommate about how much I love all of it!!!
    When I was in my eating disorder, I truly believed that sugar and carbs were the enemies to my good health. Yet, I ate sweet potatoes and brown rice and apples regularly–because I deemed these to be “healthier, more complex carbs and sugars.” When I started seeing my awesome nutritionist and she explained to me the difference between simple and complex carbs/sugars, I literally did not believe her. I had been told by SO many people/ads/blogs/magazines/etc. that complex carbs were good and simple carbs like white rice and cookies were evil and would make me fat. So, it was so difficult for me to believe this wasn’t true–I did trust my nutritionist, thankfully, and listened to her and agreed to do my own research. I took a nutrition class and read the book and learned even more. Knowledge for me was the key to freedom–but too much knowledge of the WRONG things or DISTORTED facts was what lead me down the bad path to disordered eating in the first place. A cookie and a sweet potato are both carby and sugary–the sweet potato has more vitamins and fiber, so it will be digested more slowly, provide longer lasting energy, and those important nutrients! BUT it is not BETTER for you than the cookie. Your body processes the cookie the same way it does the sweet potato, just more quickly, and without all that fiber and vitamins. I’m SO glad I learned this in my recovery, it was a HUGE turning point for me to start challenging everything I had been told and actually looking at the science and using my wise mind to challenge my disordered beliefs that were not rooted in truth. I’m SO thankful that you are spreading this knowledge around the internet Kylie, freaking awesome post as usual!!!! <3

  24. Also, it won’t let me reply to others’ comments–but I HIGHLY recommend, like cannot recommend enough, reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I have struggled with IBS since I was a kid and have been lactose intolerant since my middle school years, so recovering from an eating disorder was tough in that regard. The book explains it very well, but basically the authors talk about something called “gentle nutrition” meaning that you eat what is satisfying to you in ALL senses of the word. This means if something sounds satisfying to you, but you know that everytime you eat it you are writhing in pain (broccoli for me for example), you take that into account and make a decision based on your intuition in that situation. It’s all about progress, mot perfection, and just taking it step by step in my experience. Sometimes it is worth it to me to eat the dang homemade ice cream because its so freaking delicious, even though I know I’ll be in pain later and having a lot of GI issues. But most of the time, it does not sound very satisfying for that to happen, so I reach for non-dairy alternatives to satisfy my craving:) I hope this makes sense, this is just one example and my experience–I definitely encourage y’all to read the book and experiment with what feels good for your body!:)

    • Hey Tailar,

      For some reason you can only reply through your phone. There is a ‘reply’ button that pops up on mobile, but it’s not showing up on the desktop/computer version of the blog for some reason…trying to figure out why:)

  25. I absolutely love this post Kylie! It resonates with me in so many ways. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating since doing Weight Watchers last year, it is crazy how pervasive diet culture is in our society. I started Weight Watchers last year and through the strict point counting, did lose some weight. Along the way, I also lost my inability to eat normally, enjoy food, and understand how to eat intuitively. At a smaller weight, I am so much more unhappy than I was before I began this entire challenge in my life. I know I am headed in the right direction and know that changes have to be made. Last week I found your blog, deleted my calorie counting app, and decided to attend an ED group this weekend in my town. It can definitely be tough for me to eat in our office break room at work. For example, earlier this week, there were 6-7 women eating in there with me. One of them commented that it must be nice that I can eat carbs without having to worry about weight gain. She was referring to my sweet potato I was eating with lunch. What she meant as a compliment, completely threw me off. None of these women have any idea that I silently struggle with disordered eating thoughts. Most of them are on a no-carb or low-carb diet. Their comments cause me to think that I’m overeating and that I need to continue my obsessive exercising in order to maintain some dumb image they may or may not see when they look at me. This whole ongoing journey has taught me to always think before speaking. You never know someone’s internal struggle or their story. Instead of talking about “good or bad” foods, let’s talk about life and everything we have to be grateful for. I know I am grateful that I found this blog and am taking steps to take back my life. Thanks again for writing this post Kylie!

  26. Coworkers’ comments have totally been the most triggering for me throughout Ed/recovery. My daily apple is “all carbs,” my packed sandwiches for lunch are “unhealthy,” and fun meals out turn into —> “I’m not eating for the rest of the day.”

    With the help of my therapist I’m able to sort through the Ed noise, but it’s still crazy to me how much good/bad/guilt food talk there is! Recovery has only made me more aware of it and it makes me realize – no wonder I struggled in my Ed before I had tools to process the diet mentality language. It’s everywhere!

    I’m just grateful that I’m fighting for a better life than that. They may be at normal/healthy weights, but the unhealthy mentality is pervasive. We all deserve better than to live a life of constantly trying to eat less/be smaller!

    Thanks as always for your thoughtful and positive blogs, Kylie.

  27. OMG i love this post. i just wish i read this before throwing away my banana. I been under eating for the past 35 years, tracking macros/calories constantly. I was obsessed with calorie counting. I think about food constantly due to the fact that i needed to control my intake and when i say intake i’m talking about ‘X’ calories a day. I will workout lifting and doing 60 min of cardio X times a week.  This is my first year that i’m pushing, trying my hardest to increase my calories which sometimes i do. When i was still tracking i will try to hit at least X calories. Now I’m at a point in my life that i don’t want to track anymore. I don’t to count every single little thing that i eat. I’m 36 years old and i want to be free from numbers and just live, so last week i decided to give a try to intuitively eating. I haven’t track this whole week but i know that i’m under eating, I’m afraid of eating too much calories. So i guess me trying to eat intuitively I’m starting to restrict without even knowing that i’m doing it. I guess i just want to be in tune with my hunger cues and I hardly feel hungry, i guess that’s because my body is in starvation mode. So my question is should I still eat even though I’m not hungry when i know i haven’t eaten much during day.

    • Hi Vanessa,
      I hope Kylie won’t mind me answering your question. While I’ve never lost my appetite throughout my ED, I know friends who did and this obviously makes eating intuitively harder. Robyn [] wrote a post on this very issue quite some time ago. I highly recommend reading it. Essentially, you need to eat even when you’re not hungry while you’re still underweight and haven’t gotten your hunger cues back. It doesn’t feel good at first but I promise it gets better as your hunger returns. Hope that helps a little.

  28. I only discovered your blog about six months ago, but out of many similar recovery and health post ED sites, I find yours the most relatable and down to earth.
    I used to read other ED recovered supposed health gurus’ blogs and they all seemed to have these unattainable bodies, super healthy diets, and it always made me feel like I wasn’t doing recovery “right” if I didn’t look as polished as they did with these super deluxe lives to match. You are the first blogger to be completely transparent about your struggles, and I cannot tell you how helpful that is.
    Last year I had a baby, and the psychotic focus of the world on women postpartum is to “lose the baby weight”, but pregnancy was the first time in over 12 years of disordered eating that I actually found a healthy relationship with food. Now, a year later, my husband has decided to be healthier, and he has been going to the gym and counting macros for the last four months.
    It’s really difficult to see him eat his super strict meal plan and endure his relationship to food as someone in recovery.
    I have tried to bring up the fact that it damages my ability to see my own nutrition and health clearly, but he gets really defensive and angry.
    It makes me sad because after reading your post about how supportive your husband is of your ED recovery, it makes me feel like my partner is really unsupportive.
    He insists that what he does “shouldn’t” have any impact on me, and he doesn’t pass any judgement on what I eat or how much, but if I say that just being around the kind to structure he imposes on himself is triggering he says that it’s my problem and I need to get over it because I shouldn’t impose my disorder on him.
    Does anyone else struggle with recovery in regards to their relationship?
    I’m fighting for my health, but it’s very difficult when I feel so alone.

  29. I often hear or see the phrase, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” That phrase really messed with me for awhile. It made me feel like hunger and deprivation were the necessary precursors for “feeling good”–as though there was no way to feel good about yourself without those. Such a dangerous thought!

  30. I used to think I could only eat certain foods on “cheat day” now I cannot stand those words, even!! It’s funny because if I was craving like a SMOOTHIE On Tuesday, I would say, oh I can’t wait til
    Saturday and I can have it! geez, it makes me sad now to think how much time and energy I spent on thinking about food. I have realized just how good it feels physically and mentally to just eat, and I dot. Think about it as much anymore .
    also thought carbs were not ok, and I would constantly drink coffee cuz 0 cals.

  31. LOVE THIS POST! I’ve found myself nodding along with all the comments; while I wish that no one else has had the same experiences as me, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. 

    I think diet talk and fat shaming is our default nowadays. We’re conditioned by those around us and the media to believe that thin = better, and all the steps we take to get to the mecca that is skinny (dieting, limiting ourselves, showing restraint around food) make us feel virtuous. I honestly don’t think I’ve come across ONE person while I’ve been working who has said “Actually, I just eat what I want when I want, and move in a way that makes me feel good.” EVERYONE joins in with the ‘I’ll have this brownie then be good tomorrow/ I can’t eat that apple it has too much sugar/ I’m carb free right now’ chat, and even when people aren’t actively doing this themselves they say “Oh you’re so good!” NO! Why can’t ‘good’ be treating our bodies and minds with respect, not punishing them? 

    I used to believe that eating after 7pm would make me fat. This resulted in a year of being unable to sleep, or waking up at 2am with crippling stomach pains. My body wouldn’t let me sleep because it was starving. Now, I have toast or cereal every night literally just before I get into bed – I can’t sleep without feel satisfied. And have I ballooned? No. To be honest, even if I had it would be worth the good nights sleep after so long of crying into my pillow hungry at 3am. 

    Life is short. Too short to spend it trying to fit into the arbitrary ideals of the corporate world. 

  32. Here is where I’m currently at… and it’s driving me crazy! 10 years ago my eating disorder began. Scan to today, I’m recovered but am having a set back as far as disordered eating thoughts and behaviors are concerned. I am dealing with a SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) diagnosis that is unable to be treated with anything but diet until I am done nursing my 5 month old (hoping to nurse at least to a year).

    I’m so discouraged because my diet seems to have to be restricted for my gut to feel good. It has me in and out of sadness. I know intuitive eating fits into my current dietary world but it’s hard to figure it out. I’ve done so much work to rid myself of my eating disorder and to embrace intuitive eating but am feeling the anxiousness of restriction and the sadness of not feeling like I know what’s good for my body right now. I feel like working to accept where my body currently is is key but am kinda lost as to how this plays out.

    Thanks for what you’re putting out into the world It’s awesome and super helpful ! Keep it up!

  33. This discussion is so good!

    One thing that has been bothering me so much lately is my mom’s response to my and my sister’s eating habits. Food wasn’t restricted in our household growing up, and we ate all variety of things in a balanced way, so I don’t feel as though the overall food environment was negative.

    However, sometimes if I or my sister takes an extra helping or two of dinner or especially if we go for another piece of desert, my mom will comment on it or puff our her cheeks and widen her arms in pantomime of an overweight person. Like she is saying that if we eat what we are eating we will become fat and it will be negative. It drives me nuts. I don’t live at home anymore and I mostly brush it off, but my sister is a freshman in high school and I remember how much pressure I felt to look different or be smaller in high school. I hate that my mom’s actions could negatively effect my sister’s body image.

    Also, on the point of carbs, the ketogenic diet seems to be gaining popularity. I know several people on it right now. Just over the weekend, a friend told me that she “needed” to lose weight and was going to try the ketogenic diet. She showed me a picture on instagram of a woman’s transformation that she was using as inspiration. Anyway, my friend asked me what I though. I told her that the ketogenic diet sounded really restrictive and like a path to being grumpy, hangry, and obsessive about food. I explained that our bodies really need carbs and that meeting nutritional intake needs while cutting out a food group seemed hard and harmful. Her opinion was unchanged. :(

  34. nice post! i struggle with dieting since i was a kid because at the age of 13 the doctor said i was overweight and needed to lose weight. this started the yo yo dieting for me.  i figured i had to diet because if i was a kid who got fat eating normally and not worrying about what i ate, how could i trust my body now then? i fought with wanting to have abs and but eat what i want to eat as well. i keep feeling that its unfair some people are naturally lean and I’m not. i still struggle with body image and accepting my body. i still dieting and find it hard to break the habit. i think if i let go ill be like those 600 pounds people.i hope to improve though and become at peace with my eating.

  35. An old friend of mine (we’re not close anymore but we see each other around town) was what society would consider “overweight” her whole life and that was just how she was. I remember how much she would get teased relentlessly about it and I always felt bad because people would never take the chance to get to know her.

    About a year ago, she started a diet and that was the first time in her life (as far as I know) which is actually impressive (the fact it was her first, not the fact it was a diet) since she is in her mid twenties. Like one of the comments above, she has pretty much been in a diet cult for the past year, and while she has easily lost over 100 lbs, she is so ridiculously restricted on what she eats. She’s constantly posting pictures on instagram and facebook of her “progress” to which she gets unending validation and praise from everyone else, but in addition to those, she posts all these pictures of the things she’s now baking for everyone else but won’t touch herself. HELLO?! Disordered much?! Trust me, I know. Like the above post, she has to buy all her food from this place, and it’s mostly puddings and protein bars (yum…🙄) and she’ll go out to restaurants with people and break out a protein bar while everyone else orders a meal. AND EVERYONE ELSE COMMENDS HER!

    “Oh you’re so dedicated!”
    “Oh you’re so healthy, and here I am ordering pasta! Oh well it’s my cheat meal!”

    And I’m like, hello, does anyone else see that the fact that her hair is thinning, and she has dark circles under her eyes all the time is NOT A GOOD THING? PLUS, any diet that bans exercise because it actually states “you’re not taking in enough calories to be safe doing it” is pretty much admitting to you how UNHEALTHY it actually is! And guess what, she’s still in the upper range of what society would consider “normal” weight.

    People need to get it through their heads that not all bodies are meant to be the same size, and you can be in a really unhealthy place without being considered “underweight”. You are still underweight for YOUR body!

    Now my boyfriend’s mom is on the same diet, and it’s freaking scary! The worst part is that they get some doctor somewhere to give it a checkmark saying, “doctor approved” so everyone thinks these things are healthy! And they SO ARE NOT!

  36. I had a genuine fear of bread for a long time!
    The idea of eating a sandwich genuinely terrified me (too many carbs, not enough vegetables, what if it didn’t fill me and I had blown my calorie allowance?!)
    One day I had this revolutionary moment where I ate a grilled cheese for lunch without my mind stopping me. The world did not end, my body did not balloon up like I thought. Instead I enjoyed every damn carby, melty, warm bite of that grilled cheese and felt incredibly satisfied afterwards. The realization that I felt good was huge to me and ever since I have been able to acknowledge my body when it wants to eat bread. I get frustrated at people who make off-hand comments about white bread or gluten being the enemy. Without sounding too much like Oprah, bread is life.

    • lol about–> “without sounding too much like Oprah” haha (oh, Oprah. Please breakup with Weight Watchers.) I love hearing about people’s “ah-ha” moments in recovery. Grilled cheese to the rescue! One of my big moments was when I realized instead of eating a salad for dinner and then bingeing on what I really wanted after dinner…what if I just ate what I really wanted and said forget you salad. That worked wonders and led to me focusing on being satisfied by food instead of focusing on just being full. Sometimes this meant (and still means) having cake + a latte for a meal. Nothing wrong with that. JUST EAT THE THING!:)

  37. Thank you for this post!  I just discovered your blog via instagram and have been really enjoying it.  

    I’m trying to get on a more intuitive-eating path after years of disordered eating, restricting, and binging.  For the past year or so I’ve been tracking macros in order to introduce more of my “fear foods” back into my diet but have still found that to be restrictive it in it’s own way. I don’t want to live my life according to numbers anymore.  My binging and emotional eating is finally more under control and I don’t fear certain food situations like I used to.  However, a big struggle and big trigger for me is that my husband is VERY health conscious (almost to a fault; I am realizing now this is not necessarily healthy at all) and constantly labels food, avoids carbs and all sugar (even in fruit).  He is aware of my past with food but does not understand the struggle and how deep and painful it goes.  I’m really feeling stuck here and would love any advice regarding how to not let his mentality impact my progress.  Thank you!! 

  38. Just an FYI before u read- this is a compilation of my words that I ended up tying out. So be prepared for word vomit and lots of spelling/grammar mistakes (bc I didn’t re-read!!)
    I have struggled with disordered eating for about three years (and I’m obviously not perfect, but so so so much better.) Ever since I was younger, I was heavy. My parents are absolutely amazing and never made me feel shameful for my eating habits and always supported me full force. But, societal expectation got in the way and I decided to start eating “healthy,” (aka not eating enough and trying to be skinny) I lost some weight, but was never “skinny” like I wanted to be. My body PHYSICALLY wouldn’t get down to the shape that I was so despretly trying to create. I didn’t know when enough was enough which Lead me to losing my period. This concerned me, so I did some info and found Therealliferd. She helped me see how I needed to be eating more, and truly nourishing my body. When I started to re-learn how to eat, I slowly tried to eat more, but I would continue to go on and off of “clean eating,” “paleo,” calorie counting etc. and it would just lead to binges. I gained some weight back (which was necessary for my period and my brain,) but it wasn’t until I found mindful eating and your blog that I began to truly heal. I am now in the process of accepting my new body size, I will never be the skinny girl. I will never have rock hard abs, small thighs or small arms. I am learning to understand that my body doesn’t do well on 5-7 days a week of intense exercising, but I found that I can handle 4 days of crossfit make me feel amazing (obviously Crossfit isn’t for everyone, but it has helped me find a passion for becoming stronger vs doing cardio to lose weight.)
    I’m allowed to have my own thoughts. I’ve mentioned this before to you, but Being in high school, going into college comes with a lot of stress to look amazing. Every girl has the “perfect” body or is on a diet.
    I still feel self conscious in certain clothing items (which I’m learning to get past!) but I am in a much better place. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a REAL full on binge. Once in. A while I will stress eat/ overeat, but instead of getting angry, I accept what is.
    Every time I have an urge to binge, I just remind myself how far I have come. Yes, I still overeat, but instead of bashing myself I try to UNDERSTAND why I binged. Was I stressed? Was I trying too hard to “not be hungry” because I thought I already ate too much?
    So, thank you. Thank you for allowing to hear so much diet talk and get through it. Thank you for helping me see that even though high school sucks, life goes on and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you thank you thank you. Ps if anyone has read this whole trail of thoughts, you all have to buy the online courses!!! I’ve gone through a few videos and LOVEEE IT!!

    • YES!! Curiosity over judgement! YES YES YES. That is how you move past disordered eating. Love getting for follow along on your journey, Rachel. So happy for you and all the work you’ve been doing:)

      p.s. in my experience life gets a million zillion times better after high school!

  39. I think that the craziest belief that I’ve had (and still struggle with everyday) is that the day after eating something “bad” or “off-limits” I will suddenly, out of nowhere, become extremely fat, like if I eat a cupcake or a chocolate bar today, tomorrow I’ll weight 10 extra pounds. Super crazy, but my mind found it pretty logical.

    • Hi Sara! If you’re in a place where you’re up for a challenge and want to bury this fear once and for all…you should eat a chocolate bar or a cupcake everyday for a snack until this fear goes away. Your body would be fine.

  40. My coworker is trying to lose weight even though she’s looks great. She said to me one day ” I feel like I need to be shot because I just ate a butter finger” I’ve been telling her to eat what she likes and what feels good. Now that I know what I know it seems like EVERYONE is obsessed with losing weight and everyone thinks they need to. People are praised for losing weight. Like how crazy is it that we give people merit because they suddenly take up less space. I still struggle with negative thoughts about my weight because I am the highest weight I’ve ever been in my life. I studied nutrition in school and work as a WIC nutritionist so I catch myself thinking all kinds of disordered things. I feel kind of guilty if I don’t eat a lot of vegetables during the day and wonder if I’m eating too many carbs sometimes. I don’t have intuitive eating down perfectly but I’m trying. I’m trying to love my body. I’m definitely not as obsessed about weight and clean eating but I’m not all the way okay with myself yet.

    • It’s funny how when you let dieting/food rules go you start noticing them everywhere! In these moments I think it’s important to remember that if any external factor (friend/boss/family/diet found on Pinterest) is asking you to go against you biology (aka avoiding craving and ignoring hunger)…RUN AWAY!

      Loved this –> “like how crazy is it that we give people merit bc they suddenly take up less space.”

      I imagine I too am at my highest weight (haven’t weighed myself in quite some time and really don’t care to) and while it took some tolerating then accepting my body to feel loving towards my body like it is now…I’ve never had as many good body image days in my life as I do now. For a while I tied being thin to having good body image days, but I can’t remember any truly good body image days when I was in my ED. Have you watched this video on a 5-step daily body image practice? Maybe it could help:

  41. This hit home..big time! I’ve followed you for what feels like forever and your words always ring true for me. I work as a flight attendant so I’m an indrustry full of judgement on how you look, so many of my co workers are obsessed on what to eat, or more accurate what NOT to eat. Three years ago I had just ‘conquered’ anorexia however like you said anyone who has or had an ED knows, some thoughts stay with you. i remember during my recovery my morning snack was an apple with ‘fruit’ yogurt and boy I struggled so hard because apples are full of sugar (not to mention the venomous yogurt) and sugar is ‘bad’… it used to take me over an hour to eat it because of course I had to chew each bite 27 times as my silly brain thought maybe just maybe that’d process the sugar in my body slower. Even today I still can’t eat apples, I mean I know that it’s not gonna kill me or make me fat but there’s just something there, and that’s made all that harder by the girls I work with being obsessed with sugar free carb free diets :/ like someone else below said, What is wrong with people!! Society needs to change its views around food and thankfully there are people like you guys doing it!! :)

    • How interesting. I didn’t even think about the flight attendant world and the high amount of judgement on how you look. That would be a tough environment to be in. True ED recovery comes when you realize that there is uncertainty in the size your body will end up. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but you are not less valuable if you take up more space in this world (<--I believe that to my core). The only flight attendants I remember are the funny ones...I couldn't tell you any of their body sizes. When you decide to let go of the food rules, listen to H/F and tolerate the size you body is ending up...that's when the real beautiful parts of recovery happen. Have you ever read Body Respect by Linda Bacon? That may be a great book for you:) Also...what about "an apple a day keeps the doctor away?"

  42. What an awesome place this comment-thread is! If we could all meet up for coffee I am sure we could change the world :)

    My family is pretty body neutral, although my Dad’s doctor has recently told him he needs to lose weight for his blood pressure without asking any questions about other factors that may be contributing (like a massively stressful work environment), so when I started dating my fiance I was shocked with the comments my (almost) mother-in-law made about his body.
    Fast forward four years and she is still harassing him about his body shape and constantly calls him fat. He’s a big, tall dude with body fat. His dad and uncles are all shaped the same way.
    The other day she called him specifically to tell him that she was “concerned about his health”. Let me be clear: she did not call for any other reason than to talk to him about him being fat. It’s like she can’t even see what an amazing human her son is (successful at work, a loving and equal partner to me, funny, super smart among many other things). To me, my MIL is diet culture embodied. Whenever we leave their house she hugs my fiance and slaps him on the belly and adds some sort of cruel comment.
    I don’t know how to confront her about this. I am a weight neutral, fat positive dietitian who has her own history of disordered eating. In fact, my relationship with my fiance was one of the most important things that helped me to heal from that disordered eating. I want to inform her about HAES and make her understand that her comments are nothing but harmful (even if my fiance laughs them off they affect me). We are planning on having a family one day and I don’t want my kids exposed to the kind of body shaming and concern trolling that she sprouts off. My body image issues were definitely in some ways caused by things my grandmother said to me and I will be damned if my kids are exposed to the same shaming. If it comes down to it I will ensure that they never spend time alone with her if she continues in this way.
    I’m just not sure how to confront her over the issue of the way she talks to my fiance, and make her understand that her comments are harmful and triggering to some people, and that she is just contributing to a hateful world and a culture of body shaming.

    • Wow. I feel for your mother-in-law! I couldn’t imagine being in my 60s+ and still being in a diet culture mindset. I would hope a different approach would be comforting to her. Sounds like she’s projecting her own issues/weight biases on your husband:/

      I wonder if she’d be open to reading a Linda Bacon book and just seeing how she feels about Health at Every Size (like you mentioned!). I’m not sure how you would bring this up, maybe a start could be giving her a chart on diet vs. non diet mentality. I share such a chart here–> Or you may know of your own. I don’t know your MIL’s personality and if she would feel attacked by this. I do feel that this conversation is better to have now before kiddos enter the picture.

      And as far as future kiddos go, I’m with you. There were many things said to me as a child/teen that affected my relationship with food and my body–>which led to an ED–>which led to the true me missing 8+ years of my life. I’m gonna be very protective of the diet/shaming/non-body neutral language used around my kids.

  43. I love love love this post Kylie! As someone in eating disorder recovery for 3 years, I have had my fair share of irrational thoughts about eating/exercise. I remember that I used to have so many “food rules” and one of them was that I couldn’t have the same food twice in one day and that carbs like bread, bagels, and pasta were “bad.” Well, I actually conquered a bagel FINALLY a few months ago and I have them at least once a week now and LOOK! nothing happened to me, I didn’t gain a million pounds.. who would’ve thought?! ;) Something that I also used to struggle with in regards to exercise was the idea of rest days. I used to believe that I would automatically gain weight. I felt so guilty for being lazy and having a down day which would then lead to thoughts about restriction. I’m sooooo glad that I take rest days now and don’t change my eating habits or anything. It’s amazing (and sad) to look back and see how sick and irrational I truly was.

    • So pumped for you Katrina! SO MUCH PROGRESS! It sounds like it feels good to be in a place where you are truly taking care of and flowing with your body’s instincts:) Way to be taking care of yourself!

      Also, there is a restaurant near me that makes an epic pizza bagel. Basically all the typical pizza toppings on top of a bagel…definitely worth creating at home!

  44. But aren’t there some foods that literally have ingredients not meant to be eaten? i.e. Red Dye #40
    Isn’t it in our best interest and to feel better to eat as natural as we can?
    ……asking for a friend ;P

    • Hi Kea! Thanks for commenting!

      I never think, “oh man I’ve got a craving for red food dye.” But every once in a while I’m sure I eat red food dye…probably most often in sprinkles, which remind me of childhood and make me smile. The anxiety one could potentially feel over eating or not eating red food dye is more degrading to health than just eating the food dye occasionally and moving on with your life. We don’t need to be scared of it.

      I am big on living your life in a way that makes you feel your best, but if you feel to the point of tears when thinking about eating or not eating food dye…you are not feeling your best.

  45. Loving reading through all these comments! This is not really ED, but thinking about mind/body I’m curious about your thoughts on food intolerances and mental state. Do you think a lot of supposed food sensitivities can be mental too?

  46. Kylie, I’ve been reading your blog for years now, and, as I’ve said before, I love the direction you have taken and all the beautiful positive messages you are sharing. I actually noticed that the repeated ‘exposure’ all of this positivity is definitely having such an effect on me, I am now SO much more comfortable to just eat what I feel like, weather that is a salad or a doughnut. While I never struggled with an ED I definitely had my self-imposed rules on how and what to eat, and every time I deviated I felt like I needed to rationalize it for myself (ie. it is OK to have a cookie today because XX – I have worked out, I need something uplifting, I didn’t have a treat yesterday etc), it feels so good to not have that little nagging voice anymore.

    I won’t even start venting about colleagues and their diets/comments on what I eat (I usually eat a piece of fruit with my coffee and a soup or salad for lunch, because I love the taste and it makes me feel great during the day (satisfied, full, regular, no IBS symptoms. However the amount of times people comment on that is ridiculous and the only reason for their comments seems to be to justify their own choices (ie. oh ofcourse you’re having an apple again, you’re the healthy one, oh well, I’ll just eat the extra cookie for you, I’m fat already anyways.. Oh your lunch always looks so great, I don’t have time for that so that’s why I’m eating this). It makes me feel awkward and I honestly don’t care what people chose to eat or why!

    If there is one thing I would like to share with everyone it would be, ENJOY YOUR LIFE! Life is great, sitting in the sun together eating an ice cream is great – not because you’re eating ice cream but because you’re sharing a beautiful moment with a loved one-, travelling is great and all the beautiful food you get to eat is part of an amazing experience, don’t let any worries about food spoil that. Finally, have you thought about changing the banner for your websites (“healthier eats”), I have been thinking lately that that is the one thing that I don’t feel is appropriate anymore (even though it does fit with your definition of healthy!). You are amazing Kylie and you’re honestly changing lives!

    • I really want to second these experiences! Now that I am Intuitieve Eating I regularly eat greens with whatever is in the fridge. I often have bread in the morning so I don”t like to have it again at lunch, “breada AGAIN”? LOL. While I live in the Netherlands in a bit rural area, here people usually aren’t crazy around dieting (even though I often hear the little things “Tomorrow I’ll go to the gym so now the cake”). However, my lunch with greens seems to make THEM feel bad. I get comments ALL.THE.TIME. that I am “healthy one blabla”. I am like dude, this is 1(!!) meal in ca 30min (!) we have now together. You don’t now what I eat the other 23.5 hrs of the day. I just like VARIETY in my diet. And nooo, I threw this together in like 10 min so don’t feel bad about your own bread whatever or that you didn’t get up at 5am to prepare a “healthy” meal. So much insecurity in people!! (And I am not even “skinny” in the society kind of way, I am more of a Adele-kind-of-shape. )

  47. One more quick comment. I had a super supportive loving environment growing up, which I am sure has helped me to love myself for the way I am and not worry about my weight at all growing up (like AT ALL, until I was about my twenties). One of the things we used to say amongst our friends was “the more of you there is the better” .

  48. Love this post and all the comments! Not only has the intuitive eating mindset been changing my life, but it is also helping me be a more educated teacher at the high school level. I am a Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, so the way I teach wellness + nutrition feels so much better now. I cringe when I hear other teachers/students talking about “good” and “bad” foods, diets, etc.

    I feel like my mission has changed from being passionate about “nutrition” to being passionate about helping students understand what it looks like to simply be an intuitive eater who feels good about himself/herself. It is not just about food! There is so much more to a satisfied life <3

  49. I am currently at university, have always eaten clean since I was a little girl. It actually started as an eating disorder that was just sort of not talked about. I was extremely active, went through a growth spurt (yes, I was THAT young) so it seemed like it could just be puberty, right? Wrong. I was starving myself, and because I was always at my extra curricular over meal times, no one, specifically my parents, had to monitor or could monitor what I was eating. So the food I packed for the day was hardly food – all fruits and veggies and very small portions. I felt so bad if I ate something I shouldn’t, and on many occasions, thought about doing bulimic behaviours after say, eating a few bites of birthday cake at a friend’s birthday party. Food consumed my thoughts, I obsessed over my body and other people’s bodies. Eventually, I learned to embrace healthy eating, as I couldn’t possibly maintain being that thin any longer. Looking at pictures is both sad and alarming… was I really that skinny? How come no one said anything? Now I am healthy. But I wouldn’t say my relationship with food is perfect. I feel somewhat stressed about food all the time, and I see carbs as my enemy. DOesn’t mean that I don’t eat them, I just feel bad when I do. I have a fear of going home during break and seeing the number on the scale climb. I do not want to be ‘that’ girl who got the freshman 15 and then some. I fear that if I eat a chocolate bar, like, not just the six square portion, I will wake up tomorrow and my pants won’t fit. Or if I keep having a few squares of dark chocolate after dinner, my butt will spill out of my bathing suit this summer. I eat healthier than all my peers, but just thinking of food seems to make me gain weight. My weight fluctuates like crazy, sometimes ten pounds, and then back down again, without any real dietary changes. This only further instills my fear of eating a chocolate bar and gaining ten pounds. And then there’s societal pressures. Don’t even get me started. 
    Anyways, this is me trying to ration through – I eat healthy. I am active. I get enough sleep. I work hard to do what’s best for my body. I have imperfections, and I’m working on my perceptions of myself and food. Reading your blog is like a breath of fresh air – you can have cake and EAT IT TOO! Balance is key, and I think you really hit that one out of the park. I keep following your posts as inspiration and as a reminder that food is food, and there is so much more to life than just that. Thank you for all you do.

  50. My mom has been on weight watchers for as long as I can remember… I remember being 12 in Hawaii and hating the whole trip because I didn’t want to be seen in a bikini. Every picture of me I’m covered up with a towel. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. I wish I could give that 12 year old me a hug and say you’re beautiful. It’s not my moms fault though… her father (my grandpa) has a phobia of fat women. He’s called her fat. He’s called ME fat. My grandma and probably her mom have been on diets their whole lives too. I’m determined to break the “i hate my body therefore I’m always going to be on a diet” train.

    I’m nowhere near close to figuring it out but I know that today was a good day because I ate the egg casserole that my friend made for me and it had cheese on it and sausage and probably butter. And I ate her delicious homemade pumpkin muffins because they’re freaking amazing. And I listened to my body and stopped when I was full even though I felt uncomfortable about still having food on my plate. I’m celebrating these little things because tomorrow might not be so easy, but I know it’s worth it.

    I’m still struggling with being okay not exercising. I’m still struggling with eating all food groups even when they don’t make me feel very good. I’m still struggling with all of the questions about what I eat. I EAT EVERYTHING NOW OKAY UGH. I’m still struggling with my clothes feeling tighter. I’m still struggling with the thought of seeing family and what they might think or say. I’m still struggling with having positive thoughts towards myself. I’m still struggling with listening to my hunger and fullness cues and TRULY following through. And most of all I’m still struggling with being in the moment.

    I found you through Robyn from the real life RD and you two have been THE best!!!! I don’t know what I would be without… so THANK YOU. Thank you for this message and thank you for this space. You are truly impacting real women’s lives. THANK YOU!

  51. Working in an office of women can be very challenging for this reason. We all eat lunch together and someone is always on a diet, or restricting some food group, or talking about their SIL’s weight-loss or their SIL’s weight-gain. When people bring in desserts or treats there is agonizing over how decadent they are, how we will have to pay for eating them, and other unhealthy negative language like that.

    I don’t have an ED, but I am trying to break out of my own dieting cycle, and I find it so oppressive to be surrounded by this talk all the time. I love my coworkers but I’m about one birthday party away from jumping on the table and screaming, “JUST EAT THE FREAKING BROWNIE AND SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!!!”

    Thank you for everything you do.

    • haha to –> “JUST EAT THE FREAKING BROWNIE AND SHUT UP!” Women could be so much more productive if their brain wasn’t occupied by thoughts of making sure their body stays JUST RIGHT.

      One of my fave things to say to myself when diet talk comes up is, “i’m gonna go make a mental list of all the things that would be more worthwhile to do than hear about this girl’s SIL’s body. 1) go get a root canal 2) watch paint dry 3) count the sand grains on the beach…” Or if I feel like speaking out loud I usually drop in my favorite, “I don’t think we’re more valuable if we take up less space.” That usually gets people thinking:)

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  53. I love this post and all the comments! I have struggled lately more than ever after a 6 month stint of macro counting last year. I was “very successful” and skinnier than I have ever been in my adult life. It was great in some ways and so damaging in many others. I became obsessed with weighing my food (and myself) and tracking everything. The panic I felt at not having my food scale with me was the ultimate red flag. I started reading about intuitive eating, have tried to get on board, and it’s so hard! I have definitely gained weight (probably most of what I lost). I managed to get rid of the body weight scale but still find myself going back to weighing my food every few weeks. I struggle with the idea of set point weight and worry I have done irreparable damage to my metabolism. Also the thought not exercising at a high intensity at least 4-5 days a week seems impossible. I know it isn’t a healthy mindset and it’s so hard to get out from under it.

    • Exercise for those with anorexia/bulimia can have the opposite effect on the body than exercise is supposed to have. Exercise is supposed to bring health and a mind/body connection. Exercise in EDs is just another way to numb out to the world and your emotions…exercise becomes an avoidance technique.

      Have you ever thought of trying yoga? It’s hard for those with EDs to do yoga and feel like it is “enough”…but it’s a good place to start because it helps you stay mindfully attached to the present and encourages you to stay connected to your body. A lot of ED/disordered eating is you dissociating from your body. The slow nature of yoga challenges the fast and energetic movement that the ED typically drives you towards.

      Exercise in EDs is so interesting to me. It’s usually done in a covert way so others don’t know they are doing that much exercise (similar to a drug addict sneaking drugs). Yikes.

  54. I just want to say thank you so much! Your attitude and thoughts on true recovery and living a non-diet life are so spot-on and helpful. I truly believe that you are helping so many women pull out of the disordered eating realm. We need more voices like yours :)

  55. I’m trying my BEST to eat intuitively after reading some of the comments yesterday i went and bought the intuitively eating book to help me reach my goals to stop obsessing about calories and gaining weight. Once i bought my book my bf tells me “i can’t believe you are going to read that crap” i told him don’t say that i want to read it i want to be at peace with myself his answer to me was watch if you really believe in that book you will stop taking care of yourself and end up weighing x pounds, mind you i only weigh x and I’m x all i want is to fix my relationship with food.

    • Yikes. Boyfriend fail. Not good advice from him. If feel like men sometimes have a hard time understanding the level of disorder and (for lack of a better word) craziness that goes on inside a woman’s head.

      The Intuitive Eating book actually helps you start taking care of your body. I’ve seen it change people’s life. READ IT! You get to decide what is right for your body and health!

  56. I love the idea of having all of your readers form a support group!

    So I wanted to respond to the question: share a disordered thought about food/exercise you still believe is true and are trying to call on your rationale mind to reason though…

    I am still working on eating more intuitively (I only began learning about this a couple months ago and had previously been restricting for a couple of years). But the disordered thought that I can’t seem to get rid of is obsessing over eating enough vegetables each day/ each meal. I think the reason I can’t quite get over this is because there is some logic behind it. I did have other disordered thoughts that I was able to drop more easily because once I stepped back and looked at them, they were kinda stupid. But vegetables are good for the body! But I just don’t want to stress about needing to have a certain number of servings each day. Or feeling like a failure if I don’t.

    Another disordered thought that I’ve been struggling with is the idea of meal spacing. I also suffer from IBS (that seems to be a common thing in these comments…). I have heard that for people with IBS, it is important to space at meals (and not eat meals/snacks too close together). For some reason, I cannot seem to let this fear go! I know its not really rational. And I used to not even think about when I was eating or the timing of it, and my body felt fine. In fact, I didn’t use to have bad IBS until my restrictive eating! I just wish I knew how I could stress less about this. Ugh!

    • Hi Megan! Hmm. I’ve never heard anything about meal spacing and IBS. You should call on your inner body wisdom to guide when you eat…rather than something you hear. I feel like most people’s nutrition knowledge is bits and pieces of info they’ve read in magazines/heard on Dr. Oz/heard on the news/read in a fear-mongering book/etc. Then they lump all that info together into their personal nutrition philosophy. We don’t need more information on nutrition to eat in a more nourishing way. We just need to tune into our bodies more (if you have an ED this is impossible and you do need the support of professionals in the ED field to walk you through tuning into your body).

      I would say that 90% of ED individuals struggle with GI distress. You can’t diagnose certain mental health disorders (OCD, anxiety) in ED individuals because their brain is malnourished. I feel that you shouldn’t diagnose IBS in EDs individuals/restrictive eaters either until after their eating has been normalized for awhile. Depending on your level of restriction, it is likely that ED individuals give themselves gastroparesis and other GI issues…which can feel like IBS.

      I advise clients to take a break from vegetables ALL THE TIME. Veggies have fiber and fiber makes you feel more full. When you choose to stop restrictive eating and start eating an adequate amount, you are bloated/uncomfortable/full all the time and you don’t need vegetables making you feel more full.

  57. It is truly crazy how often I notice diet culture commentary now that I have learned how to eat intuitively (not to say I have completely arrived, since it is an ongoing process). It is constant. I particularly dislike the pervasive talk about cheat days/meals (like someone mentioned above)–I always have to resist the urge to say, there is no such thing! I struggled out of an eating disorder in my teens without any formal treatment and spent 10+ years after that with some variation of disordered eating. I truly didn’t know that it was possible to just not really think about food and weight. It is incredible how much mental and emotional energy is freed up when you are not being ruled by external food rules.

    • SO TRUE! –> “I truly didn’t know that it was possible to just not really think about food and weight. It is incredible how much mental and emotional energy is freed up when you are not being ruled by external food rules.” LOVE THAT!

  58. @Megan, I also struggle with IBS, and didn’t start experiencing severe symptoms until after I started really restricting my foods too. That didn’t stop me, and I restricted my foods to wheat and dairy free only clean, for close to 8 years. Recently, I started adding foods back in to my diet, and surprise surprise, the “off limits” foods I had been avoiding aren’t causing issues. 
    The mentality I developed, especially at the beginning of those 8 years when I had what I would call an ED, still sticks with me today. I have an irrational view on food, and a serious fear of gaining weight. When i do put on any weight, I get so frustrated and it seriously impacts my mood until I can lose it again. I sort of yo-yo between moments of feeling really good about my body, and moments where I feel the urge to only eat salads for the rest of the month until I can lose the cellulite, or those two pounds I put on etc. (umm, it’s natural, and genetic! But I still can’t shake the thoughts out of my head!) My goal is to learn to be at peace with my body, and stop fighting it and food, every step of the way. Looking forward to continuing to follow your posts! 

  59. Oh my, I love this post so much (and the comments, too). It always makes me sad to hear people at work talking about their “diets” or how they plan to “cut all carbs”. There’s so much misinformation out there. I’m curious as to what you think about the Whole30, though… my understanding of it was that it’s not really a diet to lose weight but a diet to see how your body responds to different foods? Like, for me it would be using the Whole30 to see if there are different foods that cause inflammation with my skin (acne, etc)? I’m not really on either side of the Whole30 good or bad “debate” but would love to know your opinion. (I know you mention it in your intro here, LOL, but just looking for more thoughts.) Thank you as always for your posts!

  60. I totally get what you’re saying and agree to an extent. I did an intuitive eating course and it helped so much. I got to where I was enjoying foods I had forbidden for a long time (hello ranch dressing.) However, now I am focusing my intuitive eating on foods that don’t make me bloated/sick. I have IBS and have dealt with a lot of stomach pain. I have definitely identified dairy as a culprit, and I’m still experimenting with other foods such as gluten to see how I react. Your picture reminded me of what happened this morning when I went to a local coffee shop after a dental appointment. This shop is also a donut store (one of my favorite foods) and the smell was mesmerizing. I literally had to walk up and spit out “small coffee with soy milk please” and get out of there. It might be disordered thinking, but I’m literally afraid to put the wrong food in my body because I’m afraid of being in pain. I guess my point is that my body doesn’t process all food the same and it stinks! :)

    • I hope you continue making food choices that allow you to live the best life for you. For me, telling people I had IBS was strongly tied to my ED. My IBS was actually anxiety. Since I work a lot now to address my anxiety…my IBS has been better. That’s me though. I hope you find what works best for you!

  61. Hi there,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and I absolutely love it. During my first two years of college, I really struggled with disordered eating habits. I lost about X pounds and was happy about it, because all of my life, I wanted to be “skinny.” Oh, how wrong I was to believe that would make my life better. Long story short, my world turned upside down.

    Fast forward about six years and I am now a registered dietitian working in the clinical setting. I love it, but would eventually love to work with girls who struggle with eating disorders. Your blog is so refreshing to me and I wanted to thank you. Thank you for your positivity and encouragement and “rawness.” You are changing lives!

    I continue to struggle on a daily basis with my body image. Working in the field of nutrition, it is honestly hard not to (for someone who has had disordered eating habits). I have to tell myself every day that food is meant to nourish us, whether that mean oatmeal for breakfast or an original chicken sandwich from Chik-fil-a for lunch with a cookie on the side (that’s what was served at our “Lunch and Learn” where Heart Health was discussed; low-sodium and fried chicken might be an oxymoron but it sure did help me to realize that food is just food!!). 

    Thank you for allowing all of us to share our thoughts on this topic! <3

    • Hi Cammy, I’ve read that over half of RD’s struggle with disordered eating…and I honestly think that statistic is low based off the number of disordered comments I hear when I’m around diet dietitians. I choose to rarely attend non-ED dietitian events bc I get so frustrated with the ridiculous comments RD’s will make about eating/not eating. So I hope you know you’re not alone with any disordered thoughts that may pop up.

      Something that helped me with body image was realizing that poor body image is an external representation of an internal struggle I’m having trouble processing through. It’s easier to blame your body for one’s unhappiness than to get to the root of the issue (i.e. I’m lonely, depressed, anxious, etc.). Meeting with a therapist really helped me understand some on my internal struggles…mainly social anxiety and poor self esteem. You may have already been down the therapy path, but just wanted to mention it because I found it very helpful.

  62. Thanks for this post. I have ulcerative colitis (an autoimmune condition where your body attack your colon!), and guarding against promises of ‘cure’ diets, and the idea that you have caused your condition by failing to eat clean, is honestly one of the hardest parts of the disease. There is NO medical evidence that diet changes outcomes and when I’m sick all I can really stomach is very simple food (toast, cake etc), raw vegetables and meat become almost impossible to digest. On top of this, a lot of the treatments can make you gain weight fast (steroids). I find it SO tough a) not to talk myself into a place where I think I could have cured myself through whole30 and b) to ignore the judgement of people who think that I could have cured myself through whole30 (and who asked ‘i thought you were sick but you gained weight.) This is more of a rant, but if you ever felt like posting on how to stay sane around unproven health claims (especially when you’re sick) I’d love to read it. Thanks for your blog. It’s honestly a life line. 

    • WHOA –>”and the idea that you have caused your condition by failing to eat clean” WHAT?! Ulcerative colitis is not something you do to yourself! When a family friend got cancer one of the most helpful things her oncologist told her was, “you didn’t do anything wrong! This isn’t something you did to yourself.” That comment applies here to. Love to you Em!!

  63. There are so many disordered thoughts I’ve had in the past I can’t even count now!! I remember at one time, I literally didn’t eat anything with potatoes for 2 years. That’s 2 years without french fries, chips, mashed potatoes, etc.! I didn’t know anything about fear foods then, but I think I had read somewhere about potatoes being “bad” and really took it to heart. I am SO GLAD I no longer feel that way. I love ALL foods and don’t see any of them as bad!

  64. I think the biggest ED thought that I struggle with still is that if I begin to eat normally my weight will just spiral out of control and I don’t trust that I will be able to reign things in or that other people will be able to help me reign things in.  I wish I could just get over this thought and move on.  The fear of this happening paralyses me though and I just can’t take the leap of faith that I need to.

    • There is uncertainty around the size your body will end up. Part of recovery is accepting that uncertainty and making that leap of faith. I know you can do it, Libby<3 I'd also wanna say that the moment you decide to honor your hunger/fullness/cravings your weight won't spiral out of control. That's not how the body works.

  65. I love this discussion format! It’s heart breaking to see how damaging the diet-culture is to our souls. To many people it seems surface level, but I think most people are more deeply affected by it than they realize. 
    I understand the confusion when it comes to IBS. In my opinion, IBS is kind of a lame diagnosis. My “IBS” started after my eating disorder. What it really was, however, wasn’t IBS but what is likely permanent damage to my colon. My trigger foods are actually healthy foods- anything with a ton of fiber (raw veggies, beans) will have me backed up for weeks. It’s kind of ironic, really. 

    • I’m similar. Too much raw and my body is like NOOOOOOO. I also feel like the cavemen discovered fire and we should use it. No thank you raw foods.

  66. Love this post! One myth that I hear all the time is that you shouldn’t eat carbs at night, or you shouldn’t eat at all before bed. I used to believe this too, but when I really thought about it and did research I learned it was ridiculous not let myself eat carbs or eat at all after say 8pm. Our bodies are not clocks. I personally can’t sleep on an empty stomach, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pains. 

  67. A number of folks here have commented about the combo of GI issues and disordered eating, which is what my blog is primarily about, so I thought I’d weigh in. When I was initially learning to intuitive eat, it was almost impossible. Like, literally–my tummy was so whacked up that I could eat a really small portion of food and feel like I’d hit a 9 or 10 on the hunger-fullness scale–even though I was weight restored and had been on a weight gain diet (read: large portions of food) for half a year. And the worst part was that my treatment team and the Gastroenterologist I went and visited thought that it was all in my head and that I was simply “afraid to feel full.” I didn’t realize how constipated I was, either, because I’d actually had IBS for a long time and didn’t realize how regular “regular” is supposed to be. Once or twice a week is not normal. No wonder I feel stuffed all the time.
    A don’t really have a magical solution for anyone else who’s going through this really awful combo of IBS and eating disorder recovery, except to share the two things that worked for me (although I realize they wouldn’t work for everyone.) I did the low-FODMAP elimination diet, which I still follow in modified form, and I also take a really high daily dose of probiotics. The elimination diet was quite extreme, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend to most people with histories of disordered eating. However, I was in a recovered enough place mentally that when my GI symptoms stared to calm down, I was actually eating more on the elimination diet than I had been trying to eat totally “intuitively.” Sometimes I feel like a total hypocrite because I preach having this free relationship with food and not making any food off-limits, but I actually now follow this modified version of the low-FODMAP diet–not the strict elimination diet, but there’s still a number of kinds of high-FODMAP foods I don’t eat. And my relationship with food is weirdly less disordered because I don’t have this awful constipation and bloating all the time. When I explain this contradiction to people, I say, “I eat anything that doesn’t make me feel miserable.”

  68. Pingback: Friday Favorites! (February 2017) - The Cookie ChRUNicles

  69. Thank you for this post!! I have a lot of comments but I’ll keep it to the one I currently struggle with most given where I am in life – maybe a fellow RD-to-be can relate!
    I’m a career changer back in school to become a dietitian. I don’t necessarily have a goal of working with eating disorders or an IE-focused practice, but I personally live by IE 100000%! (At this point I *think* I want to work in community/public health, we’ll see. If it’s diet focused, I’m out.) What I find most disheartening is the food fear and diet culture talk I witness IN MY NUTRITION PROGRAM. It makes me raging mad — not only do I hear fellow students talk about “splurging” over the holidays or saving foods for a cheat day (staaaahhhp), but last year on National RD Day my department had cake and one of our professors justified eating a small piece because thankfully she’d brought a Lean Cuisine for lunch that day… And none of this even speaks to the actual curriculum we have to subscribe to just to complete the program, whether or not we agree with its largely weight-focused approach.
    My reaction to these situations is improving and I work on it constantly – I’m not personally triggered and feel grateful to have honestly never suffered from disordered eating. But my confidence in speaking out against these notions instead of just not responding (which in my mind equates to condoning the diet and food fear talk) is a work in progress. Posts like yours help me find words for the feelings and reactions I have and I’m so grateful for your voice of reason in the RD world!

  70. First thing is something I am still working on, a remnant from my orthorexic mindset, and that is eating “refined food/products” without feeling guilty or bad or that that food is somehow worse.  I have been working on this one for a few months and have seen great improvement, but I still haven’t got to the point yet where I can cook/bake with them myself without the slightest hesitation or qualm.  That’s my next step.  For now, I can buy flour tortillas or eat a cookie made with real sugar and I don’t lay into myself most of the time.  Doing it myself will come in time.  My sister has been a huge help to me in this journey overcoming many of my ED mindsets, and I’m sure will be a part of helping me take on this next step as well. 💚

    Okay, for ranting (thanks Kylie!).  Last night, I went to a party for my uncle’s 60th birthday, and one of my aunts who I never see and who was visiting from out of town started up a conversation with my cousin right next to me about “earning food” and “running to negate what you eat in a day”.  I’ve often wondered if both of them had an eating disorder, but even if they don’t, they are steeped in disordered eating/diet mentality, so it was fairly easy for me to see them with pity and compassion, remembering I had once been there.  But still that poison was being spoken by someone I was close to, creeping into my mind and echoing voices I was trying to get rid of.  I wanted to scream and cry all at the same time, but even more I wanted to explain to them how wrong that mindset is, how much damage they are doing to their bodies, and how they aren’t “improving their health so they will live longer”.  Breaks my heart and frustrates me no end at the same time.  And I know these particular relatives wouldn’t listen if I even hinted at considering another approach to food and life. 😢  It really is a shock when you come out of the online bono bubble we’ve created into harsh reality.

    Thanks Kylie, for making posts like this, so we can share and discuss Hess things.  Thank you for making the blog a safe, wonderful, beautiful place on the internet. ❤️

  71. I’ve seen a few posts above me that talk about their women co-workers and how they are constantly having negative thoughts around certain foods.  For me, I’m really lucky.  I work with a lot of guys and they all kind of employ the idea of “i’ll eat what i want when i want” which honestly helps me with the whole intutitive eating/listening to my body.  I will say what pisses me off more lately/is more triggering are food blogger instagram accounts – everyone on there lately I feel like is against sugar of any kind, INCLUDING FRUIT!! WTH.  The other day I looked at an account I’ve been following for a year – someone who has a pretty large following and who I use to think had a “normal eating pattern”. I saw that in her IG post that she was praising a smoothie she got because it didn’t have any fruit, so it was truly “healthy”.  That was the moment I immediately unfollowed her (and a couple of other accounts that were making me feel like I wasn’t “healthy enough”).  I’ve learned that you have to be super careful of who you follow, because some of the accounts I was following before were honestly making me feel bad about myself because i eat fruit every day.  I’m so glad your IG page and blog are not like that – immediately when i had triggering thoughts I actually came to your blog and read one of our posts that put me back in the right mind set.

    For me, I’ve struggled more with finding the right balance with exercise.  Also, there were times when I would eat a heavier meal (or have a few too many drinks) and feel the impulsive need the next day to run on the treadmill to “sweat out what i had the night before”.   I’ve finally have found a way to listen to my body and think “do I feel like exercising would be good for me today” rather than forcing myself to work out.   I have come a long way – a year ago after falling really hard after skiing, I still worked out two days later even though my body was hurting a lot.  I think that was when I decided I couldn’t do it anymore – I was beating up my mind and my body for doing something that didn’t feel natural, but forced. 

  72. I’ve just started the Intuitive Eating book! When I was in high school I had a pediatrician tell me I was nearing the overweight BMI (yes nearing, not even in it) plus I was an active, muscular teenager. But it’s been a spiral for 10+ years since that.  My mom freaked out, I started this terrible restrictive – binge – purge cycle.  When I felt so terrible from purging I couldn’t stop the binges and gained weight.  I’ve been beating myself up since then and have no idea what my former intuitive eating sounds like.  Most recently I would put myself in the category of not actually restricting food I eat, but my mind does deeming them good or bad.  
    Reading Intuitive Eating and hiding my scale was my New Years resolution.  I feel like in two months I’ve made a lot of progress mentally, but still have so far to go.  I keep catching myself thinking “intuitive eating has to make me lose weight” instead of “intuitive eating will make me feel good”. 
    Would love some thoughts and good vibes from anyone who’s walked these halls before. <3  

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  75. As a person with food allergies (i.e. a person whose body actually can’t process some things), I beg of you: EAT EVERYTHING YOU WANT. I spent a good portion of my life with disordered eating, then discovered IE (and took time to work through it), and within three months found out I had food allergies, so the wonderful world of eating what I want disappeared in front of me. 

    Eat a slice of pizza. A donut. A piece of fruit (I would kill to have raspberries!). Some nuts (I don’t care how much fat is in them, eat some freaking walnuts for me, please). And, for the love of all things holy, eat a big bowl of pasta with red sauce for me. 

    Also, please note: extreme pickiness of others (for whatever reason) makes it impossible for those of us with food allergies to order at restaurants. Most of my allergens are things that people who are picky don’t like (tomatoes and onions are top) and some allergies I have sound like I made them up (quinoa! oatmeal?!). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been served something that had tomato as an ingredient, even though I said I have a tomato allergy, and please remove the tomato. Because of all the picky people, kitchen and wait staff assume that I mean “remove the slice of tomato because I don’t like it, but nevermind the ketchup”. 

    Tangent about restaraunts aside: for those of you who don’t have allergies or intolerances, throw the damn food rules out the window and eat intuitively, please. 

  76. I just read Intuitive Eating and it was life-changing! I absolutely adore your blog and I can’t wait to start my journey to food freedom myself!

  77. Just want to throw this out there: It’s great that your body can process all food.

    For people like me with IBS or people with IBD or AI disorders, this isn’t the case and shaming people for not being able to eat things is not helpful at all as most of us already find it challenging to find a healthy relationship with food due to the physical issues that come with it. So I totally get what you’re saying in relation to ED, but not everyone who eats a certain way is doing it for the reasons you’ve outlined.

  78. I can’t say how thankful I am to have found your blog. I find all your posts positive and and actually really reassuring and comforting. I’ve been battling an eating disorder for the better half of my life (that sucks to say) and part of the reason getting help is so impossiblly hard for me is that I live with family members who spew diet talk every other word they say. To “bad” foods and cheating when you eat something that’s not “perfect” or fat free to the # of calories in your food being told to you at the table it’s impossible for me to stay positive towards hope of recovery in this environment. I just realized this is very long and ramble but my point is this community/blog is a much much much needed breath of fresh air. Thank you

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  80. As someone who has gotten down to a skeletal and life threatening X pounds i am really finding it hard to try to weight restore in a society that is obsessed with “clean” eating. I put milk on my oats in the morning and like yogurt and cheese but every food blog i read tells me i should be avoiding dairy like the plague if i want to be healthy. It f….ks with my mind big time and totally triggers my ED. Ditto for carby things and anything with gluten. Even freaking whole grains like brown rice and quinoa are getting bashed lately. It just makes trying to weight restore so bloody hard. I am trying to do this at home and on my own with no support so i am really struggling. This insanity about food just makes it that much harder.

    • Hi Pela<3 This blog is for you! Keep reading. Create a bubble of positivity around yourself. I'd recommend my blog, The Real Life RD, and the Recovery Warriors podcast. Keep moving towards weight restoration no matter how difficult it is. Yes, you have to gain weight, but you also GAIN your life back.

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