We all have different paths that lead us to a better relationship with food, today I am proud to share My Journey to Intuitive Eating after overcoming my battle with disordered eating and poor body image that plagued me for so many years.
My Journey to Intuitive Eating
It took me a long time to realize that my teens and early twenty’s were plagued by what I now recognize as a silent struggle with disordered eating habits.
As many girls experience, from a young age I was immersed in a world where looks, thinness, vanity and status were the most important thing in life. All thanks to traditional diet culture, classic TV & radio media and the new up-and-coming social media scene dominated by platforms like MySpace.
Everything I had ever known from these influences taught me that I could not trust my body.
That my cravings and desires for ‘bad foods’ like chips, candy, and soda were stronger than I was.
That I would never have the ‘thin body’ I desired because I simply lacked the willpower to make it happen.
That if I could just ‘eat clean’, log my calories in MyFitness Pal, and ‘stay on track’ that I would magically become healthy.
But ironically, this was the time I was the unhealthiest in my life.
All of these perceived ‘healthy’ eating behaviors were going against my natural body cues and leading me to even more unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors.
Each day of ‘clean eating’, aka consuming less than 1200 calories of celery sticks and rice cakes, led to a night of bingeing on ice cream and oreos when no one was looking. Every year I would sit glued to the TV watching the Victoria’s secret fashion show, vowing this would be the year I looked like that leading to a week of depression, laying on the couch and eating an entire bag of Chex Mix because I finally told myself I would never be strong enough to make my body look like that.
When I became pregnant with my son at 23, I knew that I owed it to my child to stop with some of these destructive behaviors from restricting and bingeing to obsessing over my weight. I knew that starving myself in the day and bingeing on junk at night would not provide the nutrition that my growing baby needed.
Pregnancy and new motherhood aree no doubt life changing, but I never realized how much they would change my eating habits as well. During my pregnancy, I figured if I was going to gain weight anyways, that I would throw out all of my food rules out the window and start to eat whatever I wanted, I was eating for two, right?
I started to listen to what I really wanted, to honor my craving and hunger cues, and to stop worrying about my weight.
Over time I had gradually dropped some of my food rules and felt more comfortable eating whatever I wanted.
At the time I was breastfeeding, and thought that I needed the calories anyway, and that there was no point in restricting, and why not take advantage of the opportunity, right? This whole process was my beginning of my Intuitive Eating journey, I just didn’t realize it yet.
But what exactly is Intuitive Eating?
This piece is continued over on the Livley Table Blog in the article I wrote titled What is Intuitive Eating.
If you are on your own journey to Intuitive Eating after many years of disordered eating brought on my traditional diet culture, but are looking for extra help and support, I invite you to learn more about The School of Health & Happiness can help you reach your happy & healthy lifestyle goals.
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