Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I still can’t believe the person, or lack of person I see. It kind of amazes me that after practically a lifetime of struggle with food and weight that I am actually back to my natural size, as I was before I started all of this crazy dieting business back in my early teens. It only took me a little over 30 years—not bad…
Not only does my size, or lack of it, sort of amaze me, but what is truly astonishing is that the struggle is gone. The angst is gone. I have completely changed my identity as an eater. And that is why the weight stays off.
If any of you have ever been in my past shoes, and I will bet there are a few of you out there, then you may be able to relate to the constantness of food being a force to be reckoned with. A burden. A never ending game of Sophie’s choice—do I eat this or that? That is bad but I really want to eat that. I eat that. I regret it as I am eating it. I have guilt, shame almost. I start planning how to make up for eating that. Then come the punishing days of making up for eating that…until I can’t take it anymore.
So many variations of this, the common theme being that food ultimately is my demise because somehow it is going to make me fat. There is no thought of nourishment. No thought of the wonderful way food can fuel the body. Just bouncing between being on a diet and miserable, or off a diet and totally freaked out. It’s no way to live.
If any of you are having a similar war with food I am here to tell you that it can change. It changes, as how anything changes in life, when you change your perception. It changes when you look at food and yourself as an eater, differently.
For me that started with truly stopping dieting. At first I told myself I gave it up but I continued to eat “diet” foods because I didn’t mind them. Light this and that. Fat free, low fat. Then I realized I was fooling myself and these “foods” were full of crap so I committed to eating real food. What really changed during this time was I stopped seeing food as my demise.
I let myself eat when I was hungry and I learned to stop when I was full. What a novel idea, huh? Let me say that again—I let myself eat when I was hungry. Sounds so crazy now. I am so fortunate to have food available to me—I don’t live in a country where having something to eat could be hit or miss and I have the means to buy it. Yet I would choose at times to starve myself. Wtf?
My size then pretty much stabilized, but it stabilized at large. Many of you already know my story with this but it bears repeating because here is the key piece. I started to drop weight when I began to seek food as nourishment. I was tired of feeling like crap so I began to look to for ways to get more nutrients into my body. Thus began my love affair with green juice.
As I have said before, as much as I want to make it all about the green juice (and I do) why I lost weight, and more importantly why I have kept it off, is because I changed my perception of food and what it means to eat. I truly enjoy eating now and eat really good food because I know it will nourish me but mostly because I love it.
Do I ever eat something kind of crappy? YES! But the trick here is I don’t freak out about it. As with everything I eat, I eat it and enjoy it. I might have a stomach ache later, and if so that just confirms to me that eating outside of my usual regime of whole nutrient dense food doesn’t agree with my system any more. But often times I feel fine because whatever I eat, I eat it in a relaxed and joyful way.
If you are out there battling with food in one way or another it is my wish for you to find peace. Imagine not having food be a constant stress. Imagine eating good food and feeling good about what you eat. Imagine that for long enough and you will start to make a shift.
OK, here’s some more before and after action for you. Please note that I do try to find the most hideous before pictures I can…lol. Thanks to my friend Deb and her beautiful yard for the after.
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Need some help with changing your perception around food and diet? See my coaching page here.