First of all, thank you so much for your support and kind words regarding my mom’s breast cancer journey. It felt good to share it because it is a huge piece to the major change I made in my life. So today, I want to take you back to day one. The day I decided to stop what wasn’t working for me, once and for all.
It was an experiment, really. One brewed from frustration and the thought, “What have I really got to lose? Another ten pounds so that I’ll gain back 20?” It was that time of the month, ya know the one where your cravings become front and center in your life? Where your cravings cause you to be moody because you’re trying to deny yourself the satisfaction of eating them or you’re throwing in the towel, eating balls to the wall while you incessantly tell yourself you’ll start again after your period. Sound familiar?
I saw someone recommend the book INTUITIVE EATING on social media. I read it instantly. Because of this book, I adopted this novel idea. And this started my journey to food freedom.
1. WHAT IF I ALLOWED MYSELF TO EAT WHAT I REALLY WANTED???
What would happen? And so I did. Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t the end all be all. But I experimented letting myself have turkey, lettuce and cheese on a bagel with some kettle cooked potato chips for lunch. And I didn’t become a moody bitch when Dave wanted to get pizza with the kids. I didn’t judge my fruit as sugar. I ate the chocolate. And I even sat on the couch with a bag of popcorn, breaking the number one diet rule of don’t eat out of the bag!! 😱
That was one experiment where I found out what it was like to be satisfied. To feel fine physically but realize mentally I was beating myself up because I thought “I should.” Because Lisa, you’re not supposed to eat a carb filled bagel and chips so you better feel like shit!!!
So, I began to pay attention to my body. I noticed if I truly felt physical issues like bloating or being sluggish or not.
I noticed the ebbs and flows of my cravings throughout the month. I took note of the time of the month, if I was lacking sleep, if I was stressed or emotional. JUST NOTICING. I wasn’t changing anything. I was just learning from my experiment.
I did this for a couple months and while I was allowing myself to loosen the reigns on my food control, I was still controlling my workouts as a “safe” way to follow through on my eating experiment. At first, I didn’t even realize this. I was still making sure to do my cardio and felt safer if I got “extra” in. It wasn’t interrupting my life, but if I “had time and was able to workout again,” then I SHOULD.
This was almost even harder for me. I’ll save workout mindset details for a future blog because I want to focus on the food here. I continued to work on releasing control of my food and joined a group program for binge eating. I learned a lot, took some info and left some that didn’t pertain to my exact situation. After a couple months, I seemed to be getting worse.
2. I HIRED A DIFFERENT COACH, A coach focusing on my relationship with food and my body. THIS is where I really put in the work. I couldn’t have done it alone. I clearly didn’t for over ten years.
I told her i loved to bake but I was afraid to bake something because I would eat it all. Her advice?
3. BAKE IT. Her other advice? LET YOURSELF EAT however much you want to. IT IS JUST FOOD. The food is not the problem guys. It’s our relationship with it. And we have a flawed relationship with food because we have a flawed relationship with ourselves, with our body, with our own self worth and body image. LIGHTBULB.
4. Another thing I did will probably scare the shit out of you right now if you are struggling with this relationship, and that’s ok. But, I went to the grocery store. I bought several things I rarely let myself buy. Graham crackers. Cheez-its. A danish. Guess what? I didn’t bust them open in the car on the way home. And several days later, some of them weren’t even opened yet. And when I finally ate the graham crackers? I realized I didn’t actually love them. I just wanted them because they were “illegal” to me. “Wouldn’t it be nice to buy those and eat those?” Well when I was allowed to, I actually learned they weren’t so great, in my opinion.
I couldn’t believe I bought something and didn’t eat it all at once. This was a win. It taught me I could trust myself. Granted, I had a couple months of this. Where I was buying, and eating, things that were always off limits in my past. And yes guys, I’m sure my weight didn’t stay the same.
5. But I WAS NOT WEIGHING MYSELF because I didn’t want to be dictated by a scale. I wanted to learn Lisa. I wanted to listen to Lisa. And slowly but surely, I left the pop tarts at the store because I actually didn’t want them. I didn’t want to start the blood sugar rollercoaster with them and cause me to crash and crave like I learned they do to me. That was a win. A huge win. And a win that will last forever. Whether I lost ten pounds or not.
Because I decided those few pounds weren’t worth the cycle I was repeating that was NOT serving me.
I continued to work on this. Experiment. Take notes. Listen. Learn. I addressed the workout mindset too as well as my body image. I learned that self care isn’t a crock of fluffy shit, but something I was lacking so much in my life. No self care? Welcome self sabotage. No belief in yourself or your worth? Welcome self sabotage. This cycle is run by Queen self sabotage and the way you beat her is to listen to YOU. Not a scale. Not a diet. But YOU.
I’ll continue to teach you about those aspects too, but for now, take this as food for thought. Know that I didn’t just flip a switch and stop obsessing over food, fitness and my body. But I had my WHY and I had had enough of the cycle that was not serving me. So, WHAT DID I HAVE TO LOSE? Just my obsession. And I cannot believe what I found instead.
If you cannot wait for more blogs and want to get started on yourself today, with the guidance, experience and support of my coaching… email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe I could have done it alone. But maybe not. And that wasn’t a gamble I wanted to take anymore.