So, this is a very emotional, honest, and open post. Many of you know that when I was a teenager, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and sabotaged my health in the form of binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia.
I credit God with saving me when I was sixteen, preventing me from walking even further down the track of destruction. And while I have made leaps and strides in my journey to improve my relationship with food, I am still human. And sometimes, I suck in this department.
I recently realized how bad my obsession with eating all the “right” foods (which, granted, stemmed from horrible cystic acne which is more or less gone – depending on the day) while trying on clothes in a store. I was PROUD that I could see my ribs and felt motivated to continue being meticulous and somewhat OCD about my diet. You see an error there already, right?
A little background
Over the years, I’ve been raw vegan (for extended periods of time), paleo, vegan, vegetarian, vegan with lots of protein, raw vegan high fruit low-carb, low-glycemic ketogenic (lots of fat), etc… and have never found a way of eating that has “stuck” with me. I’ve always found problems with one or the other.
Raw vegan, for instance, I always feel hungry so drink a sh*t ton of liquids to stay full. I also crave more dense foods and only feel satiated upon eating a ton of salads, vegetables, healthy fats, and dehydrated flax crackers (all which is delicious, but maddening in terms of the quantity). Paleo, I get dandruff as eating too much protein is obviously not for my body. My ultimate quest is to find a way that works for me, but sometimes I get caught up in dogma by peers in the vegetarian/vegan/paleo movement
What works for one person may not work for another, and that’s why lecturing on diet needs to stop. That’s also why I’ve decided to say “fuck it” and listen to my body to get on a healthier path.
When I visit my boyfriend who lives about an hour away, I end up subsisting on coffee, fruit, and nuts – maybe a green, leafy salad and/or some chia porridge with protein powder – because I’m not in the comfort of my own kitchen. I do it because it feels comfortable. Ultimately, however, I’m suffering.
The high-fat high-sugar intake from lots of fruits and nuts makes me puffier and more bloated than I like to be, and obviously, living on caffeine is not ideal. I also break out from the combination. What I really want is something like a green leafy salad, organic chicken, avocado, tons of veggies and flax crackers, but I’ve convinced myself that eating animals is wrong – despite Chinese medicine and naturopathy wisdom determining otherwise. Plus, I acknowledge that we live in a universe that constantly consumes and recreates — circle of life.
Honestly, when it comes down to it, I’m punishing myself based on ethical beliefs. No, it’s not healthy. And THIS is, undoubtedly, the greatest secret I’ve been keeping from others, my loved ones, and followers.
I have body dysmorphic issues and constantly worry about what I eat and what I look like.
Fortunately, I am already on the path to healing because I can ACKNOWLEDGE I have a problem. Sometimes, my attitude surrounding food prevents me from leading a normal life or going out to eat with people. I am THAT obsessive.
Yes, I can create delectable food, but rarely do I eat it. Even the recent 10-ingredient chocolate doughnut recipe I recently made, I didn’t eat one. I never do. I nibble it to make sure it tastes alright, and then I feed them to others as I religiously slurp my green smoothie with zucchini, greens, protein powder, frozen blueberries, and stevia.
I’m finally becoming bold enough, however, to declare it to the public because I feel like I’m living a lie. The area I desire to study most is naturopathy mixed with psychology and nutrition because I want to help others who punish themselves about food and have body dysmorphia issues. By overcoming my own insecurities, I CAN help others.
The game plan
Moving forward, the reason for writing this blog. I am sick of starving my body of nutrients it needs and ignoring naturopathy and Chinese herbal wisdom of how I can heal my body for good and feel my best. After all, I can’t expect to be a teacher if I’m ignoring everything I’ve studied and desire to put into action.
I am going to wholeheartedly embrace the theory of “intuitive eating” and allow myself to eat organic, free-range meat and/or eggs when I want, and continue consuming hoards of vegetables, fruit and a bit of nuts and seeds. Additionally, I am not going to beat myself up for having quinoa, sweet potatoes or rice now and again. I will strive to be as organic as possible and will eat until I’m 80% full, as I suggest my clients do and will eat within an 8-hour time span in the day after starting my morning with lemon water for detoxification.
I will enjoy my exercise more fully, knowing I am feeding myself for optimal performance, not to look a certain way, and I will begin repeating mantras that mean something to me. Finally, I will attempt to change my mentality from admiring those who are obviously restricting themselves to model or appear on the runway, and I will celebrate all body types.
I am writing all of this because I have a problem, and I want to be held accountable for my healing journey. When my “biggest, darkest” secret is shielded from the confines of the public, it becomes my weakness. And if I desire to heal and eventually help others in this department, I HAVE to be honest.
Because of this, I will likely begin blogging about this topic more and write more about my own experiences.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I know SO many people struggle with their relationship with food, and if my journey helps others even a little bit, that’s all I ask for.