There is a myth that I used to believe in my early twenties. I used to believe that my body shape and size would bring me happiness. I used to think that having a perfectly toned and fit body would make me truly happy and so I spent countless hours meal prepping and workout planning.
I was on this hardcore diet and workout cycle for the good part of my early twenties and I really never found happiness.
I was determined to achieve this body that I thought would make me happy and the way to that was by controlling my food and working out 24/7. I tried following literally every diet imaginable and often skipped social events to get another solid workout in at the gym. I was so obsessed with controlling my food that I would chug protein shakes before parties and pass on birthday cake even on my own birthday. At the start of all this, I thought I simply was trying to be healthier and thought it was good that I was avoiding these types of foods.
As my restrictive eating continued, I eventually started to binge eat occasionally during the week and definitely on the weekends. My relationship with food was not in a good place and I often felt guilty for eating certain foods. This guilt would either lead me to binge heavily or restrict heavily depending on the day and my mood.
My body was not thriving during this time because I was restricting it of food that it really wanted.
Binge eating did not help it either. I was eating so much food during my binges that my body could not process all of it. After my binges, I was often left feeling physically and mentally drained. This diet and binge cycle continued for at least 2 years before I finally realized I needed to seek help.
When I started going to therapy, I was naturally a bit nervous to talk to a stranger about what I was going through but my therapist helped me uncover the reasons why food was such an escape for me. I like to feel in control and I found that it was easy for me to control what I ate so that I could achieve this “perfect” body. But when I knew I was not truly happy, binge eating was my way of avoiding my emotions. I know that my binges were also driven by other factors but this was one of them that I needed to address first.
Working hard to “fix” my body never led me to true happiness, it only led me to develop a horrible relationship with food and my body.
I never found true happiness until I accepted my body as it was (and stopped comparing it to others) and until I finally began to see food as just food. Talking to someone about my struggles and learning more about my body through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition led me to a path of having complete food freedom and true happiness.
I hope that you will make a choice today that will lead you to your OWN food freedom and happiness.