It's Called a Diet, Not a Healthy Lifestyle

When I was on a diet, I thought I was simply living a healthy lifestyle. At the time, I did not think the food rules I was following were harming my physical and mental health. I felt strong and empowered when I would refuse a treat at the office or would pass on cake and ice cream at someone’s birthday party. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow all these people are harming their bodies, but I am choosing to take care of mine.”

These foods rules controlled my every move for years and I can honestly say I never found true health or happiness.

Placing food into a “good” or “bad” category only led to me wanting the bad food more. Creating rules around food made me feel like I had to follow them perfectly and on the days where I was not “perfect”, I would feel guilty.

I would binge eat because I was craving the bad food or because I was feeling guilty. Binge eating led me to restrict more heavily because I felt like I had to make up for all the food I binged on. All of this restrictive eating and binge eating did not help my body thrive. My body did not know what to do. After a binge, I would be super bloated and have absolutely no energy. Not to mention my digestive system would be completely off. When I would restrict, my body also had no energy and could not function properly.

I wish I would have been more aware of the fact this type of relationship with food was unhealthy. I truly thought I just was living a “healthy lifestyle” and not dieting.

Below are a few rules I used to follow while i was dieting. I want to share them with you so that you can note if you are following any of them and hopefully become more aware of your own relationship with food.

  1. I would not allow myself to eat anything past 7pm, even if I was hungry.

  2. I would not eat any fruit past 12pm.

  3. I literally weighed and measured all of my proteins, carbs, and fat.

  4. I rarely allowed myself a treat during the week. I would only allow myself one treat on the weekends (unless I had a binge episode).

  5. I tracked my calories and would only eat around 1,200 per day.

Are you following any of these rules right now? If so, how does it feel to have to follow one or two or all of them? I bet it’s stressful and causes you to have unneeded food anxiety and guilt. Unfortunately, diet culture is so normalized that we believe thinking this way is completely okay but it’s not.

Allowing food to control your life is no way to live. Eating “perfectly” does not lead to true happiness. Worrying about what your next meal is going to be does not lead to a fun and fulfilling life.

What is one step you can take today to start living a life of food freedom? Click here for some helpful handouts I’ve created. Click here for my monthly newsletter where I dive into this topic more or if you are feeling up for it, click here to schedule a free session with me.

I hope you’re 2019 is off to a great start and that you are taking steps to learn more about your body and how you can heal your relationship with food.