March 15, 2013
Today’s post has been hard for me to write. Not because I’m nervous to share this with you all, but because I’m having a hard time expressing myself. I just don’t want it to sound like a “preachy, look at me I’m so great now, everything will be puppies and rainbows from here on out”, kind of post.
Since many of you may be new to my blog, I thought I’d just start from the beginning and give you a brief summary of my “eating/dieting journey.” Throughout my life (well, since I can remember), my weight has been something that makes me uncomfortable. I had incredibly low self-esteem and always put myself down, especially in middle school and most of high school. I never thought I was good enough, I thought people were my friend just because they were being nice and in the back of my mind I was waiting for them to leave me.
Oh middle school…
My weight was a huge factor in this, and I always turned to food for comfort and often hid my eating from my family (we’re talking 6 pop-tarts in one day, on top of Oreos, Cheez-Its, etc.). I wore baggy clothes because I felt so uncomfortable in my skin. I probably spent half my life with my arms crossed over my stomach. Being so uncomfortable with my body, it’s no wonder that I developed this idea in my mind that maybe if I were skinny then I would be more confident, I would be more athletic, I would be more fun, I would be more attractive, I would be happier and my life would be “perfect.” I have gone up and down in weight since the beginning of high school, but no matter where I was I never thought I was good enough.
Finally, right before graduating from college in 2010, I decided to try and finally take control of my weight. I was going to lose weight no matter what – so I counted calories. I first found My Fitness Pal back then and I did its recommendation, which was around 1,200 a day. But wouldn’t I lose weight faster if I only ate 1,000? What about 900? I bet I could eat less than yesterday!
My first year of law school was miserable. Not only was law school in itself difficult, but I wouldn’t allow myself to enjoy anything either. I was never good enough; I had to be perfect. I kept myself from making any close friends because I couldn’t control food in social situations and always had to be up early for the gym. I went out on some weekends because I knew that’s what I “should” do, but never let anyone get close or I might not be in control anymore (don’t get me wrong, I met some great people and had some good times, but I kept myself from truly connecting and enjoying life). Are you shocked that I developed serious anxiety?
The summer after my first year of law school I discovered Carrots N Cake and read Tina’s book. I realized just how much I was hurting myself with this mindset. I started to let go a little bit. I more than I had been, but I was still counting calories (although trying not to) and obsessively exercising.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering, didn’t you react to this restriction? Oh, I did. At first, it was few and far between, but binge eating became a very regular occurrence. Once I started marathon training, the weight really started to creep on. I’d restrict all day and then at night, I’d lose it, bingeing on anything and everything I could find. I tried to reassure myself by saying “it’s all healthy food” but I was NOT listening to my body. I was starving myself and then eating until I was sick.
I talked to a few blog friends about my problem, and slowly but surely I started to dig deeper. This wasn’t about the weight, or how much I was eating. This was about loving myself. This was about believing in myself and believing that I am good enough. All those feelings that I had when I was younger? They were still in the back of my mind and it was time to tell that 12-year-old girl that God made me and loves me exactly how I am, and that I should do the same. I needed to stop comparing myself to other people, start seeing all the great in myself, and start having confidence in who I am.
Although I have come a LONG way, I still have trouble with restricting/binge eating; it’s a very hard thing to let go of. Right now it’s less extreme, but it’s there and you know what? I am DONE. I am ready to stop the counting, stop looking at the clock and stop choosing what I “should” eat versus what I want to eat. I am ready to give up the control and give in. Guess what showed up right in time? Jamie’s Intuitive Eating Challenge.
Today is day one of the challenge and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ll be sharing more details about intuitive eating and the challenge soon, but I thought this post was getting looooong enough! I also could go on and on about each and every point I hit on in this post, but again, you all have lives to get back to.
There are so many things I could say I regret about the past three years – not making friends in law school, not talking to that guy because I was too scared of rejection, not enjoying the city because I was holed up in my apartment, the list goes on and on. But you know what? I can’t regret any of it, because it makes me who I am today. It makes me appreciate the good even more, appreciate everything that I’ve gained and will experience in the future.