Pizza, and Ice Cream, and Fear Oh My!
December 1, 2020
I love food and I love to eat and I love to cook, but about two years ago I started dieting hardcore and it seriously messed with my body and my mind. I got to a weight that I never would be able to maintain for our wedding…I was the same weight that I was in middle school…but people told me I looked good and so every time I ate something I felt was a “bad” food or something I “shouldn’t” eat I would regret it for hours and sometimes days. Finally, about a month ago I had had enough. I didn’t want to play mind games with myself anymore around food. I wanted to not be hungry anymore and I wanted to feel confident in my own skin again.
I was talking about my frustrations around my body and my ideas surrounding food with my friend Kim. She mentioned that she had started working with a dietician, Phyllis. The word dietician scared me and I told Kim that I didn’t want to diet anymore…I wanted to just live and enjoy life and feel healthy again. Kim helped me understand that the last thing Phyllis would have me do would be to go on a diet. It’s not about dieting, it’s about finding the right foods to fuel your body that you enjoy.
I thought it couldn’t hurt to reach out and I also realized that if something was wrong with me physically or mentally I would always seek professional help…but something had stopped me from doing so in this one area of my life. Was I afraid I’d constantly be eating kale (which I hate no matter how hard I try) and avoiding desserts for the rest of my life? Was I afraid of facing those demons in my mind? Absolutely. But one thing I knew in my heart is that if I didn’t change something or try something I was going to be perpetually aggravated, disappointed, and exhausted in this one area in my life.
I reached out to Phyllis and we started working together. This wonderful woman has all the charm, kindness, and care of Snow White…and bonus, she’s funny. I was so anxious about taking this new step in my life that on my intake form for Phyllis where she asked what foods I liked I listed: cookies, cake, brownies, pancakes, sushi, ice cream, burgers, and pasta. It was almost like I wanted to test her and see how she’d react to that. Like, don’t you dare tell me I can’t eat these foods anymore. She took it all in stride and responded to me with care and kindness every step of the way.
She promised me three things:
1) I would never have to be hungry
2) I would never have to stop eating the foods I love
3) I would not have to eat anything I didn’t like…cough cough no kale for me…PHEW
She asked me if I wanted to do regular weigh-ins and I told her I did not, or at least, at the time was not ready for that. She totally understood and didn’t at all push me to do that before I was the one that decided I wanted to. She never asked me to count my calories, or skip my little snack I always like at 10pm.
All I can say is the diet industry f?*&#d us over. We’ve been taught to think that we have to be hungry, that we can’t eat our favorite things, that we must deprive ourselves to look the way we want, and that confidence in a body looks only one way.
If you are struggling to get out of a dieting cycle and feeling flexible about the food you put into your body, I hear you. It’s freaking hard and scary. It’s hard to allow yourself the pleasure of eating what you want when you want it, but it’s possible and Phyllis showed me the way. She helped me find my groove so that I could feel good in my body and eat what I want and find healthy (and super yummy) options too. Initially, I didn’t weigh myself, and then because I totally didn’t believe Phyllis when she said I’d naturally start to lose weight when I started to shift my mindset and way I approach food I decided I wanted to…I wanted proof. I didn’t go into this to lose weight, but I certainly hoped it would be a side effect and low and behold it was.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT TO LOOK BEAUTIFUL OR TO BE VALUED, SEEN A SEXY, OR HAVE SELF-WORTH. YOU CAN ACCESS ALL OF THOSE THINGS RIGHT NOW JUST AS YOU ARE. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL AND INCREDIBLE. I want you to believe that, okay? The message here isn’t, let’s lose weight, the message here is you can be healthy and not be hungry. You can be healthy and eat your favorite foods. I ate pizza, pasta, m&ms, and ice cream this weekend and not like that cute low-cal ice cream, like legit ice cream, and I am feeling amazing in my body, better than I’ve felt in years because regardless of what the scale says I am empowered in what I am eating.
Phyllis and I are working on flexibility and me being less rigid, which is scary but is necessary to live a full well-rounded life. If you have something that’s prohibiting you in your mind from living a full, joyful life you can alter that perspective. It takes time. I’m certainly not there yet, but I can see change happening. It’s never too late to change.
I love you. You are a beautiful human. We can all conquer our demons together. And bottom line, if you are blessed enough to be able to put food on the table please don’t ever force yourself to go hungry. XOXO, CAMDW