Great. How did I end up here again?
I counted my points, weighed my food, forced myself to run miles upon miles. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I keep this weight off?
Because it isn’t about the points, the miles or even the food.
This was a long and hard lesson for me, one that took years to learn. I started binging on chocolate cake frosting when I was eight, obsessively exercised my way through high school and eventually, made my way to 220lbs. I was overweight and miserable. I sought solace in dieting. I tried them all. Low carb, no carb, low calories, lots of cabbage and slim fast, you name it, I tried it. But no matter what I tried, the weight came back.
Something wasn’t right.
Eventually, I discovered intuitive eating. When I first started out, I thought I’d never stop eating. The freedom I felt with food was remarkable; it was like a complete wave of relief. Unfortunately, it turned into permission to indulge my binging habits. I sat on my bed, every single night, curled up with the tv, a jar of nutella and loaves of bread.
Intuitive eating sure was fun.
As you might imagine, I gained some weight. Obviously, this intuitive eating thing didn’t work either.
So back to Weight Watchers I went. Then, for a couple more years, I dabbled between what I thought was intuitive eating and dieting. Intuitive eating was the new binge cycle.
Along the way, I realized that if I didn’t want to diet and binge anymore, something had to change. You know the old adage that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results? Well, that finally made sense and I knew that in order to find lasting change, I had to change my mind.
I had to re-write the tapes that I was playing in my head in order to have the life I wanted.
I spent many hours in therapy, I read lots of books, meditated, practiced lots and lots of yoga and started to really unravel the reasons why I was overweight. I laid my junk on the table and I examined it. I got down to the bottom of why I was eating. I was eating because I was ashamed. I was eating because I was bored. I was eating as punishment. I was eating to celebrate. And I was dieting for the same reasons.
I was distracting myself from life.
If I was busy counting calories or shoving my face, I didn’t have to stay present and feel.
Now, I’m in the happiest, healthiest place I’ve ever been in my life. I cry when I’m sad, laugh when I feel joy, tell people when they make me angry. I just live. Through that, listening to my body become second nature. Sure, I still have bad days where it takes all that I have to stay the course but I can finally say, I’m an intuitive eater. I eat when I’m hungry, I stop when I’m full and I’m truly honoring health.
Christie is a health coach, freelance writer and author of the intuitive eating blog, Honoring Health. She is passionate about sharing the principles of intuitive eating and teaching others that the only answers they need lie within. Besides her blog, you may also find her on twitter @honoringhealth.