The ladies in The Normal Eaters Club know that I like to be fully open, honest and transparent.
I always share tidbits from my own life: food struggles, habits I want to change, emotions I’m working through and other stories that help illustrate real-life examples of the ins and outs of this journey.
When I was at the beginning of my own healing, I remember asking the woman I worked with a million questions. (What did she eat? Did she ever binge? Were all these emotions normal? Did she ever eat in secret? etc) I wanted to know that what I was feeling, doing and experiencing was normal!
It was SO helpful to have someone reassure me with her own stories and antidotes that I was, in fact, “normal” 🙂
So, I wanted to give you an inside look at my own journey and what I’m working on. Because, as I always say on this path-there is always something to go deeper on! (It doesn’t mean you can’t have freedom, it just means that you’ll heal something and then the next layer under that comes up 🙂 )
So what is it that I’m currently going deeper on? Check out these 3 things:
This is still a big one for me. I went through a period of a few years where I thought I had “gotten there” (aka “Yes, I love my body and I 100% accept myself!).
And then…I got caught up in stress, exhaustion and working crazy hours and gained a few pounds. I had some adrenal fatigue, I wasn’t taking care of myself, and I put my body under a lot of stress… and my body responded accordingly.
I gained a few pounds, my pants didn’t fit like they used to, and all of my old negative body image tapes came up.
What was my lesson in all of this?
Acceptance can’t be based on a number or size because nothing external will ever give us the lasting happiness, acceptance, confidence or self-love that we want. This is a hard pill to swallow when we are convinced that a smaller body is the ticket to acceptance.
But Acceptance comes from the inside. There will never be a time when something outside of us can make us happy inside. We are looking for an external solution to an inner issue. And no amount of change in our bodies will give us that inner “enough-ness” long term.
This was and is a valuable lesson for me. I continue to see where I have “work” to do around giving myself even more love and accepting myself exactly as I am.
In The Normal Eater’s Club, I talk about the importance of meal planning and prep. It seems so simple, so easy, and so…boring. But it is amazing how loosely planning your meals (for me, it’s mostly dinner and lunch) can set your week up for success.
This is something I still work on because well…I really don’t enjoy it. (I’m trying to!). I don’t love cooking or spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
But I do love eating delicious meals, a variety of foods, and not having to think when I’m done a long work day. So, I come back to meal planning often.
I am always reminded that when I get lazy, when I don’t go to the grocery store, and when I just “wing it” with lunch and dinner, the choices I make reflect that.
I’ve gotten much better at this, but it’s a work in progress! I know that it helps me make more nourishing choices when I have something already planned, so I use that as motivation to prep and plan 🙂
So, I get it. We are inundated with the trend of clean eating, the perils of sugar, and the dangers of eating too much processed foods.
But I firmly stand in my knowing that clean eating is a form of restriction. And when we engage in any sort of restriction (whether its subconscious or not), we will end up binging. It’s the Law of Dieting: for every equal and opposite restriction there is a binge.
This programming is hard to undo though, and I find “old tapes” coming up from time to time.
I catch myself thinking of what I “should” eat, what is “healthy” and what is “good” for me. And then I gently remind myself to shift away from that into asking myself what is satisfying, delicious and nourishing.
When we’ve been conditioned a certain way or lived our lives only dieting or not dieting, the programming takes time to undo! I still catch myself every now and then thinking “Hmmm, should I go on that cleanse?”
I always say that this is a journey. And even I need to be reminded of that every once in a while 🙂 You will never get to a place where you say “that’s it, I’m done!” because you’ll be eating every day for the rest of your life.
This doesn’t mean you can’t feel free and let go of dieting! It only means that you’ll always have somewhere deeper to go. You’ll keep pushing the edges of your comfort zone…to find even more freedom, acceptance, self-care, and kindness as you move forward on your own journey 🙂