This week’s blog post will be a bit different. I am sharing with you a story told to me by a very close friend who happens to also assist me in my office. For anonymity, I will call her Mary. Mary was instrumental in helping me launch my iEat Mindfully™ Intuitive Eating Program. At the time, she was in her final year of college preparing to enter into her dietetic internship to eventually become a registered dietitian.
Mary had shared with me early on that one of the reasons she had gotten into the nutrition field was because of her experience with her dieting history. She had a strong diet mentality throughout her early twenties. Despite a healthy body weight, she was addicted to seeing the number on the scale go down, and to trying whatever diet of the moment was around so she can lose weight. She would always end up starving by the end of the 6-14 day trial period, gaining back any weight she lost and then some with a vengeance.
Lucky for her, through her studies in personal training and then even more so in nutrition, she began to learn not just the science behind how food works in the body, but the mentality with which to truly approach healthy eating. Mindful eating in particular appealed to Mary because so much of her difficulties with weight stemmed from not trusting her own intuition about food.
Despite her knowledge of nutrition, Mary recently went through a stressful time in her life. She was in the midst of her dietetic internship program, and between the stress of the program and other things going on in her life, she found herself deflecting that stress into disliking her appearance. An unflattering dressing room light and a glimpse in the mirror while trying on clothes spiraled her thoughts into a whirlwind of, “How can I lose weight quickly, I need to get back on track.”
Fortunately for Mary, she sat down with herself and had a clarifying moment. She thought about the idea of jumping into a fad diet, but realized she knew better. She also knew that she had been out of touch with her intuitive eating and instead was eating to decrease stress instead of listening to her body and eating to nourish it.
Mary decided to be positive and invest in a gym membership, and started collecting healthy recipes she wanted to try. She treated herself to new cooking appliances and reminded herself what it means to be healthy, and also reminded herself of some of the things she liked about her body.
Mary wanted me to share this story with you to remind you that roadblocks are inevitable, but they don’t have to derail you. We are all human and there will be times when we forget the things we have learned, and want to jump back into a negative place. If you can take a breath and refocus, whatever “damage” you may have felt you did, you can learn from it. Remember this all part of the journey which will lead you to where you want to be.
Your turn to take action: Have a heart to heart talk with yourself. If you have been having a difficult time on your intuitive eating journey, try to figure out why. Please share your thoughts with me and together we can help you get back on the road to a body you love without dieting!