I get a lot of questions about how I gave up the unrealistic body ideals and diet mentality that used to control my life; a lot of questions about how I learned to be happy in the body I have now.
I never know what to say because the real answer is so simple: I was tired. No, I was more than tired. I was so incredibly exhausted; exhausted to my core; exhausted by the life I was leading.
My brain space was constantly occupied by thoughts of calories and serving sizes and muffin tops (the food variety and the fat variety) and BMIs and weights and inches and disgust and frustration and sadness and questions. So many questions:
Why didn’t I lose weight this week?
Is that guy over there not hitting on me because I’m too chubby for him?
Why can’t I have the same willpower as people who don’t eat anything?
Why am I bingeing?
How many calories can I burn today?
How do I stop my hip fat from hanging over my jeans?
How many calories in that pack of gum I just chewed?
When can I eat another sugar-free Jell-O?
Am I bigger or smaller than that girl over there? What about that other one over there? Am I prettier, too?
Why am I so disgusting?
Will I hate myself forever?
Will I ever be able to eat like a normal person?
Those questions clouded my mind. They took priority over most everything else. Those questions made me so damn tired because I didn’t have answers to them; because they were stupid and meaningless. But not to me. No, to me, those questions were really, really important.
Until they weren’t. Until one day, I hit a point where I couldn’t do it anymore.
I couldn’t compare my weight and height and body fat to other people, trying to see if my numbers were higher than theirs.
I couldn’t measure out another quarter cup of almonds (raw – because salt is the devil’s seasoning because bloating).
I couldn’t spend another morning agonizing over my weight because it went up or didn’t go down enough.
I couldn’t research another diet, become enamored with the success stories and then fail. Again.
I couldn’t continue give the control of my happiness to a measuring tape and a scale and a pants size.
I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t, so I didn’t. I had no other choice but to try to make peace with food. So I did. It took time and it was uncomfortable and difficult, but guess what? I’m here. I did it! I made it! I didn’t die! I didn’t gain 1,000 pounds! I didn’t eat only bagels and ice cream all day, every day (only some days)! I re-learned how to eat intuitively and it was hard and sucky and awesome all at once.
And now here I am on the other side of that crazy obsession. Yes, the number on the scale is higher now. I had to buy new pants. My ass jiggles when I dance (and when I twerk…. and when I walk… and when I run…lol jk, I don’t run). But DAMMIT, it is all so, so worth the weight.
I just want to remind you that there is a light at the end of the diet-obsession tunnel. One day, if you hit the point where you’ve lost all faith in diets and pills and magic fixes, just know that you have the capability to repair your relationship with food (I’m sorry; I feel like a douche referring to a “relationship” with food, but just go with it). You have the capability to like yourself and love yourself and the way you look. You can get to a place where you feel at peace and happy with yourself.
You can. I promise.
And you should totally try, because it’s freaking awesome.