One thing i’ve struggled with since gaining my weight back is figuring out why dieting is so damn hard these days.
When I first started “dieting,” I had no problem whatsoever cutting out all foods that didn’t have health benefits per se. All that mattered was my goal: to lose weight. I didn’t understand why people found it so hard to turn to believe that I truly didn’t desire that cookie… or those chips… or that slice of pizza.
No matter what people told me — “that diet won’t be able to last forever”— “everyone has to have treats here and there”— etc.— I just didn’t care. I was convinced that since I had virtually no desire for “treats” then I would never again have that desire so that rule (you know, don’t restrict too much..it’ll backfire) didn’t apply to me.. because i’m special.. (but i’m really not)
WOW was I wrong!!!! Once I was weight-restored, something just sort of changed. I don’t know what, but suddenly I was craving foods that I had so easily turned down before. And since my mindset was still “no, you can’t eat that!!” I would end up rebelling and just stuffing myself silly (like I was having a race with myself or something) because I felt so uncomfortable eating those foods.
(minus the KFC..ew.)
It makes me mad that I fell in such a predictable trap. At the same time, I realize that the mindset of “no you can’t eat that..it’s bad” that has tormented me in my head since the whole dieting thing started is really what has been screwing me over all along. Even the health-nuts preach “cheat days” because they keep us sane (and non-anorexic as well.. just sayin’).
so I guess i’m working on changing my mind set. I want to eat food that makes me feel good physically most of the time, but I also want to eat food that makes me feel good mentally from time to time if you know what i’m sayin’…. sans the ridiculously guilty and defeated feeling (i.e., yes I can have real ice cream if I want to sometimes in a normal portion size).
So this post was all over the place..but i’m basically trying to say what alllll of the health professionals/ health magazines / diet articles tell us all.the.time.
“Eat healthy..but don’t be too restrictive…”
I say: easier said than done.. but well worth the effort.
—> she can have both! duh! (haha sorry.. i’m not funny)
Some of you may remember me from “findinghappinessandhealth” when I was battling with recovery from anorexia. I started blogging the beginning of my freshman year, and now it is the middle of my junior year.
Although I have come so far since then, I am nowhere near ” perfect.” I expected that when I was weight-restored (which meant ~20 BMI minimum according to my treatment center), everything would get easy. Of course..this was/is not the case.
After you restrict your intake for a long period of time, your body naturally rebels. I began to crave foods I had never craved while I was underweight. Long story short, I fell into a binge/restrict habit (no purge) that not only caused me to put on unwanted pounds, but also caused me to feel depressed. The depression only made the cycle worse.
Bingeing proved to me what everyone had been telling me all along: a restrictive diet just isn’t sustainable in the long-term. Now that I’ve finally realized that my diet can’t be perfectly “clean 24/7” like I wish it could be, I’m trying to find a balance between eating healthy while also allowing myself treats every now and then. Treats without guilt.
This is the only way that I know I can stop bingeing for good. I rarely binge now, but I don’t eat in a way that always makes me feel great. I lOVE eating healthy because it truly makes me feel good, but I also do crave the occasional “less healthy” foods and i’m finally willing to admit that.
At the same time, I am concerned with making sure I don’t obsess about my intake. I am still in college and the last thing I want is to look back and feel like I wasted time worrying about food.
I also think that one of the main obstacles in achieving balance is self-acceptance. In order to get anything you want, you have to learn to love yourself first.
So that is where i’m at in a nut shell…
It’s been a bumpy road, and i’m sure there are many more bumps to come, but i’m finally learning that maybe I don’t have to see every bump as a chance to trip and fall. Maybe I can face each bump, climb over it, and learn something new in the process.