Close to a year ago I learned about Health at Every Size (HAES) in my nutrition class. After doing some more research on the topic I came across intuitive eating. Everything about it resonated with me. It fit in perfectly with the holistic health and self-love approach I was starting to take on. After reading the book, Intuitive Eating: a Revolutionary Program that Works, I started to practice the principles. I slowly let go of dieting methods (i.e. fat burners and cutting carbs) and allowed myself to enjoy more foods that I liked.
For the majority of the year I loved it. But when summer rolled around I started to doubt what I was doing. I began to compare myself to myself. Looking at pictures and reminiscing about my dieting days when I was 15 lbs. lighter.
On top of that, I overate during my birthday weekend and did not exactly eat intuitively. So in sum, I was not feeling good about myself and instead of looking to the first principle of intuitive eating (reject the diet mentality) I went on a diet.
At the time, starting the whole 30 challenge seemed like the perfect way to naturally detox my body since I was committed to living a cleaner and holistic lifestyle. But in all honesty I wanted to lose weight. I continued to fool myself and not even listen to my own advice by restricting my diet. Only eating foods free of added sugars, chemicals, and all things processed.
During the challenge I was reading the book that coincides with the program (It Starts with Food). I began to learn more about my body and how it reacts to certain foods and how the small meals and snacks I typically eat were likely impacting my blood sugar levels and energy.
Before the whole 30 I was eating about 5-6x a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks). During the challenge I began eating larger meals, with about 2 servings of protein and 2-3 servings of fat per meal. In my mind I was going to eat as much as I could to fill myself up because snacking was not encouraged. I totally overdid it and because I was depriving my body it latched onto the excess fat and calories I was feeding it in all the places I didn’t want it.
Telling you this is honestly embarrassing. But I feel like its necessary to share with you where I messed up so you can learn from my mistake! I played myself by pretending the whole 30 challenge wasn’t a diet when in fact it was.
Doing the challenge did help me realize I was overeating and that I’m totally a bored comfort eater. It also helped me become aware of how certain foods make my body feel. However, my weight gain and the huge blow to my self-confidence and trust (because I was dieting!)— was not worth it.
I felt like I was in a negative hole that I couldn’t seem to get out of for a few weeks. I was trying to process everything and also accept that I’m not a perfect person. I’m going to make mistakes. That’s how you learn.
If I didn’t go through what I did, I wouldn’t have learned the massive impact of this lesson. I’m proof to myself that diets DO NOT work and they WILL make you gain weight.
In order to move forward I’m starting all over and getting back to basics. Giving my body and myself the fresh start it deserves. I’m committing to honestly living and eating intuitively.
I created a blog @theintuitiveeatingproject for my nutrition class not only to help teens and adults learn how to eat intuitively but also to re-learn the principles and educate myself so I can become a true intuitive eater.