“I’m not dieting,” I said, “I’m just eating slow carb, TOTALLY different”
I was smug about my problem dieting trends.
I wasn’t dieting–I was just eating BETTER.
Except that was bullshit.
I was heading into 6th attempt at Tim Ferris’s diet book 4-Hour Body. I got married and it worked like a champ to have the baning dress-ready body on my wedding day
But here we were two years later, 1 less white dress and I found myself giving fewer and fewer shits about dieting. It was hard to find motivation. So in between slow-carb attempts, I was annihilating pizzas, subway, and any other thing I could get my hands on—and not in a healthy way. Like entire pizzas, multiple subs and lots of late night chips.
Then came the self-loathing.
Every time I hit the scale I felt guilt, shame, and resentment towards my body for not doing what I wanted it to. I was sick of failing after years of non-stop dieting (I starting watching what I ate when we did a grade 9 cholesterol test at school. Mine was normal, but highest amongst friends. The nurse told me to watch what I ate. At 14 I started a diet).
If you’ve tried it, so have I. I actually think if you were to dissect my brain, there’s a beautifully carved out lounge space for dieting and weight loss thoughts.
But then, I got knocked up. And just like that, a voice popped in my head: ‘girl, you can’t do this shit anymore’. Intuitively I knew that I needed to stop depriving myself. I just stopped. I don’t know what happened in that moment of pregnancy but my brain told me I needed to nourish instead of depriving and I’d have an excuse to get fat–so I went for it.
For the first time in 16 years, I just ate without abandon. Without guilt. For 9 months–I ate the shit out of food. And it felt so, so, so good. My body responded by packing on a solid 60lbs in my pregnancy (no easy feat thank-you-very-much). I was ok with that–because I was going to diet the shit out of myself when that baby came out.
But then, I had the baby.
A gorgeous, giant, mopped hair little girl.
And I made a promise to myself, right then and there that I would never, ever, diet again. Never ever did I want this life for her. I couldn’t imagine her seeing me hate myself all the while preaching pro-body statements. It felt false to me. I just stopped.
In another way, however, I doubled down on eating like shit. I don’t mean foods that made me fat (although, I was probably the heaviest I had been in my adult life after baby), I mean foods that made me feel lethargic, shitty, and sad. By the time I had my second child, I was eating whole handfuls of jujubes on the daily and then feeling like napping all day. I was depressed and knew that food–once seen as the enemy–likely had the power to heal me. I didn’t like my outside because I felt like garbage on the inside.
I was drawn to nutritional coaching with Dara Bergeron (creator of Belly Bootcamp and fitness/nutritional coach)and her promise of never dieting again. It took over a year of retraining my brain and how I acted around food, I learned that food could make me feel good, or bad, that there was always enough and I never limited anything again. I started to LOVE food again, I ate all the foods (just maybe less), I listened to my body and when I was hungry–I ate. When I wasn’t–I didn’t. It was a long road to recovery with food but in the end–we’re now best friends.
I’m reluctant to tell you that now, I weigh about 40lbs less than I did previously. I’m reluctant because I don’t want you to think this is a weight loss story–it’s not. It’s about getting to a point with food and my body where I nourished instead of punished. And the fact that your body will take you to where it should be–whether that number is higher or lower than you’d want on your scale. Our bodies are wise–we should start listening and letting them do their thing
My body isn’t what society would deem as perfect; I’m rounder in areas that society tells me should be toned and flat–but, fuck that. I had BABIES in my BODY. Then they nursed, and I needed to eat. I eat for sustenance, for joy, for socializing, but truly–healing my relationship with food–not fighting it, has the best thing I’ve done for myself and my daughters. I can honestly say I’ve never felt sexier, more in control and happier.
And guess what? My daughter has never heard me say ‘do I look fat?’
Who gives a shit if the answer is yes? Thin never felt as good as pizza tastes.