I’ve come in from a morning run and have logged my activity into my fitness tracking app. My calories burned from working out versus calories eaten so far in the day show a negative reading and I get a total rush from seeing those numbers in the minus.
But then it hits me how messed up my way of thinking about food really is. It’s definitely not the first time I’ve become aware of this but it’s something I’m thinking about more and more as I try to teach my daughters healthy attitudes about body image and eating.
As long as I can remember I’ve been a binge eater, going back well into my early teens. It’s my dark and dirty little secret that I’ve kept hidden until recently. I’d spend days eating junk food well past the point of feeling sick, and then force myself onto an 800 calorie a day diet for the following week. Moderation has always been the goal but not something I’ve ever been able to achieve. Before every major event, holiday, party or gathering I spend weeks tormenting myself to drop at least 5 lbs, trying to get myself onto a sugar-free, carb-free, dairy-free diet. This, as you can imagine, doesn’t work out most of the time and the stress, shame and self-hatred I feel when I’ve failed to lose the weight is immense.
I can’t blame my binging on lack of understanding or on emotions. I grew up in a household focused on health with a Mom who has a Food Science and Nutrition background. Many of my binges come out of nowhere with no real emotional trigger. Despite reading dozens of diet books this cycle has kept fairly constant in my life, except during pregnancy where I gained 70 lbs each time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been very successful at losing weight the problem is the binging leads to the weight coming back and the cycle starts over again.
For a long time I thought the problem was that I just wasn’t motivated enough or strong enough, or that I was a pig and liked to eat too much. But as I’m getting older I’m starting to get really tired of the self-loathing that goes along with binge dieting and I’m realizing that my relationship with food is the problem rather than my lack of control. I’m also starting to recognize that diet culture runs deep in our society and is reinforced on a daily basis.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I want to stop hating myself and because I know there are so many other women feeling the same way when they eat 3 bagels, a bowl of ice cream and a bag of chips.
I’ve been subscribing to some really great podcasts and newsletters like Food Psych by Christy Harrison and Isabel Foxen Duke. It can be so eye opening to hear about other people’s struggles with binge eating and to realize that you aren’t alone!
I’ve also decided to give Keto another try with the help of Dr. Anna Falkowski, my naturopathic doctor. I’ve tried Keto before and while I enjoyed many benefits, weight loss wasn’t one, so I stopped. However, this time I’m going to be giving it another go with Dr. Anna’s Fat Fueled Female program to see if I can find some sort of balance with my eating, focusing on health rather than weight loss. Please know, this isn’t sponsored. I am doing this on my own for my own health.
I realize Keto is a diet for many people but it’s also a lifestyle for many others and it’s a way of eating the most resembles for ideal diet without being too restrictive. I’ll be updating you all after my 4 weeks of doing the program to let you know how I feel and to see if I’ve seen results with improvement to my binging.
Now you know what I’ve been keeping inside for so long, and how much I’m ready to shake it off and have a healthy relationship with food, for the first time in my life.