Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a big sharer. I guess you’d realize that just by reading my blog, right? But there is something that I haven’t shared with very many people, and since I’m embarking on a journey to fix it, I wanted to being it out there: I have a really bad relationship with food. Until Mia was born 9 years ago, I had always been relatively thin, and had never been on a diet. After putting on lbs of baby weight, I thought that I’d run a marathon and diet a bit and go back to normal. I thought I’d be one of those women who simply bounce back. So I went on the South Beach Diet and ran the Chicago Marathon, and in 6 months lost the sum total of 5, yes, five measly pounds. And so started a merry-go-round of dieting. I have been on nearly every diet invented, elimination cleanses, juice fasts, you name it. I’ve had genetic tests and taken pills. I’ve eaten no carbs, and then complex carbs, no sugar, and artificial sugar. I’ve lived on as little as 900 calories a day, and some days I’ve said “screw it” and eaten a chocolate cake. And I’ve had 2 more kids.
I don’t know if you can tell by looking at me, but some days it’s a constant battle with every single thing I put in my mouth. A lunch date can be a misery, and everything that I consume goes into the online diary I have kept for 9 years that monitors the calories of every, single, bleeding morsel of food. And exercise. And weight. And I look at the little chart that shows my weight gains and losses and it’s a mystery to me.
Not only am I not thin, but I’m also not happy. I feel like I’m in a daily battle with myself, and what’s more, my intellectual mind absolutely abhors the fact that I’ve gotten to this stage.
After a year of sharing this with my close family, I finally have reached out for help. Not to a psychiatrist, but to a nutritionist, someone who specializes in NOT having a diet, and NOT treating food as a deprivation. Emily, my counsellor at The Whole Journey, has explained to me that they follow the 80/20 rule. That you eat well 80% of the time, but the other 20% you allow yourself to make choices that allow you to enjoy food. It could be a chocolate cake or a glass of wine. But you get to do that. And you get to enjoy it.
I get to meet Emily every 2 weeks for the next 3 months, and she’s going to implement small changes that she believes will get me back on track. Of the 11 “action” items she has given me for these 2 weeks, putting away the scale, and not writing in my calorie diary for only 2 weeks are first on the list. It’s day 1 and I have to say it was a bit weird not following that routine. But a good weird. She’s also sending me for a battery of tests including hormones, thyroid, vitamin D and Candida, where she is convinced of a yeast imbalance.
My goal, my primary goal, isn’t to lose weight, but rather to get my life back. And I’m looking forward to that more than a chocolate cake!