Recovering from “nutso eating” (that is my official term for it now. yep.) brings up a lot of resistance and fear.
Besides the deep fear of the social stigma against weight – along with any other personal prejudice, the second biggest resistance is “but … health!”
(This is why I recommend the book Health At Every Size. Read it, it is life changing.)
However, I am going to give you my own personal schpeel on food and health, based on what I have learned, and more importantly, experienced.
“What if I have health problems?!”
Look dude, IIIIII get health problems. I get it. I’ve experienced it all. I’m not oblivious. That is why I got into this diet b.s. in the first place.
But what are your health problems? Almost all health problems are exacerbated by your mental state and stress. Your beliefs about yourself and your worth all affect your health and body functions. Health is halted when you halt joy. And health is horribly impacted by restriction.
Even food intolerances and blood sugar issues can often be improved greatly by healing your metabolism, through nourishment and learning just a bit about gut health.
The way you feel about yourself, the sentiment that you feed yourself with, and your stress levels are all fundamentally important in health and healing.
Listening to your body is really, really important for health and healing. And being extremely afraid of certain foods or of weight gain is the opposite of being able to genuinely do that.
You wanna heal your body? You want to be in touch with your body? You want to be on the same side as your body? You have to heal your food neuroses first.
I don’t care what your health issue is: the sooner you can make food choices out of genuine intuition and listening and love and trust, and not based on fear, obsession, reaction, shame, rebellion, and perfectionism, the better off you will be.
Even if that means two years of eating cheese and sourdough bread, like I did.
And, Don’t Restrict
I have come to believe that adding in healthy, nourishing foods is far more effective and important than cutting things out.
Possible exception? Food intolerances or allergies, or other very acute diseases like diabetes. And even those I don’t believe are lost causes. The mind and the body are NOT separate entities.
Listen to your body. A body under less stress can handle significantly more than a body under stress.
Restricting and being neurotic about food and weight is not the best way to health. Being out of touch with your body and your hunger and hating your body is no way to live or heal. Befriend your body. Accept that you have something to learn from your body. Commit to listening.
Gain Weight. Neutralize food. Give into your cravings. Improve your metabolism. Learn that food doesn’t have to control your life. Experience your worth and joy independent from body, approval, and diet goals.
Eat to nourish. Learn to hear what your body is asking for. Learn to give it both “healthy” and “unhealthy” without judgement. Let your weight normalize. Understand that this won’t happen overnight. Understand that life is so much more than numbers, external approval, and quick fixes.
2. Add in the healthy foods.
You have more healing you’d like to do? Do your hormones or blood sugar need a little support, still? Don’t beat yourself up. This is a toxic world. Some of need a little extra support or TLC either because of genes, environmental factors, stress, etc.
Add in more delicious and healthy foods. Not things you hate. Not in place of other things. Not crazy obsessive hunger based, but in the spirit of nourishment, eat your brownies, your mac’n cheese, and your green smoothie. Why not?
Nourish? Feed. Vitamins. Calories. Minerals. Carbs. Get it all in. Add in the greens, the sweet potatoes, the salmon, the kimchi, the sauerkraut, do research on ways to support your bodily functions, not starve them out. Be wary of any diet that promises health if only you cut things out. Trust your own body before any guru. Even me 🙂
Have balanced nourishing meals often that make you feel great, fed, loved, and taken care of. Enjoy it. But don’t cut things out for no reason. Don’t cut things out in order to obtain some perfect caveman health. There is no reason that you should have to abstain from cake just to be healthy. Seriously.
If this is triggering to you, then forget it. Because my point is: health does not happen in the restriction. It happens in the self-care, the nourishment, the love.
3. There is no destination.
Like all things in life, health is a moving target. Nothing is fixed. Nothing is perfect. Nothing is constantly crystal clear. Your best bet is to learnt to listen, and realize it’ll never be exact or perfect, and learn to love yourself and the process. That is health. That is life.
If perfect eating and clean diets healed you before, you would still be doing them. It doesn’t work. Life and appetites don’t work that way.
4. Join My 6 Month Support Group
Having accountability along the way can be a game changer. My 6 Month Life Recovery Program is underway NOW and also restarting a half-year cycle on July 1st. Check it out, it might be just the thing you need to keep you going.
PS. A Parable (My Real Life)
My face was oily and acne’d, so after years of benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid and misery, I stopped washing it. And then I even started putting olive oil and coconut oil on it.
Now my skin is pretty good.
I also did this with food.
This is a metaphor for life.
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