What I Have Learned (over 5 years)

January 5th, 2017 will be my 29th birthday.

Almost 5 years ago, I had my TFID, birthday bathroom epiphany, where I looked in the mirror after bingeing on gross squash pancakes (pancakes made out of squash and eggs… yum) and out loud, dramatically, said something like:

“What are you doing you fool?! You will never ever be satisfied if you keep dieting like this.”

The connection between bingeing and my debilitating fear of weight, became crystal clear to me in that moment, and I started my own Fuck It Diet right then.

Then a few months later I started this site.

And 5 years later, here we are.

I am truly a different, calmer, happier person. My life is completely different. My priorities are different. My focuses are different. And it all started from unravelling the dieting knot and being willing to gain weight and let go.

I still stand by what I have taught since the beginning about eating. And in addition, I have learned so many, many, many things along the way.

Here are just some of the things I have learned:

You really can trust your body. I believed it in the beginning, but 5 years later I still stand by it. You really are bingeing because of restricting and dieting. Feed yourself. Follow famine and metabolism logic, and “eat yourself to the other side.” It really does work.

Cravings are intuition. Yes, really. Follow them and it will lead to more, ever evolving cravings and intuition. The less precious you make them, the easier they will be to follow and you continue.

You need carbs. For hormones. For your metabolism. What I experienced as “sugar addiction” and “a poor metabolism of sugar” was caused by deprivation.

You are not a bottomless pit. You will not eat until you explode. You are afraid you will, I know, but I promise you will not.

You were not put on this earth to be tiny.

Fear of your weight and body is at the root of all of this misery with food. 

Learning to like yourself is really the journey we are on.

So – Feminism, too. I used to think feminism didn’t apply to me. I was already equal. I went to an all girls school. My mom wanted me to be a doctor, or a nurse, or at least tell people I was becoming a doctor or a nurse while I got my BFA in musical theater. But no. I was not. And it was insidious: Hating your body. Needing to be smaller. Trying to be acceptable….  Being sexualized as a teenager on the street and the subsequent fear of curves and a feminine body. The debasement of the feminine in general in this society. This food thing is directly related to this body thing is directly related to feminism. I didn’t want to yell about this from the rooftops when I started TFID because I wanted to be cool and chill and acceptable still. But there is no denying it. They are connected. There is no one acceptable way to be a woman. You are enough you are enough you are enough. Feminism Feminism Feminism.

The Fuck It Diet applies to men and women, but I primarily write for women just because of what I said above. I have learned that, too.

Shit food may not be the be all end all, but shit food may be a big part of getting you to the be all end all (ease & intuition). Restriction and fear of food impairs food intuition, ease, and often, metabolism too. Eating a diet of mainly coke and candy and McDonalds will never ever be optimal. You know that. But allowing those foods, genuinely, with no fear or judgment, will take away the dogma and allow you to slowly and genuinely listen to what your body is craving day to day.

You owe no one your beauty.

You owe no one your health.

Our culture is so deprived of true rest and joy. We are tired. We are miserable. We never let ourselves off the hook. We are stressed. We are constantly trying to seem acceptable, to ourselves and others. We are buried in the shoulds we have accepted. And it depletes us. We don’t have to live like this. What will you look back and think about all this time you wasted trying to seem good enough?

Compassion, compassion, compassion. Mostly for yourself. If you can extend compassion for yourself, it is even easier to extend to others.

Perfectionism is the death of happiness and freedom. Perfectionism will suck your happiness, spontaneity, and life force faster than you can say where have all the years gone??!?! I like to call it a program running in the background of your brain/life force, sucking all your battery juice and FOR WHAT?!?!?! Get rid of body, food, and health perfectionism. It doesn’t serve you. Lower the stakes, my friend.

We control nothing. All we can do is take inspired action, be good, be kind, course correct as we go, and be willing to admit that we were wrong. There is no prize for never being wrong.

Your worth is not tied to your weight your worth is not tied to your weight your worth is not tied to your weight your worth is not tied to your weight.

Health has more to do with socio-economic factors and stress, than even genetics, health habits, or weight. Thanks Linda Bacon.

Linda Bacon is a must read. Get your health stats from Linda.

Body diversity is a real thing. For the most part, your weight set range is out of your control, and attempts to control it often raise it, or cause huge weight fluctuations and lowered metabolism.

Fat acceptance and body diversity are social and human rights.

All of your stress is stemming from unexamined ‘shoulds’ and limiting beliefs. Yes, really, all of it. And especially your body and food stress. You have believed things that do not serve you, that are triggering a stress response and a desire to “control the situation”. This is a lot of the work we do in Fuckiteer Academy.

Fat is not a bad word.

Fear of being or becoming fat affects everyone negatively, no matter what your body size is. (Just like the fear of feminine affects everyone negatively no matter whether you are a male or female.)

The Fuck It Diet is socially liberal. And yes, in case it is unclear, the Fuck It Diet opposes Trump’s rhetoric and everything he stands for. The big business. The illusion that his wealth makes him smart or good or trustworthy (?!?!) The cabinet appointments he has made. The beauty pageants. The terrible words he has said about women. The bragging about sexual assault. And on and on. Me sharing this alienates readers. I do not care. The Fuck It Diet is feminist. The Fuck It Diet is political. It can not be separated.

This is a spiritual journey. I know, I just wanted to eat normally too and go about my life too, but no. A big ol’ surrender to something bigger comes with the territory. You’re being tricked into a bigger picture thing here. This food and bingeing struggle is just a doorway into more self-love, trust, ease, happiness, better emotional intelligence and tolerance, intuition, and prioritizing yourself and your happiness (to the benefit of everyone around you.)

It’s so worth it.

Your body is not sin, it is a direct path to spirituality.

Feeling our emotions and being in our bodies is essential. We have spent years afraid of our bodies, denying our humanity and fearing our emotions. We don’t want to feel what it feels like to be in our bodies. We don’t want to feel what it feels like to be human, mortal, fallible, and vulnerable. We think it might be better to be shiny, perfect, robotic and grief-less. But we can’t be. We are humans. We must eat to stay alive. We must feel to process, learn, understand and empathize with one another. It makes life better, not worse. This is some of what we work on in the Become Your Own Damn Guru.

You can’t avoid the emotionally uncomfortable parts, you have to lean into them.

No feeling will last forever. We are afraid our emotions will consume us. They will not. They pass and teach us if we allow ourselves to feel them.

We are guided. I cannot take full credit for the Fuck It Diet. Yes I sought happiness and peace. Yes I listened. Yes I took action and did things that scared me and shared them. But it’s a thing I was guided to. And everything else that has happened since has been too synchronistic and serendipitous for me to ever say that I don’t know if there is magic in this universe. There is more magic than I can even fathom. And it’s everywhere.

Creativity, spontaneity, and fun are great forces of spirituality.

You are enough.

You are Divine. Magical. Beautiful. Important. Imperfect and Perfect all at once.

You deserve to take up space. In fact the world may count on it.

You matter.

The things you say matter.

Fuck It can be a spiritual mantra.

Prayer, intentions, healing … it’s all real.

Lastly, dieting definitely doesn’t work in the big picture.

15 comments

  1. Angela says:

    Love this so much… I turned 41 on December 1 2016 and thought the day before…I will go on a 30 day detox …blah blah…but I woke up on my birthday, and like you thought- what the fuck…I said to myself Angela…you are now 41 …fuck it…I am here…I am here…I deserve to be here in this body…this body that has put up with the Paleo, low carb , high fat, fasting, whole 30 diets , excessive exercising for the last 25 years- I am sorry my poor body . So instead of going on another 30 day eat clean bull shit diet…the birthday present I have given myself is to eat, live and enjoy the body I am in. Thank you ..it is because of your work that I discovered a few years ago that the fuck it seed was planted. It is now sprouting…and though I still have moments of…tomorrow you can cut out all sugar etc I gently scream in my head…Fuck It! Thank you…thank you…thank you xx

    • Ann says:

      Wow, Angela! I could have written your response!!! I just turned 40 this past August. I’ve been following TFID for the past year or so but I’m terrified of leaving my under eating/bingeing/over exercising ways. I’ve been doing this for 20 years now and I am tired of this self hatred. Your response has inspired me along with this bad ass article! FUCK IT!!! 🖕🏻💃

      • Chandra says:

        We are triplets. Turned 40 in October. Also ex-paleo ex-bikrams. I was at an ideal weight half a year ago that I had determinedly sustained for the last few years when I finally saw the scared mangled creature I was torturing inside. I started saying fuck it consciously. Today I looked at the tummy I’ve gained. Probably 20 pounds. I don’t think it’s pretty to look at. I wish I did. But the horror and panic I would have had before has vanished. I feel compassion for me. I feel how healing it has been to eat all the things whenever. Binging has almost left me. I’m ready to listen more closely to my cravings and intuition now. I still miss the control and the positive reinforcement I used to get for being thin. But I’m so much more at peace. I am loved and I love. So I’m going to keep going. Thanks for your stories.

  2. Lee says:

    I love and really really really appreciate your message. It is right on and the way out of food issues and body hate!!!

  3. Aston says:

    I just had a thought about your post, because a) I had a similar thought when I hit 28 and b) I think about these things randomly…

    There is so much nonsense around food and weight that needs clearing from our brains, and it takes time. Man, I wish I’d known that 5 years ago in the middle of my food hell hole, that it wasn’t me and I wasn’t wrong. It is so inspiring to hear stories of people who go through the same thing and get out, alive and vibrant. Thanks for being here Caroline!

  4. lisa says:

    I’ve been following TFID for a couple of years now–thank you for your message and candor, Caroline! I’m happier and emotionally healthier about my body than I ever was. But I still have my moments. Even though every new year I vow to not make a stupid resolution to lose weight, blah, blah, blah, I still find myself occasionally seduced by the idea. And with my 42 birthday and a beach trip on the horizon, I’ve been feeling that pull of the old diet mentality quite strongly. Cut out sugar, dairy, gluten for just a little while. What could it hurt? Reset my body! Ack! So I realize it might take years for me to permanently abolish those old diet demons and body fears. I love this list, these truths, this mantra as it reminds me about why I said Fuck It in the first place and why there truly is no other way to find sustainable peace and happiness with my body and my life.

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