So by now you may have read my story about the constant cycle of weight loss and weight gain I was on. If you haven’t click here to read it (Part 1 and Part 2) and this post will make more sense. As I wrote, I was never happy with my size at any stage of weight loss and always thought I should be smaller. I put my body under enormous stress by eating in unhealthy ways to lose the weight and eating in unhealthy ways to put it all back on. I had no balance. I had no nourishment. I had no happiness. Every time I’d put the weight back on I would beat myself up about it and say horrible things to myself.
“You are worthless. How did you let this happen AGAIN? Why can’t you just be normal? You are so weak. You’ve undone all that hard work and it was all for nothing.”
I was putting all my energy into the food and exercise part of weight loss. I am a very determined person and when I want to achieve something I go at it 100% to get results. The problem was once I got to a certain stage, I wouldn’t be able sustain the ‘diet’ and I’d quickly slide the other way.
My big realisation
Food was not the thing I needed to focus on. Food was not the reason I gained weight and felt unhappy. Food was not the reason I lacked confidence and was sitting on the sidelines of my life. I kept thinking if I focused on food, and ate better – it would get me to my goal weight and everything in my life would be better.
I started thinking about healthy, vibrant, happy people and how they don’t have any attachments to food. They eat in moderation, and always seem to have active, social lives. These people always used to annoy me (when I was judgemental and made constant comparisons) but now I knew I had to learn something from them. Around this time I got hit with the ‘self-love’ phenomenon which was sweeping through social media and on some blogs I was looking into. Seemed weird – but made a lot of sense.
If you truly love yourself, would you spend Friday night sitting on the coach binge-eating? If you truly loved yourself would you feed yourself six meals of animal protein a day with no carbs or vegetables? If you truly loved yourself, would you turn down offers to go out on the weekend with friends to sit at home alone? If you truly loved yourself would you constantly put yourself down and always see the negatives in your job?
As you may know, I’m currently studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. The very first thing that is covered is the concept of ‘Primary Foods’. The idea is, we need to be fed with these foods before real food. Primary Foods are grouped in four categories – Relationships, Career, Spirituality and Physical Activity. If these areas of your life are balanced and aligned, then you are far less likely to be unhappy and unhealthy.
Wow! This made so much sense to me. I had already began to have a huge mind-shift when I’d started practising yoga and meditation, creating social events, cutting back on my weekend workload and doing simple exercise like beach walking. The big ‘self-love’ aspect was being met as I focused on the relationship I had with myself and worked on stopping that negative voice that said I wasn’t good enought, worthy, or important. I was finally meeting those needs that needed to be met by not focussing on the food. As I started feeling happier, the bad food started disappearing from my meals as I didn’t need to rely on it to make me feel better. I was beginning to have a healthy relationship with food without having to follow a diet and obsess over everything I was eating.
I have developed a tool I’ve been using to further develop my relationships (with self and others), my physical activity, my spiritual practice and my career. It is really helping me to improve the quality of my life. Keep your eye out over the next couple of days, as I want to share it with you too so you can do the same!