My childhood fantasy was being trapped in a skittle the size of a skyscraper and having to save my own life by
eating my way out.
YAS GIRL THIS IS TOTALLY TRUE and was inspired by James and the Giant Peach. LOL.
My relationship with food has always been... special.
Food was my dysfunctional bestie that I couldn’t leave behind. It was the panacea for all of life’s problems, the perfect reward for a job well done, and the ideal way to actualize my happiness for festive occasions, big and small.
As a kid, I had no "off switch" around food. I loved to eat, especially anything sweet.
When I was around 8 years old, my mom looked me up and down and declared, “YOU’RE FAT.”
From then on, I developed a weight problem that worsened over years and was accompanied by out of control binge eating that I didn’t understand.
Due to my binge eating, yoyo dieting, and constant weight struggles, I...
- Always crash-dieted before special events and, more often than not, gained weight.
- Had no clothes that fit me well and hated shopping.
- Felt out of control around any food that tasted good.
- Was the "Fat Friend" that guys were never interested in.
- Spent TONS of money on diet books, weight loss products, therapists, coaches, and personal trainers.
- Told myself I couldn't purse anything worthwhile until I lost weight.
- Avoided being in pictures and missed out on the chance to have those memories captured on paper.
I tried everything. Weight Watchers. Paleo. No sugar. No fat. No carb. No meat. Clean eating. Intutitive eating. NOT eating. The cabbage soup diet. The South Beach Diet. Juice fasts. (to name a few…)
Everything would work for a little while, but the weight always came back. Always.
I hated myself. I had a zero percent success rate at the one thing I wanted more than anything.
Then I moved. To the land of carbs and skinny people.
When I was 25, I moved to Taiwan (not Thailand).
As soon as the plane touched down, I panicked. The restaurants didn't list the calorie counts. I couldn't read nutrition labels. I didn't have access to all of my weight loss staples. No greek yogurt, ground turkey, low-calorie breads, salad kits, Lean Cuisines, zoodles, Halo Top, BCAAs, or PB2.
I lived off artificially sweetened drinks and desserts. Taiwan had one thing: diet coke. That's it.
There was no "high protein" ---- anything.
But, I noticed that Taiwanese people are much thinner than Americans. My skinny coworkers were eating large bowls of noodles and bread from local bakeries. They drank tea with real sugar in it. Nobody ate "diet food."
What about ketosis? What about carbs being the devil? What about tracking macros? What was happening?
My New Diet Rule: THERE ARE NO RULES
In Taiwan, I finally learned that it's okay to enjoy eating. Everything. You don't have to eliminate sugar, flour, gluten, carbs, and fat in order to be healthy.
Once I shed the idea of the "perfect diet," I learned about my mind. I discovered that my cravings were actually hardwired habits I could change. I used routines to circumvent willpower and set myself for success.
I am often surprised by the person I have become.
- I accept my body and I don't shy away from pictures. Hello, vertical crop!
- I exercise and eat well consistently, even when I'm on vacation. No more falling off the wagon.
- I have clothes in my closet for every occasion that I'm happy to wear.
- I eat whatever I want when I go out to eat and I don't feel stressed or guilty.
- I no longer dread attending special events.
- I can keep foods that were "off limits" in my house with no stress.
- I am more confident than I have ever been.
- I became a certified yoga teacher after spending most of my life self-identifying as an unathletic person who couldn't stick to her gym routine.
I don't know who, but somebody needs to hear this today:
THERE IS NO DIET THAT WILL MAKE YOUR CRAVINGS AND BINGES MAGICALLY VANISH.
If you want to stop binge eating and lose weight for good, you have to exercise your brain.