HOW I FELL BACK IN LOVE WITH MY BODY
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “losing weight won’t make you love your body.” But who has truly believed it?
I know I sure didn’t. I believed that if I could just lose weight, if I could just have an ‘ideal’ body, then I would love myself. Then I could find a boyfriend. Then I would advance in my career within the health & wellness field. Then I would be truly happy.
Well on one hand, that’s exactly what happened. Just not in the way I had always fantasized…
Weight Loss & Body Love
7 years ago, I lost a drastic amount of weight. I had been challenged by a doctor that my illness would be so much easier to live with if I lost weight.
(Later in life I found out that what I was dealing with medically was actually genetic. It’s part of my freakin DNA. And he told me to lose weight instead of helping me medically…)
I cut out several food groups. I ate pills that made me poop out my fat. I exercised religiously. I even decided during this time of life to pursue my “passion for health & wellness” and started working at a weight loss clinic where they trained me to become a Health Coach.
And guess what happened? I had more dudes want to date me then I had ever experienced. (I actually started dating my now husband during this time!). I became the top health coach for the company I worked for and had career opportunities I had only dreamt of fall in my lap.
I was skinny.
I loved my skinny body.
And I was happy.
Weight Gain & Body Hate
But what they don’t tell you is that over 80% of people gain back all of the weight they lost within 5 years. 90% of people gain it all back plus more.
I fell into that 90%.
Within 2 years of the start of my weight loss journey I began to gain weight. Within 5 years I had gained it all back and within 7 years I had gained it all back plus more.
During this time, I felt like it was all my fault. I felt like my health was failing because of my inability to keep the weight off. My confidence as a nutrition counsellor plummeted and my career began moving backwards. I was convinced my husband would hate my ever-growing body, this belief created tension between us.
I became fatter then ever.
I hated my larger body.
I was miserable.
Orthorexia & Body Acceptance
6 years after the start of my weight loss journey had begun, my mental & physical health came to an all-time low. I was hospitalized for a month and during this time learned that the health issues I was experiencing were actually a weakness within my DNA.
One pill a day and within 2 weeks I had next to no symptoms.
During this hospital stay I was confronted about my orthorexic tendencies. I was eating only organic foods. Berries, green vegetables and green tea were almost the only things I would allow into my mouth. If these items were not available, I usually just went without eating.
To my dismay, instead of being praised for my incredible attempt at weight loss and “clean eating” my medical team gently explained that my relationship with food & my body was causing far more harm & stress then good into my life.
Throughout my hospital stay I was counselled on the importance of giving myself unconditional permission to eat ALL foods & choosing to pursue health no matter my size.
I’m not going to act like I was open minded to this idea because, well I wasn’t. But I also knew that the past 6 years had felt like hell to me.
And I would try anything to escape that hell.
Food Freedom & Body Love
Over the next year I worked with a food freedom mentor, became certified in Intuitive Eating and experienced a way of life that was completely foreign to me.
I experienced self-love that was not conditional on a certain pant size or on eating “clean” for a full day.
I took the time to analyze the past 6 years of yo-yo dieting, binge & restrict cycle and the conditional love I had for myself and my body. How it had affected my relationships, my career and most importantly, my relationship with myself.
As I began to heal & implement intuitive eating into my own life an amazing thing happened. I truly began to love myself & my body.
What I had never thought possible, was beginning to happen. I was falling in love with my body despite it bieng larger than I had ever experienced.
I began to commit to the idea of becoming my healthiest self, no matter my size. And was amazed at the medical help I was able to accept now that my own weight stigma, towards myself, was no longer getting in the way.
I stopped selling weight loss services and incorporated intuitive eating into my private practice. I lost over 10,000 followers on Instagram (where I had obtained most of my clients) and my business shrunk overnight upon announcing this change in direction.
And yet, working with the few clients I had left was more than enough to reassure me that I had made the right decision.
Witnessing women first letting go of diet culture, then slowing accepting themselves and then beginning to truly love themselves is the most rewarding work I have ever done.
It’s a Journey
Our relationship with food & our bodies is a journey. Most of us have been trying to lose weight for years. We have been struggling with only loving ourselves when we eat “good” for years. We have believed that we will only truly succeed in relationships & our careers if we are “small” FOR YEARS!
Healing our relationship with food & our bodies takes time. It takes time to even be open minded to the idea of giving ourselves unconditional permission to eat & pursuing health no matter our size. It takes time to then trust ourselves enough to dive into actually exploring these ideas. And then of course it takes time for these ideas to truly change our lives.
Just remember, you have the rest of your life to live! It’s ok if it takes time. Honour wherever you are now.
Whenever you are ready to take the next step in your journey, I’ll be here! Waiting with open arms to partner with you on your journey towards food freedom.
You’ve got this!
Certified in Intuitive Eating
Licensed Health & Nutrition Counsellor