That's how my friend Terri described it, shifting from the diet mentality to ditching the diet mentality. She's right: in the past couple of days I've been feeling a little unbalanced and off-kilter as I attempt to navigate this new path I've set for myself.
It's challenging because my new focus is on Intuitive Eating, with this as my resource guide:
I've been meaning to read this book for awhile now but never got around to buying it. I think -- as the book indicates -- I had to hit diet bottom. Basically that point where I just cannot. diet. any. more. That's where I was last week, what caused this decision.
Along with this blog, I'm doing other writing related to this and it's been... illuminating, to say the least. I'm examining my past history with food through a new lens and it's rather eye-opening and not always in good ways because I'm seeing that I had adopted destructive eating patterns even when I thought I had figured out my healthy relationship with food.
That, more than anything, is going to be the really challenging part. The relationship with food. Part of eating intuitively in the beginning is making peace with food and having permission to eat. That's really, really scary because I have it so ingrained in me to put limitations on what food I consume. Even now, when I have full permission and am being encouraged to eat what I want, I still have that voice in my head saying there are certain foods I can't or shouldn't eat. Or they say because I ate X then I need to eat less at dinner to make up for it. "Honoring" my hunger and listening to my body seems like such a simple process but coming from a background of restriction, it's uncomfortable and taking me out of my comfort zone.
This part, I can already tell, is going to be a long, long process where I do a lot of mental and emotional unpacking but I think that's expected. After at least fifteen years of dieting that overlaps with twenty years of disordered eating, I can't just magically expect to suddenly have a healthy relationship with food.
Love from the ashes,