How I Went from Dieting to Intuitive Eating
When Jordan Younger from The Blonde Vegan (now known as The Balanced Blonde) came out about her orthorexia to her hundreds and thousands of followers, it made me realize she wasn't the only health influence with a problem with her very own eating habits. I thought what I was doing was normal, and that there was just something wrong with me and the way my brain or body worked. I read countless blogs, watched videos, and tried therapy a couple times as well. Nothing helped.
I did everything from clean eating to sugar free to cutting out gluten, sugar, and diary. I was even moving from Paleo to becoming vegan for four months to Pescetarian, until finally something hit me. Dieting wasn't solving my body-image problems-It was making them worse. The problems that I thought were coming from "doing the wrong diet" were actually problems coming from the way I looked at food and my body.
I stopped blogging, especially with health, I stopped dieting, and I stopped labeling. I had to take a step back and rediscover the real and new "Au Courant". Here's what I realized from my break:
There is no one size fits all when it comes to eating. Every person has their own way of eating that works for them whether it's being vegetarian, eating 5 meals a day, or any other lifestyle choice.
The more I disliked my body, the more I would try to diet, and the more unhappy I would feel.
When you stop thinking, your body tells you what and when and how much to eat. (for more on this read Intuitive Eating)
Weight is just a number, and it was not a valid source of motivation for me- only a source of punishment and resentment.
Working out became a chore and a punishment, not something enjoyable and fun.
I lost sight of why I even loved health and fitness in the first place, and so I had to rediscover my new passions
The process was difficult, and I had to let myself go for a while...
I began by completely giving in to every craving I had no matter what the food. I added in every food I felt like eating; pizza, pasta, cupcakes, cookies, whatever my body truly wanted. At first I experienced an overeating period. My body was deprived for so long that my dieting had just backfired over and over. To this day I have never restricted any of these foods again, and have never been tempted to 'binge' on them either.
Soon enough, the craving period settled down, and over time I started to feel 'normal' again. Skip ahead six months to today- I eat what I want when I want and I eat however much I feel like eating. Some days I crave loads of carbs- that's fine! I give my body what it asks for. Some days my body tells me it craves fruits and veggies, and so I'll honor those cravings just the same. When I feel like I need a good sweat, I go to the gym. When I am fatigued and my body hurts and I just want to curl up in bed and watch a movie, I will happily skip the gym and get right into bed. Ironically, even though weight is no longer something that matters to me, I lost 10 pounds during my 'reverse dieting' / ''intuitive eating' process.
This is the new Carly. The new 'Au Courant'. I am balanced. I have no labels. I eat how I want and work out when I want, and I finally feel free from my own negative thoughts. It took years for me to realize this, but finally I know what is right for my body. It is terrifying to come back to this website knowing that just six months ago I was in a dark place with my body. But now I truly know what health means to me, and I am in a place to share my stories and knowledge and tips with all of you.