I wrote a healthy living book called The 50/50 Diet Plan.
I taught raw food classes.
I did a gang of raw food recipe videos.
I promoted the eating of more fruits and veggies.
And I stand behind it all.
I am proud of what I did. I am proud I helped people. I love that all of it was part of my journey and possibly even yours.
But I am leaving it all behind. I am down with ‘never say never’ so I won’t say ‘I will never talk about that stuff again’ but it certainly will not be my focus.
Well, A LOT.
If you have read anything I have written lately, you know that I have struggled most of my life with self-worth and some patterns of negativity.
And for the majority of my life I have use food to soothe my woes, as a drug almost.
AND for the majority of my life I have felt ‘fat’ and like I should lose weight. So dieting has always been at the back of my mind as well as more negative self-talk.
It has been exhausting.
BUT when I fell upon cleansing and fasting in the mid 90’s, this resonated more with me. As I felt getting rid of the ‘toxins’ was more health minded than constantly being on a diet. And it spoke to my all or nothing nature.
So – WOO HOO! Bring on the cleansing and the fasting! I excelled at this and even truly loved doing it. I was in the ultimate control of my food and I could ‘rein in’ my eating and do it in a ‘healthy’ way.
Well, as many of us know, what happens when you go back to regular eating? Weight gain! And for me, more mental self-flagellation. Good. Good. Times.
Now there are better ways to cleanse and fast but when you are doing it to punish yourself for your ‘sins’ or to get ‘skinny’ or to try to become someone ‘better’ those basis’ are a booby trap.
Fast forward a bunch of years and after giving birth to my first daughter I felt like crap on a stick to say the least. A few months later I was able to go to Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida for three weeks for the ultimate cleansing experience.
It was amazing and I truly believe that at that time my body did need to heal and that was the way to do it. I am beyond grateful for that experience and would go back there anytime to enjoy a healing vacation.
It also introduced me to the world of raw food. Green juice, sprouts, nut pates, raw desserts. It was all very fun and exciting and I returned home ready to share my excitement with the world (as an extrovert, it is hard to keep things to mahself especially when I felt SO SO good!).
I became a raw food teacher and headed pot lucks.
Everything in that vain was very positive. But for me personally, I was always trying to uphold myself to a standard I was never going to be able to maintain.
I wanted to eat raw food and do it perfectly. I felt great when I ate raw and looked freakin’ great doing it. Weight easily came off and I was eating all I wanted to.
But I began to categorize everything into ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘healthy’ and ‘toxic’. I love food and wanted to be able to eat all kinds of stuff but convinced myself that I shouldn’t or couldn’t because it was not ‘healthy.’
So I began to binge and cleanse. Eat raw, not eat raw at all. And all the while feel badly doing it. I had often binged and overeaten my whole life and looking back, I was heading in this direction. I know now that I was just trying to find my way so I am at peace with the whole thing now!
I remember one night I was out and ‘treating’ myself to fish and chips and a glass (or two) of wine and a friend came over and said to me ‘You don’t eat that stuff!’
I felt like I had to eat in secret because I was the raw food girl! Even though I was continually honest with people, letting them know I did not eat 100% raw, I think the world loves a label and then to point fingers and say ‘hey! you are not who you say you are!’ I have done it and was doing it to myself so I am not angry at anyone.
Fast forward a few more years and after the birth of my second child I was feeling pretty good (thank you placenta pills! yup, I did that). But wanted to lose weight and felt confident – like crazy confident – that I could do it quickly and easily by going on a green smoothie and salad 30 day cleanse or just eating raw food.
So for a year and a half I prepared for that ‘diet’ or ‘cleanse’ by doing what most of us do before a diet. EAT. LIKE. THERE. IS. NO. TOMORROW.
And then never diet or cleanse.
So all I did was gain weight.
And feel like shit – body, mind, and soul.
I just love love love to suffer, I tell ya.
Interestingly, my body, mind, and soul were doing me a favor. For some reason, I could NOT get myself to ‘diet’, I just couldn’t do it. But every day, I would say ‘Tomorrow I will start!!’ and then eat like a crazy person, wake up the next exhausted, feeling sick, and mentally unable to switch to ‘diet’ mode.
I did this for a year and a half.
Have I mentioned I love to suffer??
I really do.
Then I did the only thing I could do.
I gave up.
I realized that this way of trying to lose weight, this way of LIVING was not living AT ALL.
So I just stopped.
I was just going to eat.
For the first time in my life, I decided to just eat and not worry about it.
At first, my mind panicked.
It constantly went into ‘you need to diet tubby’ and ‘let’s eat like crazy today and then diet tomorrow!’ mode.
I steered the bus of my mind away from these thoughts.
Over and over again.
Until I did not have to steer the bus.
My mind gave up to.
I have ‘just’ been eating now since about January.
I have not felt so good in my entire life.
The mental freedom this has given me makes me feel 100 pounds lighter.
Now my physical body is catching up – slowly but surely.
It was hard as summer was approaching and I did not, in any way, look ‘bikini ready’. I work hard to steer my mind away from ‘you are fat thoughts.’ I began to do all I could to enjoy my life at the very moment, instead of doing as I have always done, which was to berate myself and then the moment was lost, gone, torturous.
What do I eat now?
Whatever the fuck I want.
And guess what?
I now eat 1/2 of a sandwich sometimes.
I NEVER ate 1/2 a sandwich!!!
Yesterday I had chocolate as a snack.
And left the rest of the bar in the fridge!
It’s still there!!
I would have always eaten the whole thing.
I now know the reason I felt like crap all the time was not only because my mind was in a sad place but because I was eating myself sick.
I now do not feel like I have to ‘cleanse’ myself ‘healthy’. I feel good.
This is a long azzed blog post and I certainly could go on and on but I will say a few more things 🙂
I now know that my body, mind, and soul need to be free. Need to feel free.
All the constraints, all the confining, all the labeling I have ever tried to do has backfired on me.
Whether it was diet related, career related, life related.
I do not like rules.
I do not like labels.
I hate turtlenecks – too confining!!
I do not follow the heard.
And I have not honored that part of myself.
At least not truly, on the inside. I always thought I should do better, more, and just shut up and follow the rules.
So now that I have decided to honor myself and celebrate all parts of myself, I do not feel I have to change. Or cleanse my way to perfection. And best of all, I do not have to soothe my aching soul with food. Food is becoming no big deal. And that is a big deal!! The little old Italian lady in me is SO excited that I love to eat and cook pasta and all kinds of stuff. She was sad that I was not honoring her!
And yup, I love love love to eat. I love food. All kinds of food.
So what do I eat now?
I love everything!
Ok, well I have a few preferences and dislikes.
I put nothing into a category, I don’t worry what I am going to eat later or tomorrow. The only thing I try to focus on (but without being crazytown about it) is fresh, local, organic, and grass fed. Omg – have you had grass fed butter?? It is EPIC!! I have been eating tons of fat and some animal products (I am naturally more of a vegetarian but have been eating meat here and there and I find that it is suiting me very well right now). I find I have no cravings. No food reactions. No food sensitivities.
It has all been very freeing and just FUCKING FABULOUS!
Here is a little photo montage of what I eat now – as you can see, it is a little of everything! Yay!
OK, now to share a few more things… 🙂
I do stand behind all I said and did! It is super important to eat more fruits and veggies but not at the expense of your mental well being.
It is important to take care of yourself – AND THAT MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. And to do self-care is amazing – but not at the expense of your mental well being.
Life is meant to be lived. And lived NOW. Not when you are thinner. Not when you are perfect. Not when you think you are ‘acceptable’ in the ridiculous social standards that we have.
If I can set myself free – and it has been quite a journey and not always easy and certainly not over – but if I can YOU can.
If I can help you in any way, please let me know.
Because I am here to help you lead the life you are supposed to lead. Be the YOU you are supposed to be. NOW.
Thank you for reading.
Please comment below with any stories you would like to share and feel free to share this with any friends who you think would like it and relate to it.
And I want to be sure to mention the amazing Amber at Go Kaleo – she is heading a movement of happy and strong people who are steering themselves away from dietary dogma and craziness. And they are happy and healthy and feeling great and feeling FREE because of it! I am so glad to have found her when I was a few months into my own journey. It was so great to know that others had been experiencing the same thing. She has a great Facebook page too! Give it a like!
Your Cheerleader and Superhero (Cheerhero) for Possibility, Freedom, Love, Miracles and YOU.
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Thank you and lots of love to you!