I grew up as most do: carelessly eating whatever junk I could get my little hands on, far more worried about getting back to playing than how many calories I had just consumed.
Then those awkward high school years hit. I don’t remember when or why, but somewhere in between watching my friends eating 100 calorie snack packs for lunch and my cousin informing me that if I sucked in my stomach it will build abs and make me skinnier, I started to loathe my body. I was consumed with thinking how “fat” I was and that I should maybe not be so proud that I could eat a whole small pizza in one sitting.
At 16 I became vegetarian for compassionate reasons. My interest in all things health really started to develop the more I read into vegetarianism and its health benefits. I started becoming conscious of things like aspartame and high fructose corn syrup. I was seen as the “healthy one” amongst my friends and family. I did all the “right” things: counting calories, making smoothies, eating my daily salads, even working out several times a day.
The turning point of it all was when I began school to become a health coach through IIN.
The huge slightly ironic turning point.
I started to eat sugar like it was my job. I was tired, miserable, bored and sad. And was trying to numb those feelings out with cookies and chocolate.
And when you eat a platter of Subway cookies a day for weeks on end you notice some things. Things like: all the junk I was eating, really wasn’t blow your mind delicious. Have you actually mindfully eaten an Oreo or Reeses peanut butter cup? They really aren’t that great.
I realized while eating them that I wasn’t allowing myself to truly enjoy them. I was just mindlessly shoving them into my mouth one by one, filling this giant aching hole within me with food; and it wasn’t working. My comfort food wasn’t comforting; it was just shameful and embarrassing. So I decided to start enjoying it. If I was going to be so sad and upset and eat all this junk, I might as well enjoy it!
And so I did.
I let myself have whatever I wanted and fully embraced the experience. I started reaching for dark chocolate and homemade treats, and they were so good.
I gained weight through the process but realized how little of a difference it made. I always thought gaining weight was the worst thing that could happen to a person – after all, it was the one thing everyone around me was always fighting so hard to avoid. But I couldn’t have cared less. In fact, I felt like I had been set free. I loved that little extra squish I had gained. I embraced it and adored it. It was such an empowering experience.
I realized I didn’t have to eat “the right way”, the lean, clean and green way. I could eat what I craved and still feel amazing. I was allowing myself to eat foods I enjoyed and my body finally felt like my body. I was truly happy with my body for the first time ever.
And I want others to feel this way too.
Weight holds no value. It cannot possibly reflect in any way the type of person it contains. The beautiful, incredible, smart, funny, beautiful soul it contains within its bones.
You are so much more than your weight and you are enough as you are already. You don’t need to change a damn thing.