Have you been stuck in diet culture for some time, wanting to finally free yourself but you’re not really sure how or where to start? Let me tell you the story of how I finally got off the dieting train and what things helped me get off for GOOD.
I spent a good chunk of my late teens/early 20s dieting. From the age of 18 up until about 23 years old, I was constantly under-eating, afraid to eat more, ridden with food guilt and thought about food 24/7. I was also stuck in the binge/restrict cycle, was consumed by food rules and put a lot of foods I loved off limits, which led to even more binge tendencies.
I felt so ashamed, alone and defeated in this cycle. I realized I had developed a lot of these mindsets from my years as a bikini competitor. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the restrictive and extreme nature of competing had led to a lot of negative consequences, both mentally and physically. I suffered from poor body image, body dysmorphia and extremely obsessive thoughts about food.
It wasn’t until I started to reach out to other women in the bodybuilding world, and also be more open about what I was struggling with on my Instagram, that I started to realize SO many women were also suffering from these things. Yet no one was talking about it. It almost felt like a taboo topic at the time, we were all hiding these struggles.
And so, I began to speak on it more. I started to be open about my struggles and vowed to myself that I would embark on a journey to not only heal my internal health from the years of restrictive dieting but also heal my relationship with food and my body. This pursuit also led me towards the desire of wanting to advocate for other women going through these toxic diet culture patterns and help them break free as well.
It was a rollercoaster, to say the least, but there were a few things that I did and focused on that got me closer to healing, and over time I realized the more effort I put into showing up for myself daily and finally deciding to never diet or under eat again, things began to shift and change in amazing ways for me.
I want to share 4 simple things that I help my online clients focus on and that you can begin to focus on as well as you transition away from the diet culture mindsets and habits, and towards nourishment for life.
- Focusing on how you FEEL over just what you look like. Your inner health matters way more at the end of the day. When you focus on nourishing yourself from the inside out, you’re supporting your metabolism, hormone health, quality of life, longevity, performance, energy levels and so much more.
- Ditch the scale and focus instead on progress markers that ADD value to your life. Especially, if you’re finding that weighing yourself or wanting to know how much you weigh is becoming consuming and a negative habit in your life, it’s no longer serving you, and that’s okay. Things to ask yourself and check in with would be how your consistency looks with your workouts, how are you enjoying your workouts and movement, what are your energy levels like throughout the day, how’s your quality of sleep, can you manage stress in your life, do you enjoy your meals, are you focusing on whole foods, are you enjoying what you’re doing, what does your self-care look like. Check-in with these questions every few days or once a week to better determine your progress and overall happiness.
- Unfollow negative accounts on Instagram, and by negative, I mean any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. The content you consume matters just as much as the food you consume, you need to be surrounding yourself with positive and uplifting energy. Find accounts on Instagram and Tik Tok that promote body autonomy/inclusivity, body image healing, a healthy balance in life, advocate for bodies that look like real bodies and make you feel good when you see them on your feed. Curate your environment online AND offline to a positive and supportive one, one that propels you forwards in your journey.
- Focus on CONSISTENCY. Stop hopping from one diet to the next, or one extreme to the next. Extremes never work, and diets never work. Find a way of eating, moving your body and existing that makes sense for you for the long term. The more you enjoy something the more likely you’ll be to stick with it. Nothing good happens overnight, so be patient in your journey and focus on long-term health, not just the next quick fix.
In conclusion, it’s important to remember that it’s a PROCESS to free yourself from those old diet culture mindsets. Be patient with yourself, remind yourself you deserve to feel nourished and that it’s okay to hit bumps along the way. No one is perfect, learn as you go and do your best to enjoy the journey, otherwise what’s the point!
For more information, support and guidance around how to ditch the starvation diets, heal your body image and create a nourishing lifestyle you can thrive in – follow me on Instagram OR check out my website to see how I help women discover their most abundant and strongest selves. KEEP NOURISHING!