This is part two of two part series that summarizes my relationship with food as an effort to openly talk about my struggles and my continuing journey to love food and myself again. This is my real diet story as well as insight into my current choice to live a plant-based lifestyles without the labels, guilt and nourishing my body to the best of my ability.
My Relationship With Food (as of Spring 2017):
I’m now a Registered Dietitian and can say the relationship I have with food is the best I’ve had for a long, long time. Would I say I’ve completely recovered for my disorder eating? No. Recovery is a process and for most, a lifelong journey. However, I can honestly say I’ve never felt better than I have now.
I currently eat a plant-based diet. While this could be considered a mostly vegan diet, I don’t like labels. The idea that I have to conform to specific rules and restrictions isn’t good for my perfectionist personality. I’m trying my best daily to tune in to what specific foods my body thrives on and is craving at that specific moment, and therefore I still eat yogurt and some cheeses. If it wasn’t for intolerances, I’d also choose to eat eggs.
Over the past year, I’ve been focusing on the way foods actually make me feel while quieting my mind telling me how it “should” make me feel. Thankfully our bodies are extraordinary at telling us exactly what we need and what makes us feel the best if we listen closely. This is why I focus on consuming refined sugar-free, unprocessed foods. Consuming foods without labels, making staples from scratch, and focusing on nutrient density has been the biggest changing point with my relationship with food. It allows me to eat without guilt or restriction and leaves me feeling healthy, strong, and energized.
Every time I eat I try to think of it as a gift to myself. I choose to think of it as an opportunity to nourish my body, enjoy the flavors, and embrace how wonderful it makes me feel.
I say “try” because like I said before, I have not completely recovered. Pushing through the negative thoughts, the intuitive calorie counting, and self-criticism is still a daily occurrence. But as of now, I’m in a much better place mentally where I can recognize these irrational thoughts and redirect their path before they take control.
As I continue on my journey, I plan on continuing to consume a plant-centered diet. This works for me now and I’m happy eating this way. However, as I work on tuning into my needs and cravings, and honoring them without restriction, things may change but that’s the beauty of not having to conform to any specific classification. I believe that if I eat out of mindfulness of my health and unique needs, going with ebb and flow of life, I will be doing exactly what is best for me.
That being said, I think it’s important to emphasize that everyone is unique and each has their own version of healthy. I truly believe becoming more in tune with your body or working with a Registered Dietitian to help you tune into that inner voice and find out what works best for YOU is one of the best things you can do for yourself. People go about day by day not realizing their body’s full potential and how amazing they can actually feel.
I just want to end this by saying thank you for taking the time to read this post and follow along on this series. If you’ve ever experienced an eating disorder or a negative relationship with food, you know it can be a dark, scary place full of self-criticism. If you know this feeling I want you to know you are not alone.
If you feel like commenting or connecting with me directly feel free to message me here. Sharing is never easy but trust me, once you do, it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.
Sending all my love to you readers, xx, Jess
You can read more on the #realdietstory, over on Renee’s post which includes the links to many others stories, but as always, feel free to share your own here.
(I’ve skipped over a lot of details about my eating disorder, treatment, and recovery journey but hope to share in a more specific post if that’s something you all are interested in.)