Giving up healthy eating could be the best thing you ever do.
It was for me, and here’s why…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for eating a balanced diet and getting exercise…
But what if your so-called dedication to healthy living bears a striking resemblance to an addiction?
When I was 16, I disguised my pursuit of the perfect body as a quest to get healthier. I calorie counted my way into a backless prom dress. I staked out my identity in my circle of friends as “the healthy one.” And after taking a nutrition class in college, I stuck to my self-imposed food rules like it was my full-time job.
Then (get this) I legitimized my obsession with food by becoming a weight loss coach at a summer camp for kids. I developed and taught a health curriculum for over 300 students. I even traveled to Europe to work on organic farms.
Call me a poser, but everyone’s compliments gave my ego the thumbs-up. The question of “how do you never slip up?” made me feel like a disciplined person who had her life together. But while I looked strong on the outside, I was falling apart on the inside…
The more control I took over my diet in public, the more out-of-control I binged behind closed doors. I got bored of broccoli and fantasized about chocolate cake like it was my long- lost lover. And after denying myself what I wanted for days, I’d eat it in record-breaking time and get zero pleasure from it.
As I’m sure you know, it’s not easy living in a society where size 4 is the holy grail of hotness. It also sucks gaining 30 lbs and watching angry red marks stretch across your thighs to remind you of your failed attempts to become some model-thin ideal (I should know).
I felt like a fraud, and self-loathing and shame were my sidekicks. But the more anxious, overwhelmed and lonely I got, the more I used food therapy to numb my feelings and cope with stress.
I didn’t even have a crappy upbringing or hard life to blame for my secret struggle. Only myself. And that made my guilt-trip a hundred times worse…
I turned to yoga, thinking it might help me reconnect with my body and get some headspace. And one day when the teacher asked us to visualize where we hold compassion in our bodies and my turn came around, I whispered with a crunched heart, “I can’t see it.”
In that moment, I realized my struggle with food was life’s way of calling me to grow and evolve. It was time to surrender my need for control, stop beating my soul up, and explore what my mind and body were truly hungry for.
If I wanted to feel healthy, I didn’t need more willpower. I needed to be more present and aware.
So I enrolled in The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and discovered a saner, more satisfying approach to eating. And I was surprised to learn that when we stop putting certain foods off-limits, we start choosing healthy foods out of a natural desire to nourish our bodies.
Suddenly our relationship to our body is about wellness, not weight. Food becomes a source of pleasure instead of guilt. We judge ourselves (and others) less. And we finally replace self-abuse with self-compassion.
When we relax around food, physiologically, our bodies find it easier to digest, metabolize and soak up nutrients. Psychologically, food tastes better and leaves us feeling more satisfied.
Once I figured this out, my binge-eating episodes eased off. My all-or-nothing mentality balanced out. And I dropped to my healthiest size without effort.
Gone are the days of wasting my energy on trying to be the perfect picture of health. I can slow down, be more mindful at mealtime, and savor every bite. Any food fights I have are of the fun variety. And yeah, I can order the burger without the side of shame.
Now I help women like you make peace – not war – with food, so you can taste the same delicious freedom without the years of secretly struggling.
More about me?
- I live in Colorado with my lawyer-musician husband. (Proof that you can find a fun balance in men, not just food. *wink*)
- As an introvert, I love quiet moments of meditation and juicy conversations in equal measure.
- My favorite napping companion is my American Bulldog, Annie, even if she snores like a grizzly.
- Give me a big bowl of noodles swimming in a savory broth, an ocean view, or a dig-deep book…and I’m a happy camper.
- Yoga is my jam. But come summer, you’ll find me lacing up my hiking boots.
Curious how coaching can help you make peace with food?
Let’s find out. Schedule your 30-minute complimentary coaching call to explore how you can find the freedom you’re craving around food, so you can eat healthy consistently without obsessing about it. No strings or judgments attached.
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The Too-Legit-To-Quit Bio
Annette Sloan is a Food Freedom Coach and Emotional Eating Educator who helps women make peace – not war – with food. After wasting her energy on trying to be the perfect picture of health for over 10 years, Annette finally created a healthy relationship with food when she replaced the shame of “should” with self-awareness and compassion. By taking a mindful approach to eating, Annette helps body-battling women break up with binges, rediscover the pleasure and joy of food, and slow down to savor life. Annette is based in Denver, Colorado, but works with women all over the world 1:1 and through her signature group coaching program, Make Peace With Food. She’s certified through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and has been featured in The Huffington Post and Mind Body Green. In her free time, you can find her in warrior pose, watching waves, or napping with her American Bulldog, Annie, after a readathon.