Last week I shared a blog post that was very personal to me. Once I hit the publish button I sat alone in my living room wondering what (if any) response I would get from past clients, colleagues and other experts in the field. I’m not really sure what I was scared of, I think I was worried that all my negative self talk would come back to me, reflected in comments of my newsfeed.
But that didn’t happen.
Instead, each comment came in, one after the next, full of support. Many sharing their own stories of trying to balance the busy life of a mama with their own needs to care for themselves. To balance the love you have for another little human, with the love you have for yourself.
Even my lovely and vibrant fitness friends (who to me are practically perfect in every way) shared these same insecurities, struggling to balance ‘looking the part’ with feeling good in their own skin, regardless of what that looks like. To balance working out and ‘clean eating’ with being healthy and having a bit of fun.
For all of these comments, I am grateful.
So now here I am, logging what I eat everyday on myfitnesspal.com. All I truly have to say about that is ‘I don’t wanna!!’ (insert image of me throwing a full blown tantrum). I barely have time to eat, let alone eat and then write all about it. I will do it though, at least for this week, because Paluna says I have to. She needs to know where I am so that at she knows what changes we can start making (although I have a feeling she will be removing my trips to Starbucks).
‘You can’t know where your going unless you know where you have been’
My main issue with logging what I eat is that I’ve gone down this road before, with weight watchers, with clean eating, with just about anything. I know it works, I know it can help me, but it turns me into an obsessive control freak.
I am an all or nothing kinda girl, I’m either binge eating Peanut Butter M&M’s or I am logging every little thing I eat, unable to bend when my environment requires it. Any little change in my ‘plan’ for the day (eating or exercising) causes me so much anxiety and it translates as impatience and even rage (irritability might be a better word…no, its rage). Yes I have lost 70 pounds in the past, but I had to avoid a lot of ‘life’ to do that, I very rarely went out, and when I did I was miserable (or I binged).
Well, I just wanted to give you all an update and thank you for the love and support. I know that typically I am mean to start a journey like this with a before picture, preferably a hideous, embarrassing, before picture. So I guess I will partake in the social norms. So here I am at my sister’s German themed wedding (which was lovely).
Oh and another really exciting thing that happened? My brilliant friend Abby, who just happens to be a Psychotherapist who specializes in women’s health and disordered eating, has offered to join me on this journey and offer words of wisdom when I need it. She will be popping in from time to time, so without further adieu, here’s Abby!
Hi All, I suggested to Natasha that it might be useful for her and for others if I “therapize” her blog a little bit, as many of us struggle with similar issues.
First things first, black and white thinking is both common and totally unhelpful. Have you ever started a diet, ate something that you didn’t think you should, and then thought to yourself: “well, this day is ruined. Pass me the bag of halloween candy.” While black and white thinking can pop up in many areas of life, it can be quite debilitating for some. When Natasha oscillates between a strict diet or binge eating, she isn’t allowing for any self-compassion or balance. She is telling herself “you have no self-control, so adhere to this uber controlled diet or fail.” When she ultimately does fail, It comes with a huge range of negative feelings and self-talk. I’ve heard clients share with me that they feel anger, disgust, remorse, hopelessness and shame in these situations.
Well, what’s a girl to do? What would happen if you woke up and said to yourself, “I’m feeling unhealthy. I’m tired, my body hurts, and my clothes don’t fit. How can I support myself in feeling more like me?” And then you think about what foods might make you feel that way and add them to your current diet. Instead of cutting out everything and anything, you start adding some things to help facilitate a gradual change. What would happen if, when you reach for those M&M’s you stop and think to yourself “is this what I really need in this moment?” Sometimes it is – and by all means – go for it, but sometimes it’s filling a deeper need you aren’t even aware of. What if when you eat those M&M’s you make a point to eat them mindfully so that, at the very least, you can enjoy them?
In today’s society, the number one thing women are shamed about is their appearance (with motherhood a close 2nd). When we let shame drive how we treat our bodies we disempower ourselves by making choices based on “shoulds” rather than what we want and need. When we decide to engage in fitness or diet changes based on shame it is unhealthy. While a doctor might be thrilled (it’s all about BMI after all), we are feeding into the idea that we are worthy only when we have achieved certain physical ideals. Well fuck that! (Yeah, you read right). Make changes because YOU want to. Make changes that will make you happy. And live your life in a way that fulfills you!
PS – Tash, you look hot dressed as a fraulein.