The truth is, I fully engaged in eating disorder behavior from the age of 13 and it held and sustained me for most of my life. The beliefs I had about my body and food were a way to practice the perfectionism that ruled my entire life. I believed I could control my body’s size, shape, and state of health far more than I actually could.
When I wasn’t actively engaged in eating disorder behavior, it resulted in my body changing size, which I interpreted as failure and loss of control. The eating disorder would lure me back into restriction and over-exercising that was often packaged as “healthy lifestyle changes.”
My thinking began to shift on my first trip to India in 2012.
The immersion in Indian culture inspired me to question many of my foundational beliefs, including, ”Why am I afraid of rice?” and “Why am I willing to starve myself in the absence of what I consider to be ‘acceptable’ or ‘clean’ food?”
It was the tools and teaching of yoga, along with my love of biology and science, that lead me to the Truth I live today. Also, a network of teachers, coaches, friends, and nutrition professionals supported (and continue to support!) the deep and honest work of shifting my search for guidance from outside myself to inside myself.
Now I eat intuitively, which feels free and authentic and entirely rooted in Truth.
Trust me, though, some days are definitely better than others! It’s still a conscious practice to eat intuitively and to hear my inner wisdom. Without the obsession over weight and food to occupy me, though, I can dedicate my time and energy to pursuits that I actually love, including supporting other women as they discover they are already enough, and that there really is more to life than the latest weight loss project. What would you do with your newly freed time and energy?
Can we change the culture? Maybe, but it will be a long road. In the meantime, we get to decide how we participate in it.