Paleo, Low Carb, High Fat, Macro Tracking, Calorie Counting. Growing up I tried all of these things in order to get to a number that I thought I would be happy at. It didn't work for me. I didn't understand how some people could follow something so well and get such great results when I had problems following something for more than a week. I'm not sure what happened or when my mind shifted, but eventually I couldn't fathom going on another diet. I was defeated before I even began. So with that in mind, I decided I was going to stop dieting and just live. At this point I couldn't remember the last time I wasn't on a diet. So of course, I had no idea of what normal was. What is a normal serving size? Do normal people eat dessert every night? Is it normal for me to eat 3 slices of pizza instead of 1?
It was a learning curve and not something that happened over night. There were plenty of tears and me questioning what normal really was. I had no connection between my mind and body whatsoever because for so long I just went off of what was "good" and what was "bad".
I dove into researching. But this time I wasn't researching calories or fat content in food. I was researching self care. How to make my body healthy instead of skinny. What foods would help me thrive instead of which foods were low in calories (and high in chemicals). I started to view my body as something I honored instead of something I wanted to change. I slowly started to create this relationship with my body that I never had before. It was more like we were a team instead of always pushing against each other. On more than one occasion I had to prove to myself that I wouldn't gain 5 lbs if I indulged. I had to prove to myself that if I didn't weigh myself for a week, everything would still be right in the world. And very slowly I got rid of my scale. I started to go off of how I felt opposed to how much I weighed. I began to understand that if I took care of my body it was going to take care of me.
I've been diet free for about 2 years now. When I start feeling off or feel like i'm not thriving, I go back to basics. Self Care. I worry less about food and more about stress management. I take a look at my self care routine and my self talk. I look and see if I'm taking time for myself and respecting my body. It always gets me back on the right path and feeling like myself again.
Something interesting happened to me the other day. As I said, I don't weigh myself, but the other day I was at the doctor and stepped on the scale. It was 145. At first I didn't think anything of it, it's just a number after all. And than it hit me. When I was going through my dieting, I weighed in the upper 180's. My DREAM was to get to 145. Every diet I started was for the sole purpose of getting to that number. It never happened. Being diet free has helped me thrive, fee better than I knew possible and coincidentally, got me to that weight without me even knowing it. Now that number holds no value to me, but the way that I honor myself, trust my body and nourish my mind, does. When we stop focusing on the number or diet and shift our focus to our well being and self care, life will change.
I hope you take some time today to honor yourself and listen to what your body wants. You are worth it.
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more