Gaining Perspective On My Struggle With Binge Eating
I have struggled with weight loss throughout my entire life. In my earliest memory of myself, I was already chubby. In Kindergarten I was one of the chunkiest kids. Add to that my frizzy, curly hair and massive overbite and it’s clear where my self esteem issues lie! I have been super thin, borderline obese, chubby, and where I am today - which I think is pretty damn good. Even though I am much heavier than I was at my thinnest, I feel so much more confident in myself.
So how did I learn to love me? I will give you the background on where I came from and give you a Keep It Real program review and how it helped me in my struggle with weight loss.
To put this in perspective, I have to tell you where I have been. My struggle with weight loss has been a lifelong journey, as I am sure it has been for many of you.
Childhood - As I mentioned, Kindergarten Erin was quite round. Fast forward to the summer of 5th grade and I was a hefty 160lbs on a 5’4” frame. It wasn’t pretty and it definitely wasn’t healthy. I grew up in the ‘finish your plate before you can leave the table’ parenting mindset. I literally remember crying at the table because I was so full and my dad not allowing me to leave.
Even Worse? We always had dessert. On the plus side, we had a bunch of fruits and vegetables. On the down side, we also had Popeye’s, Sonny’s Barbecue, and McDonald’s on the regular. I was set up for a foundation of bad eating habits that continued. My role models were both significantly overweight, stressed, and unhappy. Without knowing it, they were teaching me how to struggle with weight loss just like they had.
Teendom - Naturally as I turned into a teen, I really wanted to look good. I didn’t have good nutritional role models, so I decided starvation was the best method. I honestly don’t even know where I got the idea, but I quit breakfast, ate Doritos or a bag of M&M’s for lunch, and bread or cereal for dinner.
By the time I was in 10th grade, I was down to 125lbs. I preceded to continue this method, constantly gaining and loosing 20lbs, until my early twenties. At that point, I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia due to all the skipped meals. Basically feeling like I was going to faint all the time was due to me not eating for extended periods of time.
Go figure. Cure? Eat all your meals! As The Emily Program relates, hypoglycemia is an issue for people with Anorexia Nervousa. Luckily for me, it never got to the point of needing hospitalization, but it was a struggle that continues to haunt me even now.
20’s - I got married young and we had our one and only perfect daughter when I was 20. Being pregnant helped my eating and exercise habits a lot. I started consistently eating breakfast while pregnant and really being specific about what foods I was putting in my body.
The problem was, I ended up gaining about 45lbs. Needless to say, my old obsessive habits came back. This time it was “healthy” with Weight Watchers and excessive cardio. When I left the hospital I was 160lbs. By the time my daughter was two, I was 103lbs. I wasn’t able to maintain my 800 calorie diet with 35 minutes of strenuous exercise on the elliptical every single day. After going back to work, I ended up ballooning to over 170 in five years. And the struggle with weight loss continues!
30’s - This is where I finally started realizing I needed to focus on eating better and taking care of myself. Not only for me, but to be a role model for my daughter. With some real work, I have gotten back down to a reasonable weight, particularly over the last year. So what finally got me to a better place? I break it down for you here.
I have tried so many things! Low carb, intermittent fasting, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, and on and on. Everything worked - until it didn’t.
I knew there was a way, but I was lost. Until I found The Nude Nutritionist!
Lyndi Cohen is also known as The Nude Nutritionist. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon her, I think I went on a Google rabbit hole like I am known to do. Anyway, I read almost every blog article she had. I felt like she was speaking directly to me! Was this it? Did I finally find a way to end my struggle with weight loss?
I have always had a sweet tooth and I love a happy hour. Every other time I have lost weight, I have gone on a diet restricting the things I love. In Keep It Real, you learn that no food is off limits.
In the course, they are known as “sometimes” foods. Knowing I wouldn’t have to restrict myself from my favorites was pretty exciting. I had to do some experimentation with this, but I am now in a place where I can finally have cookies in the house and not feel like I HAVE to eat all of them. Below I am breaking down how Keep It Real helped me.
I Can Cook!
I like veggies and I like seafood, but I never cooked either. In fact, before Keep It Real I didn’t cook a damn thing. My husband was the cook. Trouble was, he got home at 6PM or later meaning food was ready at like 7:30 or 8. I was literally starving!
During the Keep It Real Program I learned that I should eat when I am hungry. After the analysis Lyndi had me complete, I know I need to eat dinner by 6PM. In order to make that work, I had to try to cook myself. I had failed to be the family cook after we got married and as a perfectionist, I was beyond scared to try again. But Lyndi made it look so easy! Now I make salmon, rice, and veggies for lunch and my own salads for dinner. It’s so easy!
Listen to Your Body
I finally found exercise I loved and could stick with. For me it was yoga. I can do it all the time, I absolutely love it. Yes, other forms of exercise may burn more calories, but I don’t stick with them because I don’t like them! Since starting the program, I have been consistently practicing yoga four days a week.
I also paid attention to when I was actually hungry. In one of the modules, you track your hunger throughout the day. It helped me realize that I am hungry in the morning through about 2PM. After that, my hunger tapers off. Based on that, I have more food earlier in the day and for dinner I have a light salad. - usually with a glass of wine. This also helps with my stress level. Knowing I can have food when I am hungry has helped me quit obsessing about it as much.
Quit the Scale
This was super hard for me and honestly I have gone back and forth with the recommendation of forgetting the scale. In the end, I check in once a week or so now. Eventually I think I can end this, but my obsessiveness likes to make sure I am still on track. It has helped me break from the weighing in everyday merry-go-round. Now I don’t have to rely on the scale to make or break my confidence for the day!
Leave Calorie Trackers Behind
Tracking for me began with Weight Watchers and I then transitioned to apps. Keep It Real doesn’t recommend this method. Instead you focus on eating foods that are real and that are good for you. I realized if I am eating protein, veggies, and whole grains with a little bit of “sometimes foods” on a consistent basis there is no need to track calories.
Keep It Real helped me realize I can do this! I could let go of the guilt. The anxiety. The body shaming. All of it wasn’t actually helping me. I felt less confident at a size 0 than I feel now at a size 8! I have consistently stuck with moving my body on a regular basis longer than I ever have before. And I actually love it!
When I eat, I make sure I pay attention to what I am feeding my body. If I have a craving for a doughnut, I eat it and don’t feel guilty. But I don’t do it all the time. I don’t feel deprived at all. When I do get on the scale, I am sometimes surprised that I haven’t gained 10 lbs. I am beyond thankful I found the Keep It Real Program! I feel like it has changed my life.
Want to give Keep It Real a try? Click on this link and enter code SOCHANGE to receive $20 off! This worked so well for me and I think it could work for you too! You don’t have to struggle with weight loss anymore, give it a try and see how freeing it will be.