How I Beat My Food Addiction
I’ll never forget the guilt I felt after sitting in my car and eating an entire box of cookies before going home so nobody would see me.
Or baking an entire batch of brownies to bring to a bake sale, only to eat 70% of them before they left the house.
Or eating a salad at dinner to only go home and eat everything in my pantry when I was alone.
Whatever it was, I was convinced it would never let me go. It was like I was living two lives- one that was full of healthy choices and active movements and one that chained me up and made me believe I had no control over my eating- or worse, my body.
All I ever did was think about food. Always planning my next meal, obsessed with how many calories were in my last and how many I “deserved” the rest of the day, or how hard I needed to workout next in order to sweat away the regret from the night before.
I always said I would stop. It worked- for 2 days. And the chokehold came back. Nothing I did would work.
Until one day I had to face the facts- I stepped on the scale and a number popped up I never thought I would see again.
It wasn’t until that point I was completely ok with giving up my own ways. I was so sick of not being able to fit into my clothes, being self-conscious at my own gym, and not having control over myself. When I saw that number, I knew I had given myself over to something that continued to prove to me I wasn’t good enough- but how to fight it, I didn’t know.
Until I realized the answer was simple- EAT.
Yes, eat- carbs, fats, the whole thing. I realized I was living off of less than 1000 calories a day and worked out 7 days a week (most of it being HIIT workouts). I was stuck in a vicious spiral. After doing tons of research and listening to the best of the best, I started eating over 2300 calories a day and working out 4-5x days a week max- listening to my body on what kind of workouts my body needs, not what is expected.
But don’t let me fool you- it wasn’t an easy over-night switch. It took months to defeat my inner demons on why this wasn’t going to work, but the longer I stuck to it, the better I felt and the more weight I lost.
So how does that make sense?
Your body has a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)- the number of calories your body needs for it’s daily function. If you were to lay on a couch without moving a muscle all day, you’d still burn those calories. When you eat less than that number (or even a little more since you obviously don’t stay on a couch all day) on a continuing basis, you put your body into “starvation mode”, where it wants to store anything you give it because it doesn't know if it will get enough calories for the next day. That’s why those of us who only eat our salads and smoothies each day, and obsessively count calories, are almost putting our own selves into a downward spiral, especially when we are working out extremely hard most days of the week, like I was. When I started eating more, my body was finally getting what it needed. Instead of less than 50g of carbs, I was eating closer to 200g+. My energy was through the roof and my waistline continued to shrink. But the best part of all, my brain and body were also “satisfied”, so those uncontrolled cravings almost completely disappeared. When I saw a box of cookies, I could reach for one and leave the rest for the first time in so long. Forget about the weight loss, THAT was a bigger deal to me- to have control.
Your body is never broken. It tells you everything you need to know but it’s our duty to listen to it. When anything seems out of wack, there’s a deeper root issue. So don’t be afraid to eat good quality foods, full of healthy fats, carbs, lean proteins and micronutrients. It’s important to find someone you trust, like a dietician or nutritionist, if you have other underlying issues or want an exact meal plan, but it all plays a roll. Eating, moving, and sleeping more is the key to a healthy and vibrant life that you don’t even know exists. Your body and mind will thank you later and the peace you will feel is worth every second.