As you may know, about a week ago I started an elimination diet and stuck to it religiously. I was feeling good and things were going OK. So why did I quit?
I’ll start off by saying that it’s scary to be so open about eating issues and thoughts and such, but it’s so important for us to share in these kinds of things! I know there are lots and lots of other women who struggle with their bodies, their weight, and their relationship to food in some capacity. I understand that battle. I know those fears.
Let’s not go it alone. Let’s talk about those things and get them out there and find healing together! I’ve found over and over again that as soon as you speak aloud (or write) those things that you’re so afraid to share, they lose their power over you. That was the start of healing for me.
I am in recovery from an eating disorder, (and am SO thankful for my journey and how far I’ve come and how I’ve healed) and I need to be really careful in regards to my thought patterns and relationship with food. There’s a tendency for me to gravitate towards extremes, have an all-or-nothing mindset, and impose rules on my eating. It creates a sense of control for me, but ultimately it’s hindering to my recovery and becomes a crutch.
Every time I have restricted my diet in some way (being vegan, going gluten free, trying out paleo, going on to AIP) my intentions have been to relieve symptoms (such as headaches, joint pain, etc). That’s not a bad thing and there are tons of people out there that legitimately need that and they are helped so much by it!
As someone in recovery, it can be hard to remove the labels of “good” foods and “bad” foods and not overthink it all. (I can’t begin to imagine how many precious hours have been wasted worrying and overthinking and agonizing about food choices, my body, etc.). It can be scary to trust your own body, let yourself eat the “bad” thing, and not have rules to fall back on. But ultimately it’s the path to greater freedom on the journey.
I realized that for me personally, being on an elimination diet encouraged disordered thoughts and obsessing over food, and wasn’t something I needed to continue on. (In the future, I don’t plan to do ANY special diets without the supervision of a doctor and nutritionist.)
I think I’m finally realizing that maybe the agonizing over what I should and shouldn’t eat, what rules I should or shouldn’t follow, that this thinking is causing more stress and pain than the actual symptoms themselves! My intuition tells me that if I can trust my body, love it, and feed it, weight will naturally work itself out. My body will find its equilibrium in every way, and I don’t have to be rigid and obsessive for that to happen. You get me?
It’s high time for me to relax, throw out the rules, and enjoy the fact that there are so many wonderful things to explore and cook, that food is a beautiful PART of life, but there are a lot of other, more important things too. Let’s keep it in perspective, Rachel. (Life is short. Eat the cookie and get on with living!)
I want to hear your thoughts and perspectives! What do you think? Have you had a similar experience?
Lots of love, Rach