I spent this past weekend with friends in SLO-town celebrating the holidays. My friend Amy has been visiting from Boston for the past month. She left this morning to head back home for the holiday’s, so you know all weekend we were trying to soak up time with her.
We did so many fun things while she was here, including bloody mary’s and nacho’s over the weekend. On our little nacho date we had great conversation, enjoyed each other’s company, and got to laugh at the college students enjoying (maybe a little too much!) their holiday pub crawl.
Saturday night, Amy, Asia, and I were sitting in my living room chatting (this was right after the nacho date). We pulled out some of our old vision board photos, and started talking about how so much of what we’d put on our vision boards had come true.
As we were talking about this, a memory sparked of what my old “vision board” used to look like. At the time, I had no idea I was waking up to a vision board at the end of my bed each morning. To me, it was just a fun board my dad had made me & I posted photos that inspired me.
What inspired me – I guess – at the time were a BUNCH of photos of Victoria’s Secret models. If you’ve ever read my story you know that I used to be HUGE into dieting. Calorie counting, carb cutting, elimination diets, juice cleanses, you name it. I’ve tried ’em all.
Well, before I started my first diet, I didn’t have a clue about dieting. So when I started my research on how to lose weight, I soaked up EVERYTHING I found:
- a wall full of Victoria’s Secret models photos
- a size 00 skirt hanging on my wall that I could wear “one day”
- the word “no” on both hands each day to remind me not to reach for junk food (I know…)
I made every effort to NOT have scary foods in the house, and got pissed at my parents when they’d buy it. I skipped out on dinners, parties, or girls night where I’d be tempted and hit the gym instead. I lived everyday thinking about my weight and what I was going to eat and when I was going to exercise.
I lived and breathed dieting. Sure, I hung out with friends, I built memories, but my life was NOTHING as close to as fulfilling as it is today.
As this sparked in my mind, it started a conversation between Amy, Asia, and myself about how much different my weekend would have been if I were still dieting. They didn’t know me back when I was dieting, so I went on to explain to them a few things that would have been different.
As we talked about this, I decided I wanted to blog about it because I know some of you will be able to relate. And, because if Amy & Asia found it interesting, I thought you would too! So, I’m breaking this post up in two parts: “my weekend without dieting” & “my weekend if I were still dieting.”
If you want to stop dieting, check your email this morning (12/12)! I & Finally Free sent out something very special! If you didn’t get an email from me or FF, email me (email@example.com) and I’ll send it your way – I’d love to share!
My weekend without dieting
Saturday morning I woke up, journaled, and put myself on “cozy-lockdown.” Meaning, I wanted time to simply hangout with myself around the house. The morning started off climbing out of bed, and slowly walking into the kitchen. Yawns, stretching, all of it.
I grabbed my French press, made some coffee, and picked out my favorite mug. I poured a little sugar in the cup, added half & half, and stirred my coffee together as it turned into the perfect blend of all the things I love right when I wake up.
I proceeded to clean up the kitchen and make Marco and I breakfast. Eggs & toast for him, and a brown rice egg, spinach, mozzarella, and bell pepper wrap for me. On the kitchen table, I set my dads homemade hummus & olive tapenade to have with each bite. I savored my breakfast with sips of coffee in between.
After breakfast I sent Marco off to work and started sorting laundry. As I sorted laundry I turned on one of my favorite audio books. While walking to the the laundry room at the back of our property, I thought to myself “I love hanging out with just me. I need this every week.”
Throughout the morning I journaled, thought about my goals for 2017, and sat in my PJ’s looking through old photo albums that made me happy. Nowhere to be, just me, my house, and whatever I wanted to do.
Around noon, I got a text from Amy asking if I wanted to grab nachos and bloody marys later and I happily agreed! I think my reply was: “Is this real life? This sounds so fun! I’ll be there.”
I finished laundry, showered, got ready, and walked downtown to meet Amy around 3:00. We went to Marston’s BBQ in SLO and ordered bloody marys with extra olives & nachos to share.
We sat there for a couple hours talking about coaching, visualization, connecting, etc… Asia came and met up with us, and by this time Marston’s was filled with college students who were doing a holiday pub crawl. We laughed, and had such a good time together. I love these girls.
After Marston’s, we walked back to our houses (Asia and I are neighbors) and somehow managed to end up on Snapchat playing with face swap. I. literally. cried. I was laughing so hard. The photos – you wouldn’t believe them. I actually named my face in one because it was SO bad – we called him “Ranford.”
After nearly keeling over and dying of laughter, we walked across the street to my place & sat in the living room chatting. This is when we started talking about vision boards. This is when the “how would this be different if I were still obsessed with losing weight and dieting” came up.
The evening continued with us hanging out, taking photos in front of Asia’s Starbucks holiday cup wall (yes, we made this) and girl time. I ended the night early (around 8:30) in bed watching Netflix, totally fulfilled. This is how most days in SLO are. I swear, this place is my little slice of heaven.
My weekend if I were still dieting
Let’s replay this weekend, sharing what it would have been like had I been stuck in dieting still. As I write this, I feel like I’m channeling my past dieting-self, and it’s such a… self-absorbed, stuck in my own head feeling. Not like I was a bad person, but just really distracted.
Here we go…
Saturday morning, I would have woken up, stripped down in the bathroom, and stepped on the scale. I’d have my phone in hand with the notes app. open, ready to record my weight for the day. That number would have determined my mood first thing.
If I’d lost, I would’ve felt a little surge of “good job!” and motivated. If I’d gained, I would have thought “crap, what did I do wrong yesterday?” and began that replay in my mind.
I then would have proceeded into the kitchen to make my coffee and either a) drank it black or b) documented and measured every morsel that I put into my coffee. I would have also probably forwent the sugar and used something sugar-free/calorie-free, like Splenda.
I would have drank my coffee, and depending on what the scale said decided on what to make for breakfast. Probably something with egg whites, spinach, and maybe some tomato. But no avocado, because I wouldn’t have wanted to start the day off using up too many calories.
Marco and I would’ve eaten breakfast together, maybe, but maybe not…
After he would’ve gone to work, I would have stepped into workout clothes, put in a load of laundry, and headed to the gym – not out of self-care, but out of my will to try and have a “good day”. I timed this perfectly so I could burn off what I ate for breakfast, plus a little more so I’d have room for lunch.
I would have maybe journaled, maybe not, but if I would have… it would’ve definitely included something about dieting, weight-loss, exercise, or how I talk to myself. I would’ve probably hoped to stop obsessing, while simultaneously feeling like it wasn’t possible. I could never be normal.
If I looked through old pictures, doing so would’ve been full of comparison. It wouldn’t have been looking through them with joy, reflecting on memories, no… It would have been “Ugh, I was skinnier then.” Or, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I weighed more then.” Total comparison.
Around noon, if I would have seen that text from Amy (“do you want to do nacho’s and bloody mary’s?”) I would’ve been suddenly sent into a tail spin – an unexpected event? What do I do? Thoughts like:
- that sounds fun, but would I have time for the gym again after?
- if I eat that, will I just keep going?
- should I go? should I stay?
- maybe I just shouldn’t go and should meet up after?
- could I suggest something else?
- maybe I can just go and get a salad?
- but oh my gosh… what if I eat nacho’s too?
- okay, if I go, I will be so strong and will NOT eat nacho’s (*opens calorie counting app, adds in salad from Marston’s, plans to commit to eating this and NO nacho’s – must weigh less tomorrow*)
Assuming that I did go with Amy to Marston’s, I would’ve felt distracted once I went. I would’ve been so aware of the food the entire time, that I would have missed out on connection. And no doubt, I would’ve talked about food or calories at some point.
Depending on how Marston’s went, I would’ve either gone home and planned for the gym, or continued to hangout. I also would’ve either kept thinking about how “good” I was and how I needed to keep being “good” or I would’ve been focused on how “bad” I was for eating nacho’s.
If I did eat the nacho’s, I may have even walked home afterward to continue the binge. I would’ve felt so guilty. Or, I would’ve said something along the lines of “we’re so bad! Let’s keep it going and get ice cream!” It wouldn’t have been centered on fun, it would’ve been centered on food.
I would’ve gone to bed having had a day SO focused on weight and food. I wouldn’t have had a day focused on connection, meaning, and fun. I wouldn’t have felt fulfilled. And I would for sure have already started brainstorming the next day and how I would “be better” or continue “being good.”
WOW. It’s pretty crazy to reflect on that! As it’s been six-years since I’ve dieted, I sometimes forget what it was like back then. But when it comes up, like it did this weekend, I’m able to remember what an absolute burden it was, and how much it felt like it would never end.
How much I just wanted to feel NORMAL.
If this is you &/or you can relate (on any level) I want to encourage you and say that it’s SO possible for you to feel free *if you want to*. I know you hear it all the time… “If I can do it, you can too!” but I’m going to say it anyway.
There were moments where I’d find myself thinking “This is real. I am actually NEVER going to feel normal again. How could I? I literally know the calorie count of every food, and anytime I look at it, that’s what I’ll think.”
But nope, not today. Today I am as free as can be, I’m healthier than I was before, and I’m happy in my body & life.
If you want to:
- stop obsessing and counting calories all the time
- stop planning what you’re eating to make sure you hit your macros for the day
- eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and move on
- give up dieting for good
- eat normally and trust yourself
- stop wasting energy on restricting your food
- stop filling your headspace with things that are so unimportant in the grand scheme of life
- and find freedom NOW so you won’t have to say “I’m 52 and still dealing with this”
Then I want to say you can. If I can do it, you can too!
If you’d like support, I encourage you to check out the online course that I created with Simi, Finally Free Program. As I shared above, we emailed out something special today. If you didn’t get the email, let me know and I’ll send it your way. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks a million for being here today. I hope this post encourages you and reminds you that FREEDOM with food and in your body is possible for you – it IS, if you want it to be. Would you like this post to be a series? Let me know you thoughts – I’m thinking about it!