As Seen On

That Time I Fell off the Diet and Exercise Wagon…Hard

Did you know that the way you view your body impacts the way you view and interact with the world around you?

I know this because I used to allow my scale to dictate how I treated my friends, family and co-workers every single day. My mantra every morning was very similar to the witch’s mantra to the magic mirror in Snow White. You know, “Mirror mirror on the wall…etc.” only mine was:

“Scale, scale on the floor, please tell me I’m not fat anymore!”

And most of the time, the arbitrary number that I was always looking for wouldn’t show up. It sent me into a deep depression. Each morning I would do this to myself. I’d wake up feeling like it was going to be a great day, like I was going to take on the world, and then I’d step on the scale and the day would go to shit.

I would lash out at my husband and kids. I would smile less, share my opinions less, and take less risks because my confidence would be in the toilet. Ultimately, I was allowing an arbitrary number on the scale ruin the quality of my life.

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How did I resolve this problem? By dieting and militantly exercising of course! All of mainstream media told me I’d be happier, more confident and beautiful if I just lost more weight.

My weight was all that was standing in my way between happiness & depression or failure & success in my life.

But that diet and that exercise became burdens and forms of punishment for having a body that happened to store fat. I was starving, depriving and overworking myself just because my body happened to be a certain shape and was efficient at what it was programmed to do since the beginning of time: store fat in case of famine.

Since the body and mind goes out of it’s way to avoid punitive measures like these, it immediately starts to react, signaling stress, hunger, and fat-storing hormones to pump out into your body like crazy.

Thus, the minute I ‘cheated’ on that restrictive diet for biological and psychological reasons- my body put more weight on than it originally had because it was fearful that it would have to endure another diet in the near future.

And, when I first started learning about Ending Emotional Eating through listening to your body and mind as a way to ‘normalize’ my eating, I couldn’t believe all the research that was out there that explained how the diets that I would run to in order to solve my “weight problem” were the very things that were causing my body to go into ‘stress mode’ and store more fat in the long run.

I also learned that only 5% of women naturally possess the body type that is portrayed in the media.

So, 95% of us have to work our butts off, miss social events, study the menu at a restaurant ahead of time and generally miss out on life to even get close to resembling that body type- if we ever do. I know I gave the old college try for most of my life!

But, I’m a 5 ft gal with thick, short legs that are strong and powerful- but not thin. Lord knows I chased those long thin legs that are represented as the ‘normal’ body size on every billboard! Even when I was running 25+ miles a week, on the Paleo diet, counting my calories and “doing everything right” (according to mainstream media) I still had big legs.

I thought there was something wrong with me (not the messages that I was being fed that I should constantly search to be thinner) and I felt deep shame every time I ate anything with carbs or wasn’t exercising.

It turns out, there was nothing wrong with me. It’s my body type, it’s in my genes, I cannot manipulate the shape of my legs anymore than I can change my eye color from blue to brown. Sure, I can tone them and shape them a little, but they’ll never look like the skinny beanpole’s you see at a Vicky Secret Fashion show.

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Here’s a pic of me when I ran a half-marathon and had spent over 5 months running 25+ miles a week (13 miles in one single run a week before that):

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And you know what? I was the strongest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life (though I probably should’ve been eating more calories at the time), but I had improved mood, a sense of accomplishment, better lung function & capacity, and I felt like a total badass!

My life literally improved from regularly exercising and every time I came up against a difficult scenario in life (like childbirth), I would say to myself:

“You ran 13.1 miles without stopping- you can do this too!”

BUT- because I stepped on the scale a week after I ran the half-marathon and realized that I had only lost 5 lbs. through the whole 4-month training process (I had probably gained tons of muscle), I quit running.

I QUIT RUNNING!!

I accomplished this amazing thing that gave me the courage to try so many other things that I wouldn’t have otherwise tried but the scale told me I didn’t lose enough weight, so I decided it wasn’t worth it and I quit. Then I proceeded to gain 30+ lbs because of the 3-month post-starvation binge I went on following the weigh-in.

Pretty sad, right?

But, now that I’m an Emotional and Intuitive Eating Counselor I can happily say that I love running and exercising regularly now, and I don’t do it for weight loss. I enjoy chips, chocolate, and dinners out with my family without one iota of shame or binge eating. My cholesterol, blood pressure and overall health are fantastic. And I am at a healthy weight for my body. My weight is stable- no more up down, up down, up down.

No, I don’t look like those tall, skinny overly photoshopped models- but I enjoy the hell out of my life and I still look and feel perfectly beautiful. The funny thing is now people tell me how great I look and ask me all the time if I’ve lost weight!

Each day I concentrate on eating healthy nourishing foods that feel good in my body and I do exercises that challenge and excite me. When I want to eat chips, I eat them. If I feel like relaxing or skipping a workout- I do. My eating and exercise habits are completely balanced and I only get on the scale every few months because my body and mind can give me more information about my health & happiness then the scale ever could!

That’s what I want for you. I want you to stop allowing the scale to dictate your mood. I want you to stop feeling like a failure every time you eat cake. I want you to partake in movement that inspires and challenges you. I want you to fully Be Yourself!

You can start by throwing away your scale & diet books and really tuning in and listening to your body for information about what you should eat and when you should move. You’ll be on your way to feeling great in no time!

Let me know in the comments section how this works for you. I’d love to hear from you!

Sincerely,

Maureen

PS- Hundreds of women just like you have put a stop to 75% of their Emotional Eating habits…Ready to join them?? Click here to check out my “Stop Eating Your Emotions Crash Course” where you’ll learn how to stop Emotional Eating in under 90 minutes!

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