The Journey to Food Freedom

It’s funny how the minute I have some time to think (ie: being sick in bed all day) is when I want to pour all these words out of my soul and onto paper. I just wrote about 5 pages in my journal and realized I needed to blog about this message and get a little vulnerable with you guys.

Recently I’ve been struggling a little bit. I reached this huge goal of getting my own studio, and it didn’t feel as fulfilling as I though it would. I’ve been feeling lost, what is next? What can I reach for? What am I working towards? What is the point?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my mission & vision in life is. After all, what is the point if you don’t know where you are heading? I find I really need that overall goal or idea to keep pushing myself forward.

During a meditation a month or so ago, a sentence actually brought me to tears with happiness for what I realized. I want to be a light for all women to discover peace and happiness with food and their bodies. I want to guide people out of the darkness.

HOW can I achieve this? Body Mind & Soul has helped immensely, but I’ve found it a lot harder than I thought. I can’t just give people the information and they will magically cure themselves. I think I forgot about my journey to this point. I’ve kind of glossed over recovery in blog posts and how dark it really was.

I want to help women find this happiness, but I’m stuck as to how. How can I inspire people to get really vulnerable and ready to get out of the dieting cycle? I can give them all the tools and information in the world but if they aren’t ready to use them, what good am I doing?

Thinking about myself being the inspiration, I think it would be apt to connect with you guys on a deeper level. I’m terrible at doing this in person because typically I’ll start to cry, or get shy when I try to get vulnerable in person. I get embarrassed by my emotions.  But I truly feel called to get this out there into the world and hopefully I can help one women’s perception of themselves and get them started on their intuitive eating journey on a new foot.

So, where it all began. I think I actually forgot about how bad it was. I forgot how completely lost and helpless I felt around food and my body. I HATED my body and myself, and wished I could literally just cut the fat off my stomach. Food consumed my every thought. I would spend days binge eating and purging and avoiding all reality. It’s here where I really felt like there was no hope. I would watch other people’s stories on how they “beat” binge eating but I didn’t relate to them at all. They were talking about sightly over-eating and they were thin & lead seemingly perfect lives. They didn’t understand what I was going through and the compulsions I had to eat every single thing in sight. I would avoid everyone and everything (shut off my phone) and eat, and eat and eat. Entire 2L’s of ice-cream with an entire bag of chocolate chips, entire jar of nutella, and syrup was truly just a warm-up. I could spend an entire day having massive binges, and then purging, and then starting the whole cycle over again. I would go to several different grocery stores to buy all my binge food in order to avoid seeing anyone I know or receiving any judgement from the cashier. I would need to buy a few chocolate bars just to tide me over till I got home. It would always be a game to see if I could make it home without starting the binge, but I never could. I was so ashamed bringing all this food into my house, and my worst fear was running into my landlords and having to talk to them or have them see what I just bought. I was secretive, and never thought I would get out of this cycle.

After a really bad binge day, I would SWEAR I would start fresh the next day. I would pack all my healthy foods, do whatever it took to avoid binging- and sometimes I would make it but I knew it was short lived. I knew deep down I loved the feeling of losing all abandon and shutting off everything and everyone. I wanted to escape reality and food was my drug. It calmed me, it distracted me, it stuffed down uncomfortable feelings. It did everything I needed it to. It seemed I always came back to it now matter how much therapy I did, drugs I took, journalling I did.

How the hell did I get out of that cycle? It seemed so dark and hopeless at the time. I remember crying to my boyfriend on the phone just wanting someone to understand this crazy compulsion I had to eat and eat and eat. Nobody GOT IT. Well, I’m here to tell you that I do get it. and if you feel even a little bit like I did; there IS a way out. I truly believe that if I can beat this thing, you can too.

It really is crazy to me now, because now even when I have off days, or think I could binge, it just doesn’t happen anymore. I don’t have the same urges these days (which I am so thankful for). I don’t know if I just grew out of it, or something finally clicked for me. I like to think that all the work I’ve done on creating this life of mine had something to do with it. I want to help MORE people get this feeling. I want you to feel happy, calm, and great about the food you eat and the body you live in. I want you to be able to eat whatever you want without guilt, or chastising yourself. I want you to exercise for the mental health benefits and enjoy getting stronger.

I want people to know that if you are stuck in the darkness you can find your way out. It takes time, and it’s certainly not easy- but it’s POSSIBLE. And it’s so so worth it. I promise that you can be that carefree, happy healthy person that doesn’t think about or worry about food- and live at your goal weight.

So how can you get there? That is a lengthy question, but it truly does start with you and your thoughts. Figuring out WHY you are using food is the biggest thing. Starting to allow yourself to feel negative feelings, or feel anxious, or get uncomfortable is huge. The more you can do this, the more you realize that nothing bad is going to happen to you. It’s all a big wave of life that just keeps going. Sometimes we are up, and sometimes we are down- and we need to get through the down phases with feeling the emotions– instead of using food. This was the biggest step in my recovery. Of course- I still don’t love to feel emotions and have also found alternative coping mechanisms that are more productive for me. It’s not fun to feel uncomfortable, but it’s also not fun to feel like you have no control over food.

I’m here to tell you that you do. You have all the control in the world and the more you can start recognizing those thoughts that are leading you to binge, the more you can stop those urges in their tracks. It’s totally possible to STOP a binge- which is something I never though I could do. You need to be willing to get uncomfortable, get scared, do something different.

I’m going to leave you with this question- what are you hiding from? Why are you avoiding your emotions with food? (and it doesn’t need to be binge eating. It could be dieting, being healthy, vegan, paleo, weight loss, restriction). What are these emotions that you are unable to really dig into? Figuring out the answer to these questions may lead you down a whole new path of your life. Let yourself feel the fear, and then go do what you are being called to do!

With love,

Tara

 

 

 

 

 

 

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