While I was still deep into diet culture – counting points, calories, or whatever the latest trend was – in order to control my size, I am grateful that I had the wherewithal to make a conscious choice. Even though I had dieted for most of my life, and even though I despised my body for not conforming to the “thin ideal,” I knew that this wasn’t the way to live a full life. With that, I made the decision that the buck stops with me; my kids would never know that I hated my body, they would never know that I restricted food at the expense of my health and well-being just to look like the women in magazines, and they would never be encouraged do the same.
I come from a long line of dieters – in fact, I am a 3rd generation disordered eater who followed diet rules in the pursuit of unconditional love from my dieting predecessors. I don’t share my story often, but in a recent conversation with Meret Boxler on her popular podcast, “Life. Unrestricted.,” we delved deep into my diet history and how I set myself free from the restrictions, guilt, shame, and self-deprecation that came along with years of dieting. For those of you who don’t know Meret, she is a former radio DJ-turned-podcaster living in Switzerland who is sharing her journey from hitting the rock-bottom of an eating disorder to recovery through self-discovery, body-positivity, and breaking down diet culture one brick at a time. She interviews some incredible professionals in the fields of nutrition, psychology, and exercise physiology, and allows her listeners to go through her process alongside her, learning and stumbling and sharing and growing all the while.
In the podcast, we discuss my diet history and its entanglements with my family, my quest for the truth about nutrition and diet rules, and how I chose to protect my children from the suffering I endured, and some things I learned the hard way. I must admit that after listening to it myself, it was more than I expected to share and it leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable and exposed. My hope is that my story resonates with others – whether you are a daughter, a mother, or a person who has been through a similar experience – and it sets off a spark of hope that life can be about more than what you eat and what you weigh.
For me, that spark was my kids.
I hope you will listen to this episode of Life. Unrestricted. and see how what I learned growing up, and throughout my nutrition education, didn’t necessarily help me to find the truths I was searching for. If you like it, please leave a review on iTunes for Meret, and drop me a line and share your thoughts with me.
Are you interested in getting off of the vicious cycle of dieting? Connect with me and let’s see if we can make it happen together!