My Story

This week is Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look week. Caitlin from Operation Beautiful and Healthy Tipping Point launched this movement in efforts for people to gain insights into their own struggles and triumphs with body image issues.

While yes, I am a Registered Dietitian now and like to think I have a healthy relationship with my body and food now this wasn’t always the case.

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Toward the end of high school I developed some unhealthy eating and lifestyle behaviors. Yes, this lead to my lowest weight ever and yes I thought I looked great… but my body image was terrible and I began to think I wanted to lose more and more weight.

Call it a little tough love from a high school boyfriend, but somehow I managed to stop my unhealthy habits. I also started eating meat again. I am proud to say that since that time (~6 year ago) I have never once had a relapse of my most unhealthy behavior — laxative abuse. Yup there it is folks, I was a laxative abuser. Coupled with my unhealthy eating behaviors of the then popular Atkin’s diet and vegetarianism I was struggling to stay at my lowest weight. (Disclaimer: being vegetarian became unhealthy for me at the time. I am not saying vegetarian is not okay for other people).

It was time to go to college and I knew I wanted to attend a school with a nutrition program. While I was very interested in nutrition/cooking/eating all through my life my unhealthy obsession with food finally became a healthy obsession during college.

It wasn’t always easy though.

I gained weight. I was less active. But you want to know what happened? I started to change the way I saw myself. I realized that my weight gain was just gaining back the weight that I had lost unhealthily. It was time to practice what I was learning in nutrition classes and eat a balanced diet coupled with regular exercise.

Years have gone by and my weight has fluctuated 5-10 pounds in both directions from time to time. I’ve learned to tell myself it’s okay. I’ve learned to not cry when I see numbers on the scale. I’ve learned to accept myself. I’ve learned to set healthy goals. I’ve learned to forgive myself when I have failed at everything I just mentioned.

So, where do I stand now? I love my body. I’m maintaining a ten pound weight loss and I love the healthy goals I’ve set. I never in a million years used to think I would be able to run 6 miles without stopping. I never thought I would be striving to sign up for more races and see where my body can take me. I still desire to lose another ten pounds, but I will never do it in an unhealthy manor — never ever. I love myself too much for that.

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There you have it. The story I have been nervous revealing as an RD on the internet. We all have stories and this is mine…. and well, I love it. I love who it has made me now and where it will take me in the future.

I want to thank Caitlin for launching Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look week — it has helped me accept myself even further and remind myself that I don’t need to change the way I look because I have already changed the way I see.

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Want to write your own Change the Way You See post? Find out how here.

Please leave a comment on this post, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on my story. Also, questions are more than welcome!

Comments

  1. 1

    First off, thank you so much for sharing and your honesty. It’s very hard to admit to ourselves and others when we’ve done things we aren’t proud of or would rather forget. But, you are right – those challenges make us who we are and make us stronger people. Without the struggles, we may not have found healthy living blogs or you may not have become a dietician. Great story!

  2. 3

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story! You just never know whose life will be touched by your words. :)

  3. 5

    I stopped by off a link from Operation Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing your story.

  4. 7

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m so happy you’re in a good place now!

  5. 9

    It was great reading your story and hearing how your perspective changed. I like to think that I went through my binging and gaining back the weight I lost unhealthily so I could learn healthier habits and what true health is too.

  6. 11
    Mr. Healthy says:

    I’m so proud of you beating that bad body image honey! You know you’ll always be beautiful to me, inside and out!

    • 12
      Healthy Heddleston says:

      Thank you.. and you are the best support system for when I have a “bad body day.” <3 you Mr. Healthy!

  7. 13

    Thanks for being brave enough to share your story!

  8. 15

    Thank you for sharing your experience! Such an inspiration that you were able to turn around an unhealthy lifestyle into a positive career that you love.

    • 16
      Healthy Heddleston says:

      Thank you Kate! I just went to your page and read your story as well (I tried to leave a comment but you didn’t have a name/url option — boo). Just remember that slow and steady wins the race and you will meet your goal!

  9. 17

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this story. It’s great to see and know that just because someone becomes an RD doesn’t mean they never had problems with food themselves. I’m on the path to becoming one in college right now and I’m glad that Operation Beautiful has not only led me to discover your post, but that I was able to take something away from it.

    “I realized that my weight gain was just gaining back the weight that I had lost unhealthily. It was time to practice what I was learning in nutrition classes and eat a balanced diet coupled with regular exercise.” – This made me smile and think about myself, and though it’s not going to magically “fix” my ED over night, it’s a new perspective on my entire situation and I believe it might be, even if only a tiny bit, easier to accept any sort of weight gain and an easier transition back into a healthy lifestyle.

    Great post, thanks again! :)

  10. 18

    I somehow missed this post Katie. Thank you for sharing it in your top 10.

    That change in viewing yourself is so hard to make. I struggled with my ED habits for so long because I thought I was “just trying to be healthy.” I’m glad to “know” others who have gone from the unhealthy to the healthy.

Trackbacks

  1. […] is this when it comes to gaining weight? During Operation Beautiful CTWYSNTWYL week, I came across this post and one sentence inside of it stood out and hit me like a brick in the face more than anything […]

  2. […] Emotional health also means recognizing if you are becoming too obsessive or not working hard enough when it comes to healthy eating and exercising regularly. Understanding yourself and how you are going to deal with yourself is so important. I used to get hung up on the number of the scale, calories burned at the gum, and calories eaten per day. Now, I’m focused on maintenance of weight with gradual weight loss. I also use my clothes as an indicated of how well I’m working at the gym. Furthermore, filling my body with nutritious foods and forgiving myself when I can’t do any of what I just said right are my number one priorities. To read more about my story, click here. […]

  3. […] most popular post was when I shared My Story. Since it has been so popular, I’ve added it as a tab to my about page section and it […]

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