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.
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.
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.
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!