While yes, I am a Registered Dietitian now + like to think I have a healthy relationship with my body + food now – this wasn’t always the case.
Caitlin from Operation Beautiful + Healthy Tipping Point launched the Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look movement in efforts for people to gain insights into their own struggles + triumphs with body image issues. I was fortunate to be able to participate in this movement + share my story to many. To date, “My Story” has received more views than any other post I’ve written. I thought it was important I share this story under the about me section as well.
Toward the end of high school I developed some unhealthy eating + lifestyle behaviors. Yes, this lead to my lowest weight ever + yes I thought I looked great… but my body image was terrible + I began to think I wanted to lose more + 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 + 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 +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 + eat a balanced diet coupled with regular exercise.
Years have gone by + 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 + 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 + 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 + this is mine…. + well, I love it. I love who it has made me now + 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 movement — it has helped me accept myself even further + remind myself that I don’t need to change the way I look because I have already changed the way I see.
There you have it my dear readers. I would love to hear about your story as well. As always, email me at HealthyHeddleston@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or concerns!