By Christy Casusol
For years, my life has revolved around a preoccupation with weight and body image. I spent most of my time obsessing over the number on the scale and counting calories. At 5 foot 7 inches, the lowest I recorded my weight before I was prohibited from getting on the scale was 100 pounds. I was always sick, I had no energy, I stopped getting my period, my skin was a mess, my hair was falling out, I passed out at work and racked up multiple hospital bills — I was literally killing myself.
While I am a firm believer that one is always recovering and never recovered, I can attest that today I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in my entire life. I attribute this to healthy eating and maintaining healthy relationships.
Once I cut out processed junk food from my diet I became more comfortable with eating. I now eat three square meals a day as well as snacks when they are needed and I have no idea how much I weigh because I don’t own a scale anymore. It truly is liberating.
Even if you’re not struggling with an eating disorder, I think it’s fair to say that almost everyone struggles with body image and has a desire to lose weight or look a certain way. With the media constantly throwing “ideal” images in our faces, we have the ingrained idea of what beauty should look like because that’s all we’ve been taught our entire lives. If you want to be at peace with yourself as well as your body I encourage you to eat clean. Say “f*ck the unhealthy dieting, calorie restricting, and unrealistic weight-loss goals,” and just clean up your diet! I promise that your body will begin to change and you will have a newfound love and respect for yourself.
As I’ve mentioned before, eating clean means to cut out meat, gluten, refined sugar and processed foods. Instead, you should eat foods that come directly from the earth, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans and nuts. I mean… seriously, has anyone ever gotten fat from eating apples? “Ugh that kale is making my thighs huge,” said no one ever.
Of course, you should indulge from time to time (I encourage it otherwise unhealthy bingeing could result later), but maybe following the 80:20 (80 percent of the time you’re eating healthy and 20 percent of the time you’re indulging) rule will help you find balance.
After eliminating unhealthy foods from my diet I began to eliminate unhealthy relationships from my life. This was also a huge aspect of my recovery. I tended to surround myself with people that were not good for me for the sake of having a social life. I dated all the wrong people and made friends with all the wrong people. While it certainly isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to help you recover, having a judgment-free relationship with someone you can confide in is truly refreshing. My partner has both consciously and unconsciously aided in my recovery. He doesn’t pass judgment, he listens, he offers advice, and most importantly, he made me understand that it’s OK to eat. Holding onto unhealthy relationships is just as detrimental as holding onto unhealthy eating habits. When I’m around people that stress me out my physical health suffers immensely. After I broke off the unhealthy ties and made clean eating, yoga, and healthy relationships the center of my life, everything began to fall into place nicely for me.
If you have any questions regarding eating disorder recovery or need advice on healthy eating don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am not a licensed physician and anything I recommend will be merely advice derived from personal experience.