This year I gained about 10 pounds. And you know what? I’m not upset about it, and I’m not making it mean anything more than it does.
But it mean anything more than it does…
Before I decided to share this with you, I did have a pang of fear.
“What would people think of me if I got real about gaining weight?”
“Would they think I still struggle?”
“Would I sound like a fraud?”
But I decided to share it anyway, because, well … this is totally normal and shouldn’t be looked at as a failure.
Plus, I want to normalize the ebbs and flows of the food freedom experience, and what some of the possibilities are on your Food Freedom journey might be.
Now, what happened when I realized I was a bit heavier than I have been for the last 5 years or so, and what did I do about it?
Let’s dive in!
Recently I got together with a bunch of friends. I was feeling pretty amazing that day (cuz I hadn’t seen anyone in so long). I loved my outfit, I was feeling empowered, and had a great time.
Then later, my phone pinged me, and I saw that I’d been sent the pictures from our night together.
So I looked–and honestly, what I saw kind of surprised me at first!
My body looked different than I’m used to seeing it.
I looked happy. But I couldn’t help but notice I had gained weight. This was the first time in a long time that a picture of myself made me think something like that..
Sure, I didn’t look shockingly heavier. But still, my weight had been stable for about the last 5 or 6 years. For the first time in a long time, I looked like I’d put on a few pounds. What was going on?
Now, here’s the difference between what I would’ve done with something like this before versus now.
Before: Panic, shame, embarrassment, guilt, frenzied action, cutting food groups out, cutting calories, insanely intense gym sessions, obsessively fighting my body, and eventually a binge…repeat.
Now: A little hit of some “what the hell”, a fairly quick flip of that negative self talk without much of an emotional chain reaction, and a simple loving nudge to look into how I’d been treating myself and my body plus check in with her and see how she’s doing.
Aka – I got curious!
So, I took a little self-care inventory of the last few months. Here’s what I discovered…
First, the COVID and quarantine situation had happened. That affected us all in different ways.
In my case, pre-quarantine I had someone doing regular food-prep for me. But when the lockdowns hit, I had to let that go for a while. And I ended up replacing food prep with a lot more take-out than usual.
Then, during that crazy time, I also had a major move to a new home. Moves in themselves bring on a lot of stress and disruption, so it was chaos on top of chaos for me.
But, of the most significant factors of all wasn’t the outer circumstances. It was that with all the chaos and stress, I let my self-care slide. BIG time.
I was pushing myself through stressful work days, and let my daily movement completely slide (basically it got non existent).
Then on top of that, I skimped on food throughout the day and ended up eating big dinners at night out of sheer hunger – oftentimes take out meals.
Eating properly to fuel myself has been a high leverage shift on my journey to food freedom…it’s been the foundation of nearly everything!
So what can I say? Life happens, and it happens to ALL of us. We don’t always meet it with the most supportive responses every time, either.
And sometimes, we meet it in the exact way we need to for where we are at even if it’s with food.
Now, what did I do when I figured out why that extra weight showed up?
I chose to focus on connection, supportive nutrition, and intentional movement. Instead of restrictive diets and brutal workouts, I shifted to self-care.
What has happened so far? I’m happy to say that I’m moving my body back to its happy place weight-wise, and I’m feeling more energized and inspired!
I have a healthier relationship with working out than I’ve ever had!
AND I’m in the process of coming off of my thyroid medicine even more (I’ve lowered the dose the last year!)
What’s really cool is…I’ve accepted that may be influencing my weight, and I’m ok with it.
I TRUST my body to take me where it needs to go with love and care!
Now, here’s the thing. Do I still get those mental triggers that I should do something quick for weight loss? Of course.
That societal conditioning still pops up for us all from time to time.
The difference is that now when the triggers happen, it literally doesn’t phase me. I don’t indulge the idea. I don’t spiral in it emotionally. I let it go, choose care and connection, and move on.
So here’s what I’m saying..
Taking care of your body and yourself are important!
But doing this from a place of fear and control isn’t going to get you anywhere aside from most likely back to binge eating.
Doing it from love and care will get you to where you want to be!
When you’re on the road to food freedom, you might experience twists and turns. Trust me this is very normal.
But your body is brilliant and knows right where you need to be!
You might see some shifts with your weight along the way…
It might tempt you into fear, and make you think about going back to the old ways of restricting your food intake to lose weight.
Next time that old fear about weight gain comes up, try this…
Be kind to yourself.
When you feel afraid, give that part of yourself that is scared a little bit of love.
Reassure yourself that self-care is the way forward.
Remember that your mental and emotional freedom matter as much (or more than) as your physical appearance.
Food freedom isn’t about perfection. It’s the ability to have compassion for your body, and give yourself a little grace. Work with your body rather than fighting against it with strict diets and crazy workouts.
Doing this has been a huge game-changer for me, and it can be for you too.
Now, you might be thinking that 10 pounds to lose doesn’t seem like a big deal. And I can understand that if you personally feel like you have more weight to lose, that 10 pounds could seem insignificant given your personal experience.
Even though I haven’t been but 30 pounds heavier than where I’m at currently and gained and lost the same 50 pounds 10 times or so (accompanied by terrible discomfort through a wide range of health conditions)…I haven’t personally experienced the feelings and emotions that can come along with something like obesity.
So while our struggles might not be the same, I do know that the way we can treat ourselves and the emotions that come up around it can be similar.
In the end, we are all on our own journeys. But we do have enough in common that we can be there for each other, too.
I see you no matter where you’re at.
And know that you’re deserving of your own love and care regardless of the size of your body.
There will always be peaks and valleys on any life-changing pathway. This is part of the process, whether you began your journey today, or you’ve been on the path for decades.
I remember when I first got into the self-development journey. I thought that one day I would get to this blissful place of perfection, with no stress and total happiness.
Not exactly how it turned out!
But here is the good news. Because of the inner work I’ve done, things have shifted for the better.
Now I handle stressful situations with more ease. The ebbs and flows of life don’t overwhelm me like they used to. Sure, I have my tough days, but now I move through the stress a lot faster.
So on this food freedom journey, you might gain weight. You might occasionally still cringe when you see yourself in the mirror. You might even want to pack it all in and go back to dieting.
But those moments don’t have to last any longer than a moment, either!
The key is to go from climbing huge stress mountains to navigating minor speed bumps, right?
When you get to this point, the things that used to take you out of the game turn into minor irritations at best.
Eventually, you get to live a life where food and body triggers pass quickly. It’s a place where even when you crash and burn, you get back to living your best life a lot faster.
This is my wish for you!
Now, how do you start on that path to freedom? We can help!
Click the link below and get instant access to the special training I’ve created for you.
You’ll learn how to take the first steps to defuse food and body triggers. You’ll learn how to connect with yourself. And you’ll get yourself on the pathway to what we call Food Freedom Forever!
Now, I’d love to hear from you! Can you relate to what I shared in this post? Tell me if you’ve ever had a similar experience, or if you’re going through something like this and could use some support.
Leave me your comments below–we LOVE hearing from you!