This client has been working SO hard on creating a better relationship with food and her body. Putting the consistent effort in to detach from the mentality that measurements (from food to body weight) correlate to your success is NOT an easy process when you have been conditioned to do so over your entire life. Breaking free from control and perfectionism to truly get in touch with the messages your body is sending you is a difficult but rewarding step to reduce the stress response and negative relationship with food, which has resulted in her optimized digestion AND relationship with food!
"I am SO thankful and mind blown that we got my stomach back to being normal and functioning again. I've said it before, but there was such dark time in my life where I thought I would be like this forever. I think the best part about it to, is that I feel a lot more confident now if this ever happens again, or when my stomach feels off some days that I have the tools, and the mindset to be productive about it, rather than sad and hopeless lol."
Another great example of how putting in the work to improve your relationship with food can positively impact your mindset and hormones to break the restrictive/binge eating cycle is from her check in today.
"I ate cheerios one night, which I previously would have LOVED (I mean, I still like me some cheerios). But I would have thought they were soooo good, and would have wanted more, and been hungry for more because my sugar/carb cravings used to be through the roof... so for me that was a huge win. Just to sit down and have a little snack, and enjoy it without wishing that I could have more, or feeling like it wasn't enough, or being obsessed with it."
We have worked diligently to help her grasp the concept that food is simply food - some choices more nutrient dense than others. This process has allowed her to eliminate the mental restrictions around labelling certain foods as “bad” or “off limits,” thus reducing the constant thoughts about these foods. Removing certain foods from a pedestal reduces the subsequent cravings, which has finally enabled her to indulge in less nutrient dense foods in moderation.
People often make the mistake that a healthy diet means that you should give yourself permission to have a little bit of “treat” food in moderation - this is STILL placing a restriction on those foods we label as “treats,” and thinking that consuming a bite of a cookie or a handful of chips is going to “satisfy that craving” is not creating a better relationship with food. It’s when you can buy the food, have it in your house, eat it as you please, and just like she did this week, reflected on the fact that the bowl of cheerios she decided to eat satisfied her desire for the food, without placing restraints on how much she could consume. She didn't have to stop herself from having another bowl, which would have usually resulted in that restrictive/binge eating cycle of polishing off the entire box. She actually felt satisfied and content after giving herself permission to eat the food. This is massive progress in Maddison's food freedom journey. Read more about her story below -
"I’ve waited a while to post my “story” with nutrition. For a few reasons being that this is embarrassing AF (plus look at that messy writing lol), and because I wanted to wait until I was in this ideal “perfect” place with my nutrition/mindset/body image/gut issues. But, what I’m slowly learning is that sometimes things will NEVER be optimal/perfect, so why wait. So I might as well share now in hopes that it might help someone else out who is also struggling
The reason I’m sharing today, is because I came across these notes I left in my food journal and I honestly could not believe it (look at 2nd picture).
Talk about disordered eating/mindset
These were written in January of 2019, it’s also important to note that around this time I had lost my period for a few months. Maybe I was hungry 24/7 & waking up at 1AM HUNGRY AF because my body was trying to tell me something.... Unfortunately because I was not the leanest athlete I thought that there was NO way I couldn’t be eating enough. I thought my hunger was my fault.
In summer of 2019 I found my nutrition coach Sharan Scali, and am I ever thankful. It wasn’t even a question with her that I needed to be eating more, that I needed to prioritize my health (mainly gut health), that I needed a MAJOR mindset shift. Like I said earlier, I am far from being perfect in these areas, but looking back really makes me realize how far I have come. I no longer make jokes about always being hungry, nor do I fantasize about sugary treats. I’m a little over 5-10lbs heavier, and hey, maybe that’s not ideal for the sport I am in. But how I was living my life wasn’t ideal either. Sharan and I are working towards recovery & performance in CrossFit, and I think we are headed in the right direction
This is a very small sliver in my story, but I felt very pulled to share after reading my journals. For those who are also struggling with a similar story, my main message is if you are THIS hungry EAT. THE. DAMN. FOOD.
And I do want to note that my extreme hunger could have been contributed to a combination of other factors including poor gut health, stress, hormones. So it’s important to reach out to professionals if you’ve been dealing with similar situation. The only regret I have with not seeing Sharan, my ND, or my therapist is that I didn’t do it SOONER."