Mainly meaning I’ve had a couple glasses wine as well as slipped into my favourite old pattern of eating extra that I don’t need after dinner. A few blueberries, a little too much almond butter … and on one occasion I even ate 1/2 a gluten free brownie. OMG right?
Yep, that’s right, I’m not a perfect paragon of clean eating or robotic willpower.
In fact, even though I eat clean 95% of the time anyway, I seem to constantly have this need to put food in my stomach, especially when I’m in ‘relax’ mode. So it’s been very very tough to try and break the grazing-before-and-after-dinner habit that is fine for maintenance (given it’s all healthy anyway) but not so fine for wanting to get photo-shoot ready.
And I think that much of this is because there’s this part of me that inherently resists being strict with my food I think; too strict.
It’s a fear going back to the days of bulimia, of getting lean for fitness competitions and sports modelling competitions by eating nothing but chicken and broccoli in public and then going home and binging on donuts and chocolate and artificially-sweetened lollies by the kilo. Which was a HUGE recipe for digestive disaster; that last one. Ugh, my stomach is cramping just thinking about it.
I’d lie on my single bed in my parents house and drink maybe 3 or 4 low-cal hot chocolates each afternoon … all full of crap but at least sugar and fat free, which was all I cared about at the time.
I was desperate to rebel against the diet I’d been given,
not because I was hungry so much as that I believed I couldn’t do it;
that I couldn’t be that girl.
And even though I did get up on stage and I got into national magazines and even won one of my comps and placed 6th out of a HUGE line up for the national title of ‘Miss Bikini’ … it never felt like a well-earned achievement. I can’t sit here today, 10 years later, and say I’m proud of my competing days; not of any of it really.
I guess I’m impressed by what I put into it in terms of the training commitment and even the day-to day eating despite the binges … but proud?
No. Emotionally, it destroyed me and it took pretty much a decade to figure out how to move past that. But I don’t blame the competing or the diet, it was something that was within me already and stems from long-ago-set-beliefs about myself.
The truth now is that the reality of what that time in my life meant for me has stopped me ever since from setting a truly big physical goal.
Which is why when I posted on Facebook that I’m terrified of not only setting but also admitting to this photo shoot, I really meant terrified. Like, with every part of my being.
I’m scared that I won’t have what it takes.
I’m scared that maybe I can’t follow through and stick to a (healthy) diet plan to get me in my best shape ever and turn up both looking and FEELING amazing on the day.
I’m scared that I’ll feel the seduction of binge eating or even bulimia calling me again.
binge eating – do we ever really move on?
If you’ve ever been a binge or emotional eater and gotten over it, you’ll know that you never actually forget it. Every time you overeat or over indulge or stress really hits you, even as you almost automatically stay on track with the new and healthier you, as you manage your stress with journalling or by focusing on the outcome you want, there is this part of you that whispers –
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat?”
“You know you want to”
“Who are you kidding anyway? You’re going to give in sooner or later.”
And you know what? Let’s say I did give in and binge, or let’s say you do even after days or weeks or YEARS of having a great relationship with food –
Would it be the end of the world?
Except, to top it all off, for me at least and I’m sure you can relate –
I’m scared that if I did give in that it would all be downhill from there in a matter of days. That I wouldn’t be able to find my way out again.
Truthfully, when I think about it now as I write, what I’m scared of is that there is inherently something wrong with me; something about me that makes me prone to this and therefore I believe that if I put too much pressure on myself; if I say ‘I can’t’, or ‘I shouldn’t’ or ‘I won’t’, then I will set myself up for unavoidable failure.
And it’s pretty huge for me to admit this to myself, let alone to you.
On a logical level I know I am fine now, I know that I’ve moved on and rid myself of so many old beliefs and created a life where I do feel free to eat and be who I choose. Learning how to do all that, learning how to free myself from food bondage and having been able to successfully replicate those results with clients is pretty much the reason I’m running my workshop next week. So that I can continue helping women to break free.
But yes, that’s not to say I never have ‘those’ thoughts.
so why set such a goal then?
I know that some people may read this and wonder why, then, I’m setting this goal for myself; why I am risking my mental healthy basically. Especially as I am already a very clean eater, I do (now) have a pretty good relationship with food and my body, and it’s not as though I’m out of shape anyway.
Why not be happy being me, just as I am?
Why go to extremes?
If you’re reading this and you’re similar to me in that you are the girl in good or even great shape, the fit chick who people admire for her discipline to training and eating well, then I think you know my why already.
For me it’s wanting to finally achieve that sense of incredible pride that I never could find 10 years ago.
It’s wanting to prove to myself that I CAN be one of those girls who sets a physical goal and then does what it takes to meet that goal without having to have an emotional meltdown about it. Who just makes a choice, sets a smart plan, and follows through.
It’s wanting to really put my foot to the pedal of my life and see what I can achieve, see what I’m capable of. And that’s true in so many areas of course – it’s not as though this is my only big goal!
It’s wanting to have the courage and guts to finally do something I’ve said I’ve always wanted to do. To not be someone that lets another 5 or 10 years pass by and says “I wish I had have done that; I wish I had have really given it my all”.
It’s the need to prove to myself that I am good enough. I don’t mean good enough to get lean, as if you place your self-worth on the attainment of any goal then you only set yourself up for disappointment. What I mean is to prove to myself that I am good enough and worthy just BECAUSE.
And that therefore, because I am good enough, because I am worthy just for being me, I can, in fact, do whatever I set out to do.
And I can do it simply because I’m capable, and regardless of my past and regardless of the beliefs or self-sabotage that has previously held me back.
So maybe it never was – or is – really about ‘having to be strict’, about having to fight against myself and ‘stay strong’.
Perhaps what it’s really about is, what it’s always been about, is self-belief.
What do you think? Comment below.
And for me? Well – let the games begin (again).
Life is Now. Press Play.
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