Archives for posts with tag: abusing food

This video featuring Brene Brown and her speech on vulnerability has been floating around for awhile and I have never taken the time to watch it… until yesterday.

I probably spent 1/2 of it bawling my eyes out because it rang so true for me as itapplied to my body image and self-love.  It was the very first time that I was 1000% certain that I was going to find myself on the other side of this battle very soon and breathe the sweet fresh air of finally living authentically and in the moment…  I do have some work to do but I see now that it can be done and that I have the strength and the knowledge and the ability to do it!  I am WORTHY of this personal freedom.

But first, I have one last war with my demons…. all of them…  Brene Brown talks about how we Numb ourselves out to deal with uncomfortable feelings and I have been doing that for decades… I numb… but not anymore.  The fact is, if anyone is struggling with contentment – they are likely numbing themselves…. the balance of this post will talk about numbing as it pertains to weight issues and attitudes.

WE NUMB

Some of us turn to pills, to alcohol, to exercise, to cigarettes…. to FOOD.

We are all NUMB!

We go through these motions too afraid to finally admit that we aren’t afraid of fat – NOW we’re afraid of what life will look like if we stop fearing fat!!  Who would we be? Who would we be with? What would we think? What would we look like?

So we NUMB.

Your problem isn’t your weight.  Read that again.  Your problem isn’t your weight.  It’s the numbness, it’s the fear, it’s the guilt, it’s the shame!

We will all argue (very effectively and justifiably) that we all have been conditioned to BELIEVE these things.  We have been brainwashed to BELIEVE that true happiness and contentment will be found at the end of a diet in a string bikini.  That’s the hard sell… that’s what people who are selling shit do to get you to buy their shit!

So we try the hard sell and succeed for a minute, only to fail again (’cause remember success is measured by your ability to manipulate your body into giving you a certain number on the scale)… and then we feel sorry for ourselves… we tell the same sad sad stories of when we started to diet.. we regurgitate the stories of the times we were told we were fat or were made to feel fat.  We remember with longing the times we got “there” only to remind ourselves that we didn’t enjoy it as much as we imagined… ’cause we were still scared – we were still numbing.  We talk about the times when we tracked ever calorie, every rep, every heart beat and bead of sweat… We talk about times that we felt
SO.
IN.
CONTROL.

NEWSFLASH:  Life is not meant to be controlled!  It is not meant to be measured or compared or tracked or monitored.  Life is meant to be LIVED!  And as long as you numb yourself you will never be content in the moments, you will never love the skin you are in, you will never be happy with the simplicity that life has to offer.

Get REAL, stare your shame and your guilt square in the eye and tell it you are NOT fanning it’s flames any longer!  Reach out to us!   Listen, we give you the drops, you follow the book… you go on your way… But if you are really, really, struggling still that’s the part that we love about our Company – the chance to change lives forever and help set people FREE!

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There is a strange contradiction to what I do and how I help people… sometimes I hate that I have to market our products as weight loss products… I cant’ stand the before and after pictures, the announcing of how much weight people have “lost”, I hate feeding the beast of FAT FEAR.

However, you do in fact lose weight when you use our products… a lot… quite quickly… so we work very, very hard to prepare you mentally to un-do all of the reasons that you have lost this weight before and gain it back.  The first thing we identify with people is that if they have yo-yo’d all of their lives then nothing about their “weight problem” has anything to do with weight.  Typically, the real problem are the ones created by the diet and exercise industry; the obsessive tracking, the “no pain, no gain” and the very worst of all… fat shaming and fear of fat.

For us to imply that we don’t know that people have found ways to abuse our products to continue this cycle of self-loathing, and body-shame would be both ignorant and irresponsible of us. We know that people are continuing the binge purge cycle.   However, we try, clients refuse this help.  It hurts me to know that people are still hurting even after an “almost encounter” with what we have to offer.  However, we must move on. We must move on and celebrate the changes we are seeing in ourselves and people that we have come to love and care about very much.

There are always going to be companies and clients that make our products look bad… but it’s another funny juxtaposition… if a person using our products – loses weight – gains it back – it’s the products that don’t work.  If a person loses weight by exercising aggressively and tracking their food and gain it back – it’s THEIR FAULT.  The real culprit here is people not identifying what the real problem is…. WE CAN DO THAT.  We can FINALLY set you FREE.  We can TEACH you ways to take control of YOUR body.

We must focus on the people that we do help and the lives that we are changing…. somedays.. .when I’m having a really bad day I just have to think about how far I have come.  It has been just over a year since I kept a “food diary” – something that I did almost daily for about 13 years.  I also kept an “exercise diary” complimented with a “reasons I suck diary”.  Do you see that if these tools really worked for me I would not have needed to lose weight (or thought I needed to lose – let’s not forget the “imaginary fat” decade!).  For some, I think these tools work, if losing weight or not gaining weight are the only measures of success.  However, I can tell you from personal experience that feeling guilt and shame about food and/or missing a workout and keeping journals about all of the depressing reasons why you just can’t seem to lose weight… does not a happy life make.

Throw away your scale.  Eat when you are hungry.  Stop when you are satisfied.  Move your body joyfully, deliberately, kindly.  Keep a journal about all of the reasons that you and your life are awesome.  This is what our “weight loss program” teaches you… you will find by and large most of what we promote has little to do with weight.   Our products act as a “hormonal re-set” and give you the opportunity to learn EXACTLY what your body needs.   The weight you lose is like a “motivational bonus”!

The thinking and belief system that I subscribed to for decades is deeply bedded in my psyche… some days I still consider food tracking, some days I still consider pushing my body beyond its’ limits, some days I still look in the mirror and hate what I see – it’s not all going to happen over night.  I imagine I kind of feel like the first people who began to realize that the earth was round…  I now KNOW the earth is round… like I KNOW none of the last 30 years of diet torture  served me… but goddammit… somedays I wake up positive the earth is still flat.   Those are the days I feed my soul – not starve my body.

What I know for sure is that I have experienced a shift that is creating a mind/body balance that I have never experienced – what I know for sure is that I have been RELEASED from the cruel, cruel world of diets and fat fear.  What I know for sure is that I have watched people shed and RELEASE far more than weight.  I have watched people blossom into the people they were MEANT to be and that INSPIRES me to keep the faith!

release

The following is a submission I received upon request from a Goodbye My Muffintop Client – she has asked to remain anonymous but I am sure that many, many of you will relate to her story.  She is such a perfect example of why a person could benefit from the hormonal re-set that our program provides!  She didn’t need to eat better or exercise better… she wasn’t doing anything wrong.  She just needed to learn how to listen to her body…   To date her pounds lost remain an unknown… but after her first round of protocol she lost an incredible 44.5 inches!

My body image issues date back literally as far back as I can remember.  Even around the age of 4 years old I have memories of being called the “chubby chicken” & compared to my “skinny minny” sister by my mother.  Now if you want some deep seeded issues, I’ve got them.  Can any of you imagine being in kindergarten and not wanting to eat your snack because you thought it would make you fat and mom would get mad for it?  These nasty little self destructive voices took up permanent residency in my brain by the time I was 7 and took up dance.  I remember being fitted for a costume and being told to suck it in because I was big enough, I need shrink room not growth room. I was NOT overweight by any means at this time but I lived in a toxic environment.  My mom and dad had divorced a year prior and my mom was essentially anorexic from the stress.  Of course, she thought she looked great and for the next 17 years we lived on this diet roller coaster with her.

My mom went through a series of rollercoaster relationships which in turn led to crazy ups and downs for us in the eating/diet department at home not to mention the emotional toll it took on me.  By 7th grade on the doorstep of puberty, I was miserable, I had gained weight (mostly due to puberty) and was constantly criticized for it by my mom, hearing things like “I guess it wasn’t just baby fat after all”.  I had even adopted the nickname “hippo” from I don’t even know where.  Entering high school I was an emotional wreck, I wanted so badly for things to get better, I found a new group of friends and tried to pick up the fragments of self-esteem I had left.  Of course as we all know, high school is a vicious place, I was tormented for being fat, which I wasn’t, but it didn’t matter those nasty little voices were in my head and had me completely convinced that I was disgusting.  It didn’t matter what kind of reassurances my friends (who were genuinely good friends) gave me, the whispers, pokes in the stomach and taunting from others just reinforced those nasty little voices in my head and amplified them.

In 9th grade I started making myself throw up so I didn’t have to go to school.  I thought if I could escape the torment, I would be able to cope.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t, it was a slippery slope for me, I saw the number on the scale going down so I continued.  I struggled with bulimia for the rest of high school, eating with my friends at lunch then the first chance I got during class, going to the washroom to purge.  I would get a high from the little bit change on the scale which pushed me further and further down the downwards spiral, leading to other forms of coping like alcohol.

On my graduation day, I met my husband to be and felt that the pressure was on more than ever before to maintain my body image so that I didn’t lose this wonderful guy.  it wasn’t until almost a year after we had started dating that I was driving home from work (with him following behind me in his car) and almost getting into a head on collision because I had not eaten in 3 days and my body was literally shutting down, that I was completely shaken.  I can barely remember any of what happened but he still reminds me of how terrified he was that he would lose me.  I spent the next 2 years overcoming my battle with bulimia but fueling it with another diet for me to fixate on.  I got pregnant and we were ecstatic, then I lost the baby because my body was struggling to keep me alive, let alone grow another life.  This broke my heart and shook me to my core.  I dug deep and started fighting for me.  Slowly, I stopped extreme dieting, started eating a little more and more until I had energy again.

A few months later, I got pregnant again and started to panic that I would lose another baby so I ate, and I mean I ATE.  Everything and anything that appealed to me, I ate.  Around the 2.5 month mark, I got what everyone told me was just morning sickness, but in my case it was terrible, I was sick all day every day, there wasn’t a meal that I ate that didn’t come back up.  The sick thing is that my brain was telling me “that’s great, you won’t gain a bunch of weight while you’re pregnant.”  It took every ounce of strength in me to do everything in my power to get food into me but I wasn’t doing it for myself, I was doing it for this helpless little life inside of me.  Getting praised by the doctors for not gaining weight would be music to most pregnant women’s ears, but for a recovering bulimic who is fighting to eat while her body is essentially forcing her to be bulimic again, it’s a nightmare.  Finally after giving birth to my son, I was able to eat again and destined to prove my body wrong, that I wasn’t still bulimic, I ate and ate and ate.  When I got pregnant again 1 year later, my new doctor figured that my “morning” sickness would be less prominent so I continued to eat whatever I wanted, looking forward to having a normal pregnancy.  WRONG, the sickness hit me again and I again went through the same battle.  After our next son was born, I gorged myself again, I was miserable every time I stepped on the scale but it didn’t matter, I was insistent on proving to myself that I was not the girl I was in high school and I was trying to set a “normal” example for my kids, not allowing diets to be present in their lives.

After my third pregnancy, I was frustrated and fed up.  I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life and was looking for something, anything to grasp at.  I started working out with a wonderful group of ladies and I felt great, I was losing a little weight and gaining confidence, which was great.  However, it became an addiction, I was there 5 days a week with all 3 kids in tow, sometimes there for 2 classes.  It became all about seeing that number on the scale go down now that I knew we were done having kids.  I thought I was setting a great healthy example for my kids.  We adopted a clean eating (for the most part) lifestyle, my kids saw me working out hard both at the gym and at home and I felt great.  Great until I stepped on the scale every time.  I spent a year busting my ass at the gym and eating predominantly clean to only watch my weight fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.  My trainers all told me that I HAD to hit my caloric goal each day or I would continue to put the weight on so I had to obsessively journal everything that I consumed.  It was tedious and I was exhausted, I knew mentally there had to be more to it than a magical number of calories but I trusted my trainers, I had seen their successes so I kept on trotting down the beaten path.  I weighed myself daily like I had done since the age of 9, had my measurements taken weekly and the scale had become my lifeline more than every before.  It was the largest key to my happiness and success.  If the scale didn’t budge or heaven forbid went up, I beat myself up mentally, measured, journaled, worked out just a little bit more.

It came to a point where I was completely and utterly done, I had injured myself at the gym, I couldn’t work out and I fell into a depression.  I just didn’t care, if I couldn’t work out, I wasn’t happy, if I wasn’t I didn’t care what we ate, if I didn’t care what we ate, we ate crap and I felt like crap.  Even more so when I stepped on the scale.

A few months ago haphazardly and only from a miscommunication in a message between Kelly and myself, we got to talking about the GBMM products and she started asking me some questions.  To say I was skeptical would be an understatement, I was completely and totally against it.  But some of Kelly’s questions/statements (some of which I can’t even remember now) got me thinking.  I started on a mission to uncover the skeletons in my closet and deal with them one by one.

What a shitty month, my poor husband lol.  One of the last demons I had to deal with was my dependance on the scale.  It had dictated more than half of my young life.  I had tried a couple of times in the past (mostly during my hardcore workout phase) to ditch the scale, I hid it under the bed but I would sneak off and weigh myself anyway.  I weighed myself on Valentine’s Day morning and let me tell you, it totally ruined my “mood” for that evening with hubby, beating myself up and thinking that if he knew the number he would be disgusted and that was the final straw.  I couldn’t, wouldn’t allow the scale to dictate my life anymore.  I was punishing more than just myself,I was punishing my husband and I’m sure many others along the way.  I vowed to myself I wouldn’t live this way anymore, I threw out the scale and haven’t looked back.  I cannot tell you how completely liberated I feel.  It really is like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  It’s not easy, it’s only been just over a month and it’s a completely foreign world to me, to not get up every morning and weigh myself.  But I’m starting to finally find me for the first time in my life, setting all of the bullshit and demons aside and realizing that I’m more than just a number or how someone else perceives me.  My body is just that, my body, it doesn’t define me and neither does the scale (anymore)!

the scale

It’s just a sandwich…. but is the bread gluten free with grains sprouted from the wings of angels, is the meat preservative/cruelty free  and blessed by the Pope, is the lettuce organic free-trade and kissed by leprechauns by the light of the full moon???  Come on… just make your freakin’ sandwich!

First, no disrespect to individuals who make choices with their food based on dietary sensitivities or any other reasons…  I am, however, tired of all the self-righteous morality surrounding food that I believe is perpetuated by the food industry.  It’s like someone said “let’s confuse the fuck out of them and see what happens”  … The irony that our culture is by far the fattest it has ever been speaks to this point.  I think so many people are getting caught up in so many choices that in the end they are tired and frustrated and just reach for whatever is convenient.  The food industry is on to this (I guess maybe because they started this) and they have tap-danced on this confusion until you choose what you think is healthy AND it’s convenient.  I mean, have you been in a the yogourt section lately?  That’s another blog post all together but let me just say this…. if it tastes too good to be true… you should probably check how much sugar is in it!

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*You seriously need a degree in chemistry to make the right choice!

I got a little caught up in this rat race when my oldest was an infant…. I made all of her baby food from scratch with only organic fruits and veggies (which I still maintain is not a big deal – it’s not hard to throw some stuff in a blender) and continued to feed her this way (she didn’t have fast food before she was 2) until I was pregnant with baby number 2…. then I got tired, and pukey, and a little more tired.  I started buying more convenient food that could be warmed in the microwave.  Guess what? She is still alive!!

This post is NOT intended to discourage people from making healthy choices for their families…. 95% of the food we eat everyday is homemade from scratch (including the muffins or cookies put in lunch kits)…  I’ve just climbed on down from my high horse and recognize that putting this level of morality around food got me in a whole lot of trouble.  I placed too much importance on food  in my life… and suddenly when I wasn’t able to make the “right” and “moral” choices about food I felt very guilty and shameful… about the fucking Alpha-getti.  I really believed that this less than favourable choice defined me as a mother.

This year, on my journey with Goodbye My Muffintop I have acknowledged what I was giving food too much power.  If I couldn’t make choices that I considered “perfect” – I would really beat myself up about it – and then, ironically, the shame would lead to binging on really “immoral” food.   Now, we just try to make the best possible choices, we eat when we are hungry (easier said than done) and we stop when we are satisfied (easier said than done)…  Now, my days are not filled with constant obsession about what I am going to eat and when I am going to eat it.  I feel FREE!   Hmm… think I’ll go have a sandwich.

sandwich

When you are trying to overcome your demons surrounding food and abusing it… turning to it for comfort – it’s important that you identify your triggers.  Some are very easy: stress, sadness, lack of sleep, frustration.  Some live buried deep in your psyche and seriously conspire to find ways to get you to crack and ultimately over-eat and satisfy that addiction.

The trigger that is buried deep in my psyche is the fact that my 3 year old daughter has Cystic Fibrosis.  Coming to terms with her diagnosis (which came when she was 3 weeks old) was a rollercoaster of every phase of the grieving process and somewhere along the way food became my biggest solace.  Not everyday, I didn’t abuse food everyday – these are the justifications that we create to make ourselves feel better and maintain an otherwise healthy lifestyle.  However, abusing food at anytime is extremely hard on your body – your entire hormonal system.

So, let’s abuse some food, feel tremendously guilty about it the next day, thereby over-exercising, eat well for awhile but don’t deal with the issues that cause you to abuse food, so you go and overeat again, lather, rinse, repeat…

This past week the community of Cystic Fibrosis parents watched as a little boy literally faded away in hospital finally succumbing to Cystic Fibrosis and dying.  It was by far my most painful experience with CF in a long time and the reality of what CF is slapped me down hard.  The little trigger in my brain wanted me to eat, very, very, badly.  I spent most of the week being very irritable or depressed (like a junky who needs a fix) and then finally, when I read a post from his mother praying for strength and her confession that she was pretty sure she couldn’t take this…. well, I caved and I ATE!

What I discovered about myself is that my trigger was a doozy – it was untouchable – it was extremely justified and therefore no one would dare mess with my need to overeat (not even the sensible side of my brain).  Really, would you tell a mother who has to face a reality that her daughter has a progressive, degenerative disease with no cure to not have those chocolate chips?  You’d probably whip her up a batch of cookies and tell her to go to town!  This weekend I realized that no one was going to tell me to stop – except for ME, MYSELF, and I.

I had come up with strategies to cope with situations that arise in life that might make me want to overeat – except for that one.  On some level, I kept that one protected, secure in the knowledge that it was UNTOUCHABLE, that no one was going to tell me to stop that one because the hurt and pain that justified it was like a shield of protection.  No one except me – except for that authentic piece of Kelly living in my soul that could deal with this broken piece of Kelly with just enough compassion and grace.  So I explained to this part of my psyche that this wasn’t helping me heal, this wasn’t helping me cope.  In fact, it took such a toll on my spirit and my physical body…

And THIS is what I love about what we are doing here and creating here.  Here is a place where you (and obviously I) can finally escape these prisons created by the morality of food and our justifications to abuse it…  It’s like a deep cleansing breath that starts a new day.  If you want a new day and the fresh air that comes with it – don’t hesitate to reach out.  E-mail me, call me, send smoke signals…click here  I’ve been there and I really, TRULY want to help…

road to recovery