I stopped the restriction/hunger/obsession, not because I became enlightened or anything, but because the results were BAD. It was causing me to gain weight, look puffy, and feel exhausted. The harder I dieted, the sooner I experienced backlash from it and the worse the fallout. More dieting was never going to produce lean, happy, carefree, and weight stable. I tried it like seven thousand times to be sure.
You do not earn food through workouts or need a fast metabolism before you can eat adequately. It is absolutely the other way around. You eat enough first, and then you have energy to move and train, to problem solve, to be emotionally aware, to connect with people. When I was restricting and half starved all the time, I had two emotions: feeling good about not eating and feeling bad about eating. That is not living. That is a dimmed down version, made worse by the social isolation it requires.
Instead of thinking, "I could never eat that much because I'm not that active," when you see, fit, active women training hard and eating plenty, know that the eating came first. Otherwise they wouldn't have the energy for that lifestyle.
I look at it like eating enough gives me the energy to live the active, healthy, energetic way I choose, even if I'm not interested in spending an hour at the gym pulling sleds and flipping tires.