Hello! I've been a lurker off and on since 2012 when I quit dieting postpartum and made peace with food briefly. Fast forward to a couple years postpartum with my third child, in 2015, and I discovered macros. Since then I have tracked VERY religiously off and on, even through a fourth pregnancy in 2021, maintained through breastfeeding in 2022 until I hit a mental wall this last winter and I just can't do it anymore. Like lots of other people in the world I had grand plans of starting January with a strict cut and losing the last 10-15 lbs of baby weight. January first rolled around and I started strong, hitting everything on the head, every gram of protein, fat, fiber, and carbs was perfect, zeroed out. But I realized I didn't want to live that way anymore. So I've spent January downloading and deleting the same damn calorie tracking app on my phone while I try to un-intertwine my self worth from the way my body looks and my need for control. I'm tired of paying for a new program, a new exercise video, a new coach, always hoping they're going to make me skinny, and by proxy, happy. I know that being skinnier doesn't make me happier, I struggled just as much at a lower weight with feelings of insecurity and body shame, but it's hard to not feel as if I need to DO something. I just picked up the Intuitive Eating workbook, I read the book years ago, but I never did the workbook, thinking I didn't need out. Well, turns out I do. I really want to get off the roller coaster of dieting and exercising like a mad woman only to feel guilty for skipping cake on my kids birthdays and pretending I like plain grilled chicken when I go on a date with my husband. I used to love cooking, and that really fell by the wayside when I was in the midst of macro counting as it quickly becomes tedious trying to calculate out every ingredient in a fridge clean out soup down to the gram. I've embraced making sourdough bread this year, and so far my kids have loved every golden crackly loaf. For me it's been a cathartic experience. I rarely allowed myself to eat bread and butter together while counting macros, saving my fats for ice cream or banking up enough calories for a glass of wine with my dinner. Finally, I don't want to model my weird food behaviors to my daughters anymore. It didn't seem to matter when they were littler, but now at 10 and 9 I see them watching me. My long history of disordered eating behavior started with my mom standing me on a scale at 10 yrs old and telling me I needed to lose weight. She knew I was sneaking food, but unbeknownst to myself the binge eating I was doing at the time was due to the unresolved trauma of the sexual abuse I had gone through from my grandfather that my parents didn't take me to therapy for. Thankfully, the binge eating didn't stick around, but the feelings of worthlessness over my inability to control my own body did. Any advice, resources, commiseration, etc. would be appreciated. Sometimes it just helps to send the thoughts out into the void and know I'm not alone.
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Hello and welcome to unlurking! I want to add my encouragement. I definitely don't have it all figured out. We're human so perfection isn't possible but know that you can get to a much better place. I was a religious tracker for year and years. And now I can't even imagine doing it. The thought of it is like nails on a chalkboard. For me, a lot of it was about control and finding comfort in the control. And also I was very good at it. But eventually the body rebels and it's hard to fight the body's backlash to restriction and control. If it takes restriction to maintain a certain weight, then that's not a healthy weight. And maintaining the control of tracking just gets tiring after awhile, which it sounds like you've discovered.
One thing that has helped me find happier eating and just general better well being is to allow myself to feel my feelings. And to really try to get in touch with what those are and not be scared of them. I grew up in a family where no one ever expressed strong emotions - good or bad. So they kind of scared me and I preferred to think and intellectualize my way through life. But I've been working on letting my feelings come out and wash through me. We are not our thoughts or our feelings. They aren't set in stone. It can help to just try to acknowledge them, not judge and move on. I'm rambling now but it sounds like you are on the right track!
Hi, it’s great that you delurked! Many of us can relate to that tactic of controlling food when life feels out of control. Over time, it becomes clear how ineffective that actually is. It begins to create additional problems instead of solving anything. I had boxed myself into a little mental corner where I truly believed that my choices were to control the crap out of my eating and training, or give up and hate myself. It seems so absurd now. Obviously, neither of those options is necessary or helpful. What really helps every aspect of your life is to directly pursue the way you want to feel and the way you want to live. If you want to be happy, healthy, confident, and relaxed, directly pursue activities and ways of thinking that improve those. So, not just going through the motions of restriction, but actually thinking about what will be fun, reduce stress, increase confidence, or improve health. Take great care of yourself! Imagine the best life possible and take steps toward it. I love the idea of having a goal life and not a goal weight. For years, I was trying to deprive and punish myself happy and it was never going to work. It was creating more backlash and worse results.
I’ll think about some more resources that helped me change my thinking. Mindset is everything. Your thoughts create your reality, not in a “woo” way, but in that you are filtering all life experiences through them. When thoughts are negative and chaotic, so is life. Thinking can change very quickly though, that’s the good news.
I’m glad you’re here! You can do this. Life can be better than you ever imagined.