Anytime I've gone from rigid restraint to "giving up" or "not caring," it's been horrible. I care. I love being healthy and fit. We've established that. You care. Great. How can you channel that into something positive that takes you in the direction you want to go? For me, it was giving myself more of what I needed and letting go of things that were hurting me.
What I couldn't grasp, and what many people stumble over is the idea that any healthy choice is a form of restriction. Nope, if I drink a green smoothie or eat fast food less often, it's because that's what feels good and make me happy today. It doesn't mean I can't eat to satisfaction at dinner or order a burger and fries tomorrow. The fear and judgment are gone. They were always the trouble makers. If you want to have plenty of energy for workouts, love the way you eat, feel confident and strong, what does that look like for you? Seek that out in your thinking and behaviors.
I'm quite active. I eat big salads, healthy whole foods, and do my own cooking. I also sleep all day, order greasy takeout, and eat candy off the floor. It doesn't have to be one or the other. The more it's both, the more I feel like a whole, healthy, happy person. Diet thinking tells you that if you're not restricting you're failing. Non-dieting dogma tells you that if you like exercise or pass on dessert you're restricting. It's flip sides of the same crazy.