Diets create a life of no. “No I can’t have that. No I’m not allowed. No I don’t deserve that.” But YOU have the power to start saying yes instead.
For me, it all started with a breakup. A brutal, rug-out-from-under-me dumping.
I thought we were about to move in together; I learned that actually the whole relationship had been built on a lie.
I told a friend the whole ugly tale and cried so hard my nose started bleeding. I learned to keep it a secret.
We’d had a fun, social post-college life together in a new city; I learned that most of my friends were actually his.
Most shockingly of all, I lost my appetite, the very thing I’d been running from for a decade. I learned it was possible to not think about food every single second.
We broke up in December, and I dragged myself into the new year with one resolution: just say yes. I’d always been a no person, and I figured hell, I would try juuust about anything to distract myself from the hole I was in. So if a coworker asked if I wanted to grab a drink, I’d say yes for once, instead of rushing to get back to my boyfriend. Who knows, maybe I’d make a new friend. If my boss asked if I wanted to lead a project, I’d say yes, instead of hedging my way through life. Maybe I could work toward a promotion.
Two months later, my appetite returned with a vengeance. Instead of being grateful that my senses were returning, I cursed the mysterious demon that lived inside of me. I was back to binge eating and feeling desperately out of control. “Why me?” I wondered. “Is this what my entire life will be like?”
I coped the only way I knew how: safe foods, strict rules…and, of course, searching for thinspiration. That’s when I stumbled upon a before-and-after picture of a skinny girl who said she changed her relationship with food by reading Intuitive Eating. She said she just ate whatever she wanted (!!!!) and I was hooked — I wanted to be a skinny girl who ate whatever I wanted!! I began my six-month reset chasing after someone else’s body type. But I never could have dreamed what a profound effect it would ultimately have on my life.
Following the advice of the book, I gave myself guilt-free permission to eat, let my hunger hormones readjust, and minimize the allure of forbidden foods. For me in that moment, granting permission to eat was so easy — it happened to fit perfectly with my new year’s resolution: just say yes.
Wow I could go for a whole frozen pizza, can I get a whole frozen pizza? Yes.
Wanna grab dinner? Sure!
These cupcakes looks awesome, do I want one? Hell yeah.
I was at rock bottom, so I had no fear. No fear of weight gain that my partner or my friends would judge — I had no partner. I had no friends! I was free!!
^^^UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE^^^ Guys, I was free all along. And so are you. A good partner should accept your body. A good friend should see who you are beyond your size. I had projected my body hatred onto them. And if your partner or friends don’t accept you for the size that you are on any given day, maybe they’re projecting their issues onto you. Or maybe they just suck.
So are you on the verge of your just say yes moment? Maybe you’re…
Working through a heartbreak or setback and wondering why you’re seeking comfort in food.
Feeling at sea personally or professionally, but unable to focus on small steps toward a greater goal.
Sick and tired of expending all your energy dieting, counting, meal prepping, controlling, avoiding, punishing, binge eating, blaming, agonizing.
Putting off your biggest dreams because you believe life won’t start until you get smaller.
You might be at rock bottom, or you might not! Either way, you can harness this moment and make binge eating a distant memory. You can create an opportunity to reassess your approach to eating while letting your hunger hormones guide you. The first step is saying yes.