I haven’t tracked any food or workouts for 16 months!
SO WHAT? What’s the big deal?
It is a huge deal once I tell you that I was bulimic and anorexic, had an obsessive approach to workouts and was tracking every pinch of salt or cinnamon!
That 16 months ago, I hit a wall. I was extremely tired and sick physically, ready to be hospitalized due to extreme bulimia. I seriously couldn’t hold a single meal. All due to the obsessive and distorted vision of my own body and of how I “should” look like to be loved, admired, appreciated and perceived as an amazing trainer or coach!
I tracked every single pinch of spices, salt and measured EVERYTHING obsessively for over 4 years (and when I couldn’t measure, I either didn’t eat or I purged to not track it). I tracked all activities, including workouts, calories burned, including cleaning, sex and who knows what, so I could subtract that from eaten food.
Pretty sick, isn’t it?
How did I manage to break that pattern? In this case, already a mental disorder?
Imagine the situation when you hit the wall not the first time, but maybe 10th or 50th time and you are simply too tired, too sick and too depressive to keep going. Yet there is that “tiny, little, silent, almost not possible to hear” voice keeping you at the level of “let’s try, one more time, pleaseeeeeee”.
I hit that exact moment!
In my book “The True Identity” [publishing Summer 2019] I wrote:
“November 2017, a day that started just like any of the others. (…) After yet another purging incident I went to a room where there was a huge mirror. For the last couple of months, I had avoided mirrors, hating what I saw. I didn’t know what made me look on this particular day but the image I saw this time wasn’t the extra small ‘fat’ girl but a person who was full of hatred, more hatred than anyone on this planet should be carrying.
The hate in my eyes was unbelievably huge. Words couldn’t fully express the view I saw.
(…) I have never seen my eyes in such deep darkness. They gazed straight at me and didn’t want to give up until I felt the hurt, they were showing me. They didn’t blink, holding me to the deep darkness of hate they expressed. The lightning coming from them was blinding me. They reminded me of how hateful I was. How ugly of a person I was. How worthless, miserable and pitiful I was.
I wanted to turn my head away from the image I saw. However, I simply couldn’t as someone was holding my head and telling me ‘look at yourself, look at who you have become, think about who you will be if you keep going along this path’.
My body tensed, my hands and fingers squeezing so hard that my knuckles went white. My fingers became impatient, wanting to start scratching my skin. I wanted to hurt myself, feel the pain on the physical side of it. I wanted to rip my skin away and keep scratching until I bled.
On that day the most magical phrase came out of my mouth.
‘I need help. I can’t do this by myself. Please help me’.
I cried as I realized that my stomach hurt. I was still hungry and I kept thinking that I shouldn’t eat anything anymore. I cried because deep inside of me I knew this is not the way it should be. I knew, in my heart, that this was not the true me. Deep inside of me, I knew, I had a mental eating disorder and that I could be cured.
I knew that there was no pill for it. The need for external validation, approval or feeling loved was not being helpful either.
The first thing I needed to do was to decide that enough is enough. Then I needed to ask for help.”
So, fast forward, 16 months later, after not tracking a single spoon or sip of any food, I pulled up the app and … started again.
But wait. This time I did it fully conscious, after thinking about it for a few days. I wanted to do it NOT for the sake of restricting my nutrition or putting myself back again in that mental, deprivation, restriction and obsessive mindset!
I wanted to do that to test – myself, my ability to listen to my body, to see how my inner wisdom is guiding me and how that entire ‘tracking’ thing will make me feel.
**** Don’ take me wrong. I ask and encourage and even start the nutritional coaching with my clients from tracking. For the sake of building the awareness around what kind of food goes into their bodies, what type of foods are in their programs, what to eat and buy, and what foods make them feel bad or energized. It is also a way to create the habit of being aware of healthier food choices. However, I always make sure it is not getting into the obsessive addiction when my clients feel that they ‘need to’ or ‘should’ track because otherwise their worth is diminished. That is not the case and I monitor that closely! ****
And AHA-MOMENT came with that experiment!
- I felt pissed off at first – how come the app and the device tell me what MY body needs and how MY body should eat?
- Then I felt scattered and little confused as for how the algorithms in these apps are made to create the ‘perfect’ calories in-and-out plan so people can follow it and feel better or.. worthy – that was not what I wanted the app to tell me! That is now what the app’s role is anyways!
- Additionally, I ignored the app. According to it in the middle of the day, when I was hungry and wanted to give my body healthy foods, the app told me to stop because I was having too much of that and too little of that. Oh well, I turned it off and followed the wiser wizard I have ever known – MY BODY!
At the end of the day, I know that tracking taught me something and that it’s not anymore my thing.
It taught me:
- Awareness around foods and nutrition
- Creating a daily habit to journal.
It is not anymore my thing because:
- I listen to my body more
- I feel what my body needs
- I am aware of my healthy choices
- I am very tuned in to my body
- I am aligned and confident with who I am
- I am confident with my food choices
- I am into health, not restrictions
- I know my worth
- I don’t need an app to tell me all of the above!!!!
And after you read this blog, all I want YOU to get out of it is that YOU too can live that way.
Because I believe that restrictions, deprivation, obsessions, dieting, over-training and seeking external validation of self-worth never worked and will never work.
Until one taps within their own bodies and create the lifestyle where the authentic wellbeing, with physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health, is the priority.
No app, no diet, no magic pill, no wrap, no quick fix are the solutions. At least not sustainable.
Your job is your choice!
My job is to bring awareness to the world and to YOU!
I talked about that on my beYOUtiful Show episode #22. So worth to listen!
P.S. I am so grateful for that experiment and that realization!!!!!!!!!!!!!!