Since recovering and embarking on my journey to be my best self, I've changed quite a few habits. Ingrained behaviors that I'd had were very hard to rid because as we know, change is hard, feels counterintuitive, and because our old habits define our day to day lives. Now that some time has passed I'm thankful I made them. They may seem like little things but they've have had a huge impact on my life, and I wanted to share them with here with you.
Here are the five things that no longer burden me:
1. Weighing myself consistently.
I ditched the scale. This was so freaking hard to do. Of course I get weighed on occasions like when I visit the doctor but the scale is no longer attached to my lifestyle. I would weigh myself almost every single day and when I went on vacation, I would freak out about not having a scale at hand. I wanted to be in control of that number and honestly, it drove me crazy. Letting go was hard but it has been one of the best decisions I have made for my well-being. Weight does not define me; non scale victories are the best victories and I don't mean to brag but when I was in the best shape of my life, I had no idea how much I weighed - I just knew I owed it to Autumn Calebrese and the 21 day fix.
2. Limiting my food intake to only three times a day.
Snacking was off limits to me during a VERY long time. I firmly believed that eating more food throughout the day would make me fat (eating disorder thoughts). The numbers on the scale were not the only numbers that defined my life, the numbers on the clock did the same. I would literally count down the hours and minutes until I "could" eat something. Depriving myself like this disconnected me from my body and it cost me a lot. It has taken me a while but now that I am finally on the intuitive eating train, I feel great. Some days I snack more than others because some days I'm hungrier more than others, it's as basic as that. Food is not the enemy and snacks are awesome. Who's with me?
3. Avoiding healthy fats.
A couple of years ago, anything that said fat-free or light was by default going to end in my grocery cart. I would never purchase avocados (I know, I know, I was crazy!) and I would watch very closely at whoever was cooking my food to see how much oil they were using (sorry mom!). It sucked. My body clearly needed the nutrients that came from these beautiful fats and I was completely restricting these and replacing them with fat-free products that ended up having crap filler ingredients and sugar to taste good. If you're looking to lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight, YOU NEED FAT! Trust me on this one.
4. The use artificial sweeteners.
Splenda was my best friend along with anything sugar-free. Yuck! There's plenty of info on why you need to drop the artificial sweeteners, they are no bueno and they make food taste funny. Swap over to natural sweeteners. My personal favorite? Honey! A tablespoon in your coffee is not going to kill you and neither is that piece of cake at your friend's birthday party.
5. Calorie counting.
I don't even like math and this was something I would do on a daily basis. Ugh! I've transitioned to eating mindfully vs counting calories and what a life change it has been. Just like with the scale, it was tough, especially since I already knew the average of number of calories in most foods from all of my eating disorder practice. Don't get me wrong and this applies to everything that I have talked about on this entry, portions do matter. Calorie counting however ends up stressing us and it's important to note that not all calories are created equal. Like I mentioned earlier, some days I am hungrier than others and on those days, I do eat more since my body is asking for it. Sticking to a set number of targeted calories would make me miserable since my hunger levels would fluctuate. Instead of calorie counting, I focus on intuitive eating. It took some time to get there but it has been totally worth it.
I want to note that everything stated in this post is just my personal experience and my own story. Some people can be perfectly ok with a scale at home. Some people don't obsess over calories. This is just an honest share of my journey and how many of the things that I feared didn't even happen once I dropped these habits. I gained happiness and have a completely different relationship with food than the one I had when I was practicing these behaviors.
Take care of yourselves, friends!