My story with food and body image struggles started as early as elementary school where I always felt bigger and different from the other girls. I grew quickly and was one of the taller kids in my class so I wore a bigger size than most. This made me feel less than and separate and this feeling only heightened as I got to middle school and high-school.
I was getting obsessed with healthy foods and cutting out anything I’d eat for pleasure that didn’t have a functional component as well.
By the time I was in college, my peers had caught up and I was the same size as most of my friends and I noticed body diversity and how there were many shapes and sizes, however I felt less than for not being smaller than I was. This body dysmorphia peaked toward the end of college when I developed a pretty severe eating disorder. I was ortherexic, meaning my method of choice for trying to control my body was through getting obsessed with healthy foods and cutting out anything I’d eat for pleasure that didn’t have a functional component as well.
These unhealthy and extreme tendencies have taken a long time to heal but I have found that by healing myself and sharing that I have inspired others through my blog and social media to heal as well.
My greatest motivation to keep healing myself are the girls I work with one-one-one and the people who follow my blog and podcast!
Read more about Katie’s story HERE!
Katie’s Key Tips on Overcoming Eating Disorders
Incorporate pleasure into your diet: Food is, yes, meant to be nourishment but it is also meant to be pleasure. If you take away the pleasure from your food you are denying yourself one of our few sensational pleasures of life, which is not healthy.
Get Clothes that Fit & Through Away all the Clothes you Wore when you were Too Tiny: If you keep those smaller clothes around every time you put them on you will be reminded that you used to be smaller and it may be a trigger to want to return there. Also, go shopping and get clothes you genuinely love and make you feel fantastic at your current size. Nothing too tight or restricting only clothes that highlight the things you love about yourself and that you can move easily in and be comfortable wearing.
Surround Yourself with People who Love Food: One of my clients got into a new relationship during her healing journey with someone who was a big foodie. By spending time with him she was able to start enjoying food again and was reminded what it was like to eat for pleasure not just nourishment.
Be Patient with Yourself: Know that a breaker switch in your mind needs to be reprogrammed out of a harsh dieting mentality which will take time, so as it heals you will still judge yourself or count calories or judge your worth on how “well” you ate that day etc. When those things happen just be aware of them and decide to change and that you can live another way.
Exercise Only when you Feel Like it: That may be never and for a while that’s okay. You might be so over exercised that your body will need a break until it genuinely starts to crave movement again. Let it rest and then one day is will surprise you when you genuinely feel the urge to roll out your yoga mat or head to a spinning class.
More Goodies from Katie
Stay tuned for next week’s “Body Care & Training” post by Katie Dalebout!
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