For those of you who don’t know me, today I’m honored to be in a position to help women end the struggle with food after a history of dieting and/or binge eating. The reason why I got into this work is because of my own struggles and triumphs with food and years of hating my body.
With my own history of “dieting” and restricting my food, I found myself in my darkest times in college and was binge eating at 5-6 nights a week. It’s been almost 6 years since I left college, started my own healing journey, and have become a coach today helping others find peace and joy with their relationships with food.
If I could get into a time machine and give my younger self some advice, Looking back, here are some things I wish I could tell my younger self during the times when she was struggling the very most.
This is you from the future, 6 years into the future to be exact! I wanted to write you this note because I know you’ve been trying really hard to lose weight and get your eating under control. I know that you feel really lonely and dark and like no one understands you. I wanted to let you know that I do and that you’re not alone!! So many people secretly struggle with food and you are going to find your way out. Trust me, sometimes our darkest times are a sign that life is telling us we have to change course lest we want to continue living in this same way.
There’s nothing wrong with you. Here’s what to do about overeating, losing weight, etc.
With regards to the eating - there is nothing wrong with you. I know every time you find yourself eating an entire sleeve of cookies after “doing so well” you feel like a failure and like you have no self-control. That’s simply not the case… this is psychological effect of depriving yourself of foods! When you restrict things, you want them more!
So here’s what I want you to do, stop dieting. No seriously, stop it right now! Stop trying to make things off-limits because it just causes you to binge on them in preparation for your diet and once you break your diet. I mean, if someone told me I could never eat cookies again starting tomorrow, you better damn well know I’d be eating a whole sleeve of cookies today!
Instead, I want you to focus on ENJOYING your meals. Be present to the experience. I’m serious, enjoy even the binges. Let the experience be what it is and then let it go. Also, I want you to pay attention to how your body feels afterward. Stop resisting and just notice. Pay attention to how foods make you feel after you eat them. Trust me, this is how we stopped dieting and today no longer have to worry about weight, calories, etc! You will overcome it!
Life gets better over time & can be even more fun the older you get! Here’s how to decide on your career, partner, etc.
I know something that stresses you out is not knowing what’s next in your future. I know people have said that college is the best time of their lives and you feel like you’re missing out on that. Bless those people because they’ve forgotten they can choose to make ANYTIME the best time of their lives. They can choose ANYTIME to start living intentionally and have more fun.
We can’t blame people though - as a social species, we often see what the “societal” or “familial” expectations are for us. So today, I know you’re stressed out about your major and what you’ll do in the future. Don’t worry too much about that! Do you want to know how to figure out where to focus your time and energy with your career? Try things out & start paying attention to what you’re good at and that lights you up vs. what you’re good at and drains you. Your body will tell you if you’re on the right track. The truth is there is no one right “job” just as there is no one “right partner” for you. There will probably be multiple things you enjoy and find as viable careers.
Perhaps you were told that the things you enjoy are not “acceptable.” (For example, dancing and art are just hobbies, not career paths). I want to tell you this… if you really want something and can find creative ways to give value to people in what you like to do, that’s where the money is made. Did you know today we make money as a coach, trainer, and pole dancing instructor? I won’t lie and tell you that following your dreams is always easy - it takes hard work. But if you really want to make a living doing something - find a way to give people value, what they want or what they need. Get creative!
So for now, release the pressure to figure it out all now. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to just try out and test some things for a while. In fact, that’s how most inventions and discoveries happen - through trial and error. Life isn’t like school where there are grades, people telling you the path to get there, and tests. Life in fact gives a lot of CHOICE. You get to choose how you want to live your life and there are many ways to do that! I recommend traveling to get more perspective on how people live their lives. We’ve met people who have climbed the corporate ladder, people who are doctors & lawyers, people who decide to marry and have kids, people who are single, people who decide to travel the world for a living.
On self-love & self-compassion
So for now, be compassionate and gentle with yourself. You’re trying your very best and that’s all you can expect of yourself in any moment. You’re not supposed to KNOW everything and the steps to get there. Figuring it out is part of the fun of this journey! Confidence is not just about KNOWING how to do things. (Also, here’s a secret, most people, including adults, are figuring it out and making it up as they go anyways.) Confidence is also about trusting that even if you don’t know how to do something, you’re going to figure it out anyway. The more you get experience with something, the more your confidence will grow.
So be gentle with yourself, forgive yourself! You are human. You don’t have to do things “perfectly” but know that you are perfect as you are and exactly where you need to be right now.
You got this!
I love you very much,
You from 2019
I invite you to take on this exercise for yourself. Either look back on WHO you were 5 or 10 years ago and see how far you’ve come… OR look forward to your "future self” 5 or 10 years into the future. What advice does he or she have for you today?