Tried every diet out there? Sick and tired of your food rules? Can’t count one more calorie? That’s how Rachelle, whose story I share below, felt before joining the June session of my virtual intuitive and mindful eating group program called Joyful Eating, Nourished Life.
Here’s the thing guys – it’s not you that’s failing, it’s the diets. And there is a better way to live – one that doesn’t involve being preoccupied by food. I know that considering taking a non-diet approach might be scary, especially if you are used to food rules and rigid plans. And that’s why we’re here to help you. If you’re ready to stop stressing and start enjoying food again, please join us for our next session, which begins next Monday, October 10. There are only a few days left to sign up and the program won’t be offered again until late spring 2017. Sign up here.
This is the second in a series of two posts I’m sharing highlighting stories from women who participated in our June program. (See the first one here: How Cathy Changed Her Relationship with Food.)
And now, for Rachelle’s story. Thank you for sharing this with us, Rachelle! It was an honor to have the opportunity to work with you.
Rachelle’s Journey to Health
1. My history with food and dieting:
I never really thought about food much until I was in grad school. Then someone called me fat. When I look back now I was not the least bit fat but it stuck with me. I started Weight Watchers soon after and lost 20 lbs. I maintained it for 5 years but it wasn’t easy. I only ate fat free food (I even brought my own food to eat for social gatherings!) and was always counting and tracking points. Then I got pregnant with my son and then a year later with my twin daughters. I only gained 25 pounds with my son and 35 lbs with my daughters but while I was pregnant I “let loose” in comparison to my previous food standards and it was AMAZING. I forgot how good food tasted and didn’t realize how much I missed certain foods. After having my girls I couldn’t return to my previous way of dieting. I could not track one more single point. I was OVER IT.
2. How did you try to control your eating prior to Joyful Eating, Nourished Life (JENL)? What was the outcome?
During the 6 years between having my daughters and joining Joyful Eating I tried countless diets. Each time I just found myself more and more frustrated. I could not have any more ‘rules’ around food. Even if I could follow them for a while and lose weight I would rebel and ultimately gain it back which perpetuated my cycle of frustration with food and feeling bad about myself.
3. What motivated me to join JENL?
I couldn’t bring myself to try one more diet. I also couldn’t continue to feel so bad about myself. I had a terrible relationship with food and it brought me nothing but negative feelings and anxiety. Eating intuitively was literally the only option left I was willing to try.
4. What is the greatest lesson you learned from our program?
That it is a process. Nobody is perfect (admittedly not even our JENL hosts :)) so I should stop being so judgmental towards myself when I eat more than I should, ignore my hunger cues, etc. Instead I need to take time to understand the why behind it in order to address the real need. Or sometimes I need to accept the fact that I really want a cookie and if that’s the case, SAVOR IT!
5. What was your first ‘aha moment’ in Joyful Eating?
When I realized it’s ok to feel hungry because I can actually let myself eat! I don’t have to wait until a certain time or for a certain number of hours to pass because ultimately that will probably just make me overeat later. I can trust my body when it tells me that it is hungry that it actually needs food and that is ok.
6. Looking back how have you changed since completing Joyful Eating?
I am much more aware of my hunger and fullness cues. I also experience much less anxiety when it comes to food! I know when, why, where, etc. I overeat which helps me recognize and reduce triggers. I am definitely still a work in progress but I feel positive about the changes I am making 🙂
7. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to future Joyful Eaters?
Don’t expect to sit back and expect everything to be perfect after completing the program. It honestly takes WORK and that work continues after the program is over. This program really helps you determine where your eating behaviors are coming from, gives you tools to help you along your Joyful Eating journey, etc. but how much the program benefits you really depends on how much you put into it and how much you take advantage of the various tools, feedback, etc.
Sign up here to join us and begin your own joyful eating journey! There are only a few more days left to sign up for our next program, which starts on Monday, October 10.
More praise for Joyful Eating, Nourished Life: