There’s a fine line between healthy eating and an eating disorder.
The truth is, mindful eating is complicated and it can be both healthy and unhealthy for us at the exact same time.
So, what do you do? How do you practice mindful eating without going to extremes? How do you create a balance between healthy eating and indulging that actually works for you?
Let’s get to it!
HEALTHY EATING OR EATING DISORDER?
Truth bombs coming at you! Restriction is a totally double-edged sword. On one side, following “healthy eating rules” feels like this awesome, magical fix to have a healthy relationship with food. But on the other side, focusing on healthy eating can easily turn into a slippery slope of obsession that leads to an eating disorder.
In my experience, orthorexia was at the end of my slippery slope. I turned a passion for healthy eating into a 2 year struggle with orthorexia, which you can read all about here.
TRUTH BOMB #1: HEALTHY EATING FEELS GOOD (AT FIRST)
There were so many foods I avoided in order to be “healthy”. No dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no grains, no processed foods. And honestly, for a super long time, avoiding those foods felt amazing (TRUTH!)
- I stopped craving sugar.
- I healed my IBS-C.
- I stopped feeling bloated 24/7.
- I stopped binge eating (which I struggled with since elementary school).
- I was excited to workout and it felt great.
BUT THEN I STARTED OBSESSING! Cue orthorexia. (The other, scary side of the truth.)
TRUTH BOMB #2: EATING DISORDERS COME KNOCKING
My healthy passion for wellness and nutrition turned into an unhealthy obsession with food and my body. And it left me in a super weird place of…
- Healing my IBS, but feeling anxiety around food.
- Eating healthy foods, but feeling guilty for indulging.
- Having the body I “always wanted”, but criticizing myself more than ever.
- Stopping binge eating short term, but seeing my binge eating flare up over and over again.
- Working out and getting stronger, but not taking enough rest days.
- Having a healthy relationship with food, but suffering from a hidden eating disorder.
THIS WAS MY INNER BATTLE, 24/7. I mean for real, how confusing is that?! Which is why I had to redefine what was healthy for ME.
TAKEAWAY: CREATE YOUR OWN BALANCE
I did what made me happy AND healthy. I messed up a ton. I cried. I struggled with not wanting to gain weight…. But I’m here. I made it. I’m still learning, but I’m free. I’m actually living my life.
I stopped binge eating.
I stopped restricting.
I found Food Freedom.
I’m Bree, finally.
Did you learn something today? You might be interested in finding Food Freedom! Using the 3 strategies in this food freedom ebook to learn how I healed my relationship with food. I’m sharing my best tips for healing your relationship with food (including lessons from my experience with orthorexia, binge eating, over-exercising, body image, weight gain, weight loss, and restrictive dieting). In this super special 30 day program, you’ll learn how to create a sustainable Food Freedom action plan that works for YOU.