Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thoughts on dieting + body image

Diet. What a horrible word. I have struggled with my weight since I was like 11, but that's a post for never another day. I have been on my share of stupid 'diets', and probably your share as well. And today, I thought I would share some of those with you. Keep in mind, like most things I post, that this is as tongue in cheek as it gets and if you are easily offended, scamper off. This is how I deal with my past, attempting to make light of it. It is not a funny issue, I am aware, but as I said. Me. Mon blog.

So let's get started, shall we?

1. Not eating.

I thought this was a brilliant idea when I was younger, after mean girls at school called me some mean things. Right after that, the modeling agency I had just signed up with requested that I lose 10 kg. Thats 22 lbs. I was probably 55 kg at the time. I reached the goal of 45 kg, but also put me in 2 types of hospitals.


2. Eating a lot, and then throwing up.

Never fear, my stupid teenage self thought she invented this idea, I ate and then threw it all up. Again with the 2 hospitals and still to this day I have issues with throwing up.


3. Eating very little.

Ok, since the other 2 didn't work out, I'll just eat the bare minimum. Less than 500 calories a day. brilliant. Who needs calories anyway?


4. The one where I give no fucks and ate all the foods.

I was working at McDonalds, promoted to manager which meant... free food, holla. I ate. and then ate some more. I worked 5am - 1pm every day, stopped by the grocery on the way home for some ice cream, lollies, soda, and chips. Every. Day. Did I mention I had no friends, and obviously no boyfriend?


5. Low carb.

Ah yes I tried to undo the mess I had done. Low carb was all the craze. I don't remember a lot of this time because my brain stopped working and I was tired all the time.


6. Eating only fruits & vegetables.

Not sure what I was thinking with this one. By the end of the day I was eating mcdonalds fries telling myself 'potatoes are vegetables'.


7. Juicing / Cleanses.

I do not do well on these. I like food. and chewing. and science.


8. Heartbreak.

Ah, this has probably been my most effective 'diet' yet. When KC and I broke up for a bit in 2011 the thought of doing anything, including eating made me so sick. I tried to force myself to eat, because I was smarter than teenage me, but it would just make me throw up. So I lost like 15 lbs. When I started feeling better, I increased my exercise to match my new appetite so I could maintain the new skinny me, or lose even more weight. I was on top of my running game. Then KC and I got back together and I got all happy, and hello 15 lbs.


9. The one with the disease.

Oh this was fun. It took 3 years of me throwing up, among other symptoms, for someone to finally diagnose me with celiac disease. At first I jumped on the 'everything that says gluten free bandwagon' and then I started to learn more about what was naturally gluten free, rather than the packaged stuff. I'm still working on cutting out gluten entirely, because it is really hard to say no to pizza. or cake. or  bread.


10. The non-diet diet.

aka the one that works. At a particularly rough time, I stumbled on The Londoner's Anti-Diet post. It was just what I needed at the time. It changed my way of thinking and I started learning more about eating well and 'clean' and exercising for fitness, not just to lose weight. Seems simple enough, eat well + exercise.



I try my best to eat well most of the time, and 'cheat' every now and again, but honestly it's something that I will struggle with for the rest of my life because it's a mental thing first and foremost.

It's hard not to be grossed out by what I see in the mirror. I am constantly horribly mean to myself, saying things I wouldn't dare say to another person.


Some nice people try and tell me I don't need to lose weight, and I know they mean well, but actually that's what started this whole mess in 7th grade. It just makes me want to lose weight even more, and puts me in the 'alone' and 'they don't understand' corner.


The fact is, everyone views themselves differently than others do. I'm the first to defend others when they talk shit about themselves, but it doesn't stop me from doing it to myself.


I am still working on not turning to food every time something bad happens. Or when something good happens. Or when something happens, at all.


And don't get me started on comparing myself to others. Celebrities, friends, bloggers, it sucks. I know I'm not alone. I am better than I was, but it's really stupidly hard to stop. Sometimes I have epiphanies and I am happy with myself and I remember that 'comparison is the thief of joy' quote.


So I feel really awesome and badass for a little while.


All while dreaming of my next meal, of course.


Lastly, Rebecca posted about this video and liking yourself here and I urge you to watch it as well, and think about the question. Seriously, if you haven't seen it, carve out 5 minutes of your time and watch it. With a box of tissues. It made me so sad and mad at myself for treating myself the way I do.


I am more determined than ever to focus on health & fitness, and not 'skinny' as my finish line. Because even at my skinniest, I wanted to lose more. It never ends when that's what you are focusing on.

How bout you? Have you ever tried a crazy 'diet'? Image Map

50 comments:

  1. so glad you posted your story. i find myself comparing myself to bloggers every time i meet up with them. for me, my extra weight doesn't bother me, it's my face that does.

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  2. i've tried a few in the past but they never stuck because most of them involved cutting out major food groups. the thing is - WE have the power to figure out what works for us but we tend to rely on "the experts" who aren't looking out for us but looking out to make the most money.

    so when i decided to overhaul my health once and for all, i did the research MYSELF and figured out what works for me. knowledge is power so the more i knew about food and what good foods are/how they worked for my body, that's when everything fell into place.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  3. So much love to you girl for sharing your story! I honestly don't think there is any girl in the world who is 100% sure of herself and I swear it's all from society and the pressures. That Colbie Caillat video was so eye opening. I mean honestly the makeup and the lashes....all the perfect lighting and when you finally see the real her.....you're like dang she looks just like everyone else. I'm glad you're in that happy place right now and comparison is sooooo hard and evil. It feels impossible not to fall into it but I always feel like when I'm taking care of myself and working out right...I mean what else can you do but just be good to yourself right? <3 <3 <3 <3

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  4. Girl I would neve guess you struggled with your weight! You look fabulous! It's so hard in our day and age with social media to not compare ourselves with others but we just need to all focus on ourselves and what makes us feel happy and if that's with a few extra lbs so be it! I try not to stress about diet, I just try to eat healthy but if there's a hot fudge Sunday in front of me you know I'm going to eat it! ;)

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

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  5. I love that you posted this. We never ever know someone's story or struggle, but it's true everyone views themselves differently and I really think there isn't a girl in the world that's completely 100% sure of who she is...if we were I don't think tv, magazines, etc would be such a huge success and selling point.
    I love the video. I saw it about a month or so ago and it made me cry. We spend so much time beating ourselves up and everything when we are all created and made differently and that's what makes us all beautiful.

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  6. Fit/strong is the new skinny, you've got this lady. Diet is such a bad for letter word, it just brings a bad connotation right?!!Everyone is struggling out there and the comparison game is a vicious cycle. Thanks for sharing your story!!! xoxo

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  7. What a sweet, heartfelt, and refreshingly honest post. I can relate so many of the things you said, especially about being your own worst critic, and not believing anyone who tells you "you don't need to lose weight" or pretty much anything about what THEY think your body should be. I tend to not believe them no matter what they say. Anyway, I could go on a lot about this because like most women, I've had my share of ups and downs and struggles. Just know that you are fabulous because you are YOU at any size. Thank you for sharing your journey and I hope you continue on with it to a place of positive self-acceptance!

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  8. First of all you are so brave to put your thoughts and feelings out there like this!!! So many people struggle with this and I'm sure this post will help at least one person struggling realize they aren't alone!! You nailed on the head when you said it was a mental thing - body image that is - the fact that you have a disease makes the struggle even harder for you!! So proud of you and I think (along with everyone else who "knows" you from the blogging world think you look fantastic!! xo

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  9. Love this! I don't think there's a girl out there (not even celebrities or the ones we think are "perfect") that hasn't struggled with this! I feel like I'm on a pretty good path now of healthy eating (most of the time) and exercise that will help me maintain, but like you I feel like it will always be something I will struggle with and have to watch, because I totally do the emotional eating thing. It's amazing how I will be doing really well with nutrition and exercise and then I have a crappy day or I get worried about something and I just shut down, making healthy choices feels like way too much work and all I want to do is lay on the couch and eat junk! But I'm learning (slowly but surely!) to not let one of those episodes get me down for too long, to just realize every day is a fresh start!

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  10. Dang girl! You go for putting all of that out there! I think you look absolutely fabulous! It's so hard feeling good about yourself, especially when you see so many posts of girls in bikinis all over Instagram who look amazing but you definitely can't compare yourself to them (at least that's what I tell myself!) It's definitely all a mental thing. I've never been tested for having a gluten intolerance but I do get sick occasionally after eating and it makes it even tougher. There's nothing worse than going out to dinner and getting sick after eating when you're with a group of friends. But trust me when I say you don't need to lose any weight, you look absolutely amazing!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  11. I so loved this post. Definitely went through the heartbreak diet when my current boyfriend and I broke up for a few months in college. People thought I was losing it hahaha and I actually probably was. Gained it all back and then some when we got back together! Cute, right?

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  12. What an honest and amazing post Kristen. I have been there and reading about your diets gave me serious flashbacks. I must admit, I am in a good space 90% of the time but every once in a while, I get down on myself and life you said, I'll think and say things to myself that I would never say to anyone else. I do think if you've overcome an eating disorder or body image issue it is a lifelong struggle. Well hopefully when I'm 80 I'm all like "I don't give a f**k" and struck around naked at the beach but those days are long off.

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  13. Thank you for opening up and sharing. My issues started young as well when I was told I was fat when I actually was not fat at all. Why do people do that to young girls? It sets us up for issues the rest of our lives to have unhealthy relationships with food. I feel that I will always have weird thoughts relating to food and I just have to accept that and deal with it on a daily basis.

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  14. I struggle so much with this as well. It finally clicked a couple of years ago that "diets" just were not going to work for me. So, I started exercising more and pretty much eating what I wanted in moderation with more healthy foods than junk food. And it worked, I lost a total of 80 lbs. I have gained 15 of those back and I am struggling with that. I try not to let the scale dictate the way I feel about myself. But honestly it's difficult and a daily struggle.

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  15. Thanks for opening up about this. I think everyone (especially when they are growing up) has felt like this. It's hard to remember what a realistic healthy body looks like when images of perfectly airbrushed and photoshoped models and celebs are shoved in our faces daily. Everybody is different, everyones body is different, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are healthy and happy!

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  16. Go on with your bad self sister. I think every single woman in the universe has tried any number of the things you listed here. Myself included. I'm trying so hard to be on the eat well + exercise train! but I'm mostly on the French fries are a potato herego a vegetable, train.

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  17. You are beautiful. Reading things like this makes me so scared that I have a daughter. I try to be so careful with her and how I talk about my own body and weight and whatnot in her presence. Thank you for sharing!

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  18. today is the day for honesty on the blogs! We all struggle with our appearance, be it weight or the shape of our nose or the color of our skin. i am just trying to focus on gratitude for being healthy and having a body that is pretty well whole without much intervention. Also, i try to look at the things i have that i dont like and see my family members in them. this nose is from my dad, these eyes are from my mom. if i link it to my parents, i feel less inclined to disparage my appearance, becuase it alsmot feels disprespectufl and ungrateful towards them. like what they gave me isnt good enough, which isnt true.

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  19. I have done so many of these, I'm glad I'm not alone. When I was in high school, I remember being in class learning about anorexia, and a kid pointed to me while asking, "You mean like skinny skinny?" But weirdly, when I looked at myself at that time, I didn't see that. I saw a bunch of fat :/. The way we see ourselves is so different from the way others do. Now, I just try to eat healthy & then cheat on the weekends.

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  20. I love the way you shared this. For what it's worth, I think we all have days where we count potatoes as vegetables (not saying we're right, but isn't it nice to be less alone?). I hate that we all have struggles, but I find it refreshing and somewhat comforting that we're all dealing with our own things. Again - it's nice to be less alone.

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  21. Thank you for sharing your story, in true Kristen form haha, loved it. I've gone through so much of the same girl, I felt like I tried everything. Once I started just focusing on being healthy and not anything else, made all the difference in the world! Truly making it a lifelong lifestyle change, not a diet or a goal. It took me a few years to really get it all down, but now I'm so thankful to be where I'm at!

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  22. I really can relate to you with this. While I never had the normal eating disorders of not eating or throwing up everything I ate...I did have the eat instead of feel emotions disorder or "binge eating." I have always struggled with my weight, ever since I can remember. When I did cheerleading, they would weigh us each week and tell us what we weren't allowed to eat to make weight. They were spray painting abs on girls that didn't have them to look better in our mid-driff uniforms, and everyone would just stare at their bodies in the mirror after practice picking on what they needed to work on. It was disgusting.

    I think I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will never be "skinny." Even at my fittest, I had a big booty and thicker legs. They aren't going anywhere. I am ok with that. What I really want is to just be healthy, and be able to look in the mirror and see what others tell me that they see instead of honing in on what I hate about myself.

    Fat shaming, skinny shaming, air brushing the shit out of pictures to make girls completely unrealistic...I hate it all. Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever go away.

    You are beautiful just the way that you are.

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  23. Very inspired post - I love how honest you are! In high school I struggled with eating as well - in general I eat very little, but ate even less during my last year of high school for someone reason. I think it's the stress. It happened again during my undergrad. I've always had a good weight though so I never minded too much or thought of dieting (except the whole 'stop gorging yourself on nachos, camila!'). Then when I went to the UK to do my masters I didn't eat so well (I guess it was the delayed freshman 15) so I gained lots of weight and tried the 'low carbs' diet - I wanted to die! I'm trying to slowly get better at clean eating as well and not snacking too much lets say! Also working on trying to accept my mid-twenties body - because when I look at pictures of me in college at 19 or 20 I want to die, but then I have more curves, and I need to accept that!

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  24. I have tried them all and like Kathy said I know what works for me. Sticking to it the majority of the time is my problem. Thanks for sharing all of this. It is a topic I think we can all relate to. I think I might have to make a list like this and turn it into a post. And I appreciate your humor in it. I get it!!!

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  25. Your honesty is inspiring! I never would have guessed that this is something that you've struggled with. Weight comments aside, I think you look fabulous. Seriously! You are beautiful! I'm so glad that you've found a "plan" that works for you and that you're willing to open up and share your story... I bet it's helping more people that you can imagine right now!

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  26. I don't believe in diets. I believe in eating healthy and feeding your body to nourish it and indulging every now and then. Everything in moderation. I struggled with eating disorders for quite a while and it really takes changing your relationship with food and mindset about food. I am now finally at a healthy weight and feel amazing!

    xx
    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls

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  27. Kristen! I have so many things I want to say to this post but I don't think I can articulate. You are so wonderful, and I seriously appreciate this honest post. I too thought "ha I can't believe no one else thinks to eat and throw it up!" and then went with the no eating diet for awhile too. Isn't it crazy that these are things we dealt with years ago, they are so horrible, yet things haven't changed that much in regards to the pressure put on girls?? It is so frustrating to me. I feel like I've been on a 28 year journey with myself learning how to accept myself but I still have days/weeks/months where all I can think about is how I feel like the fattest in the room, there is no way everyone isn't staring at me... ugh.

    Love you and love this post!!

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  28. My mom did a lot of this for me. She was a bulimic anorexic. one time she served JUST broccoli for dinner as an example. *sigh*

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  29. i have done the "barely eat anything" diet, and the "fruit and vegetables only" thing which ended up making me eat crap like icecream, chips salsa only more. it's pretty awful.

    i'm very judgemental on myself. partially because i'm short 5'3 and any little weight gain is very visible on my size body. argh!

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  30. I think so many of us judge ourselves too harshly. I think I have tried every diet out there, with low carb always working for me but I do increase carbs based on how much exercise I am getting. I think learning what works for you and is healthy is the best way to go.

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  31. Love this post (and your gif's of course) and you!! Your bravery/honesty with this post will hopefully reach many others!!

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  32. Thanks for sharing your story. It's not easy to put stuff like this out there. xoxo

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  33. OH girlfriend... I related to 99% of this post - the only thing being the throwing up, only because it didn't matter how much I put my fingers down my throat, I never could barf. Lucky, huh? :(
    Its so hard... this self image thing. & like you, I hate hate hate to hear anyone say anything bad about theirselves. You included. to imagine you looking in the mirror & seeing anything less then beautiful blows my mind... But I say those awful words to myself.
    I've been so obsessed with this song. I heard it on the radio the other day & screamed like a kid who just saw Justin Beiber.

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  34. i really am glad i read this. and that "try" song - girlfriend i cried the whole time.

    amanda @ as the wine cork turns

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  35. Really the only crazy thing I tried was a cleanse & I didn't make it...I'm talking a 2 day cleanse...I was a crabby bitch by the end of day 1. In college I gained probably close to 25 pounds in 1 year. All it really took was looking at the scale & wanting to cry to kick my butt into gear. I started eating better. Don't get me wrong I still eat crap (like some of the chips & dip I had with my breakfast this morning) but I'm more conscious about it & don't do it all the time. I also try to be more active...which also doesn't always happen. But I'm human.

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  36. I've never tried a fad diet but I totally get the fact that our perception of ourselves is what matters more than others perceptions.
    I love the honesty of your words mixed with the humor of the gifs - body image is such a hard thing to talk about without everyone feeling like they should give you their opinions of your body which then changes it entirely!!!

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  37. Love this post. I've never tried any crazy diets with the intent of losing weight, but when my son was diagnosed with autism we tried a gluten free casein free diet to see if it would help at all. I have got to /
    say I did lose weight pretty effortlessly. The whole family stuck with it as well as we could for a year but in the end decided that gluten doesn't seem to affect Luke but the dairy does and now we just go light on the dairy. The best thing I can do for me is pilates and control my side portions. (Pasta and mashed potatoes/any potatoes are my weakness!) I have got to get back on a workout schedule soon. XO

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  38. Thanks for posting this. I have been down most of these roads myself, thankfully ending up at number 10 with an assist from number 9 (sorta — I have to eat GF, but I'm non-celiac). I know I'm one of the ones who's told you that you don't need to lose weight, and I DO understand — I have been the places you've been, I've come to terms with living the rest of my life with EDNOS. But I still mean it, and I say it because I can't say nothing and I know it doesn't do a whole lot of good, but I want you to know I say it because I know in my heart it's true. You can talk to me about any of this any time, if you want to. But you already know there's pretty much nothing off limits here! xoxoxo

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  39. Thanks for sharing all of this Kristen! I'm a really emotional eater and unfortunately went through some of the phases you mentioned when I was in high school. I think one of the hardest things about body image is that other people just can't understand what you see when you look in the mirror. I'm a very emotional eater so not stuffing my face with junk food is something I struggle with regularly and I'm also working out how to focus on healthy not my weight or size of clothes- it's definitely easier said than done though. Also, you are gorgeous!

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  40. Definitely takes a strong person putting it all out there. I faced many similar struggles in highs chool. I think my happy balance is eating very healthy during the week which is mainly lean proteins and lots of veggies while limiting carbs especially at night. On the weekends we have lots cheat meals though. lol Anyways back to your post...body image can really me a detrimental thing.

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  41. I hate diets and if someone tells me that I can't eat something I would eat a ton of that just in spite:) But I completely understand your relationship with food because I'm an emotional eater plus I enjoy eating and cooking so much. Luckily becoming a Fitness Trainer forced me to be a good role model so now I choose healthier versions for my down days:)

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  42. This was actually brilliant because it was so damn true in a hilarious, real, and raw way. I have been down all of those roads and bought the damn t-shirts; I did not know you had as well. I know it's a tough subject, but a sense of humor can get you through anything and I love yours

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  43. My story is eerily similar to yours, minus the hospital visits. And the low carb, because FUCK THAT NOISE. I haven't had eating issues in a while, luckily. Although don't get me wrong... eating healthy is a daily struggle rather than reaching for whatever is fast and easy. Lately I've been trying to repeat this mantra to myself: Eat to FEEL good, not to look good.

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  44. I think it is great you put this out there, more girls need to know they are not alone with self image. I have a friend that is naturally super skinny. People tell her all the time "eat a cheeseburger" and it really hurts her feelings. I think every female has image issues to some degree.

    Your juicing gif made me giggle :-)

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  45. So much love for you sharing your story, girlfriend. You're amazing!!

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  46. Hey beautiful ... I share some of your story and it's a horrible place to be. Learning to love yourself will be the most freeing thing you can do in your life. Love yourself and be kind to yourself, Once you can do that, you'll be at home ...

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  47. Nodding my head throughout this whole post because I've done all of them - well, except the celiac part. I've also tried a lot of those diet and energy pills, supplements, etc. with no luck. They'd just make me all hyper and jittery.

    Yes, it is a serious issue, but it is what it is. We just have to find a balance between how we look versus how we see ourselves.

    P.S. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

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  48. Thank you for sharing your story - it's one that many, many people will be able to relate to, and the gifs made the delivery very 'on point'. I'm glad you're in a better place and feel able to tell this story to your blog readers! <3

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

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  49. I totally agree with with this post. Love this and thanks for sharking boo!

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  50. Brilliant post! Thank you so much for sharing. I've struggled with eating too little, binge-eating and throwing up, losing weight and gaining weight, etcetera throughout the last few years, and I could relate so much to this post. It also made me feel more inspired to continue this perpetual battle of trying to have a good relationship with food, and with my body. Thanks again for sharing, and I'm so glad to hear that you're in a better place right now!

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

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Thank you so much for your comment! I reply to my comments via email, but I can't do that if you are a no-reply blogger :-) If you are here to be a troll, please kindly bugger off. Thanks!