I shared the beginning of my journey with binge eating and self-hatred in Anatomy of a Binge: The Beginning and Anatomy of a Binge: Disconnected. This is the third and final installment of this series.
When I began reading the first Whole30 book, It Starts With Food, I did not expect it to become the magic key that would open the door leading me home to myself. I thought it would give me some ideas on how to lose weight, how to be “healthy” and then I would move on to the next book. Even while reading it, I told myself stories about how I could never complete a Whole30. My negative self-talk was reading that book right along with me; attempting to shatter those moments of hope that wellness could be a very real part of my future.
As I have shared, it was due to the encouragement of my (amazing) functional medicine doctor that I finally committed to Whole30. An elimination experiment was what the doctor ordered, and Whole30 provided resources that I knew would help me through this process. Through Whole30, I was given a key that truly unlocked the truth about real, whole, unprocessed food. It seemed too simple, too good to be true. Whole30 was the program that began to crack the shell of misunderstanding I carried about food. Whole30 was the miracle I had been praying for, not only educating me about the power of what I choose to put in my body, but also proving it in just 30 days. As I have shared, this began a whole new chapter of my wellness and my sparkle.
Whole30 gave me the evidence I needed to move forward in healing my mind, body, and spirit with whole, real food. My experience is mine, and every person is different. For me, I needed different tools and supports at different times, and they all worked together to untap my sparkle. The complicated truth about recovery with binge eating is that there is no option for abstinence from food. We must eat. Whole30 helped me to see that food is not the enemy, and neither is my body. I can feel well. I can live a healthy life, and my food freedom is worth the effort. In addition to all of this, Whole30 also opened my eyes to my own worthiness, strength, and resilience. I know that I am capable of feeling well. I don’t live my life following the rules of Whole30 all day every day (that is not freedom and that is not in the spirit of Whole30). I have learned what food makes me feel my best, what is not worth it, and what may attempt to push the boundary of my binge eating recovery. Thanks to Whole30, I have tools to help me reset when I may feel those old thoughts and habits trying to take up space in my life. And now, as a wellness coach and Whole30 Certified Coach, I have the honor of walking with individuals as they navigate their own process to untap their sparkle.
Recovery is possible AND it is an ongoing practice. When I look back on that 5 year old, afraid of crushing her classmate in the Christmas Pageant, my heart longs to tell her of her worthiness, her strength, and the beautiful lessons she will learn through her struggles. The truth of my experience is that my old thoughts and habits still show up, often when life is filled with stress and anxiety, and especially when I am feeling less than my best. There are days when I struggle, as I am human, and that is a part of our growth and evolution. If you feel shame, guilt, and self-hatred about your health, body, habits, and relationship with food, please know that you are not alone. These are the feelings that point us towards our brightest opportunities to sparkle. You, dear one, are worthy of so much sparkle.