Diet free living: it’s not all kittens and unicorns

[I was just trying to think of cute, nice things in that title. Did I get my point across?]

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Haha, there really are images for everything! Picture source. Anywaysssss…

Hi guys, checking in here. I’ve had 3 nights to blog about this fabulous dinner I had last week which I’m dying to share with you, but for some reason I’ve been feeling off… uninspired, bored and… I don’t know. Just off. Hard to explain.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve been dealing with it the old Elina way, by snacking all night long. I don’t want to say it’s been bingeing per se, that sense of urgency “quick, stuff yourself until you feel numb” feeling isn’t there, but that high of “I can’t do anything else until I finish that chocolate bar”… and then some cookies… was certainly present.

It’s disappointing that after all the progress I’ve made and have felt the best I have in months (maybe even years), I get hit with a reminder that I’m not “cured” and that it is a process and I have to continue being mindful all the time because I’m not yet the “after” (of the before and after).

So friends, just wanted to say hello and let you know that if you going through a similar journey that there is no reason to feel like a failure; that this is just a bump in the road (that I am determined to get behind of and deal with!). And if you are thinking about giving up dieting, know that it will not always be perfect once you start… and that’s okay. Because despite all this, I am still more comfortable with myself and yes, the happiest I’ve been in ages. No regrets!

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30 comments to Diet free living: it’s not all kittens and unicorns

  • Bridget

    I recommend you check out the book “Fit from Within” by Victoria Moran. I first heard about it from Tina’s blog (carrotsncake) and I thought it was a very sensible approach to diet-free living. It helped me and I thought it might be helpful to you too.

    • Elina

      Bridget, I actually have that book… keep a copy of it in my desk drawer at work for inspiration (overeating at work used to be my problem) although it’s been a while since i “needed it.” I think it oversimplifies some things but I did like it. And sometimes random things help you “snap out of it” – I’ll bring the book home.

  • Maryz

    Good for you! I have been on the same path of trying to quit dieting and sometimes its HARD! But I always keep in mind that one ‘bad’ day doesn’t mean you are not succeeding! Keep up the good work!

  • You’re right… it’s a setback, but behavior can change from moment to moment… your next chance is now! The key is overall progress!

  • learning how to eat is a work in progress!

  • I prefer the term rainbows and butterflies 😀

  • These things are a lifelong journey. Nothing changes overnight. Keep your head up :)

  • I am going to try “diet free living” after my wedding. I tried “diet living” for six months..(well ten years really…but you know what I mean) and only managed to gain 5 lbs. I’m bummed I’m getting married at the higher end of my “comfortable weight” spectrum, but it is what it is. I can’t help but think though that there has GOT to be a better way to live. I’m trying to find a good reference book to help me get started because I honestly don’t know how to be any other way then how I’ve been that hasn’t worked. I read “Intuitive Eating,” Bethanny’s “Naturally Thin” and skimmed “The Four Day Win” but neither resonated with me too much. Thanks for your honestly in your journey…your blog helps me so much! So glad you decided to stick with it XOXO

    • Elina

      Hallie, have you read any books by Geneen Roth? Women, Food and God was the first one read and while I’ve read many of the books you mention, this was the first one that really put it all together in a relatable and approachable format (I hesitated getting it for a long time because of the God part but it’s not about religion at all!). I then purchased the Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by her and I think it’s going to help me even more. There was a paragraph in the first chapter about the time she went out to get chocolate and realized that she wasn’t hungry so she needed something more meaningful (like a friend because she was bored) that somehow totally turned a light bulb on in my head. There are links to both of those books in my favorite Amazon products (on the right). Check them out! :)
      Also, your wedding is going to be absolutely amazing because it’s such a happy day. A few pounds will not matter unless you let them ruin the day for you. Don’t! :)

      • DeeDee

        I have been on my journey to a diet free life for about a year I believe. My story is similar to many with the dieting, bingeing, giving up dieting and getting scared…and back to dieting. I am reading Breaking Free From Emotional Eating and it is helping me. The two things that I am relying heavily on now are 1. waiting until I am hungry…and identify the exact taste I am looking for and then eat it. 2. With each bite I am writing down how delicious it is…it always starts out OMG delish, and sometimes by the 5th or 6th bite, it’s ‘okay’ and I stop. Sometimes it is 15 bites, but it always happens if I write it down and pay attention.
        Elina, I admire you for laying it all out there. I empathize with every word you speak about your struggles. I have a long way to go and reading your blog has helped me immensely. Thank you.

        • Elina

          Sounds like you’re doing some really important work there! I’m in the middle of that book right now and I have to admit that I still often choose what I eat based on what looks/smells good rather than what I thought I originally wanted before I opened the fridge… but I’m ok with that as long as I’m satisfied at the end (which I am). Really paying attention to your hunger/satisfaction levels between each bite must be key. I’m not completely there yet. I’m afraid it will take some joy out of eating/make it too mechanical. Baby steps, right? :)

          • DeeDee

            I know what you mean about the mechanical stuff! That is EXACTLY how it feels…thinking and writing down with eat bite. My hope is that it gets more natural…who knows. I do know that it is so individual and baby steps (with some tumbles!) is right on.

  • I think that you have made so much progress and shouldn’t be too hard on yourself about this… It feels like a natural part of learning how to eat intuitively.

  • Hahaha unicorns and kittens made me laugh, I am not a fan of cats or horses so that picture is too good for words!!
    This sounds so familiar…just the thoughts about how things are going so well, then just like that you can fall off the wagon for a bit. I think that’s what most people struggle with, it could also be the whole “balanced” thing…good days here, then a few bad ones. I guess it all depends on what you consider to be “ok” for a “bad” day. However, just he fact that you say you are feeling better than ever these days is a testament to the fact taht whatever you’re doing is working for you! :)

  • i prefer cupcakes + unicorns myself 😉
    anyway, i think you did well. you didn’t full on binge and were able to stop yourself.. whereas before you probably would have “thrown in the towel” and polished off some nuts for good measure. i really think this is progress.
    and i know you’re not beating yourself up over this, but you should REALLY not beat yourself up over it. i’m sure that makes total sense… 😛

  • Nessy

    Hi! I recently found your blog and just want to say that I love it! I am going through an extremely similar experience right now and after finding your blog I don’t feel so alone anymore. I am also trying hard to stay away from the dieting mindset which never leads me anywhere except to bingeing and feeling bad about myself. I was reading through some of your past posts and see that you have made tremendous progress! You are a great inspiration.Thank you for being so honest and open. I will definitely continue to read your posts and wish you the best of luck!

    • Elina

      Thank you, Nessy! Good luck in your journey as well. I keep thinking back to all the times I lost weight and for the first time I believe that I’m working towards happiness at any weight (even if it’s the weight I am now, instead of always wishing for something better/thinner) and that the progress I’ve made to date will really serve me for the rest of my life because I’m addressing the cause rather than just the effect. Dieting never got that deep (and obviously was not long lasting since I’m back to where I was pre-dieting, time and time again). You can do it too!!! :)

  • Wow the timing, Elina! I was just about to start (it takes me forever to write even one dang post) writing a post about this. I can so relate to what you are saying at this very moment!

    After a great start of nearly a month of calorieuncounting and listening to my body, I actually lost some weight. Dare I say it was too good to be true? Not eating when not hungry. No emotional pull. Yes, some fun foods, but as they weren’t emotionally invested, I could have a few bites and be done.

    Then I went on vacation overseas- very busy- lots of people, lots of planes, cars, packing, unpacking. Some stress. Travel stress too.- Yet, most of the time, it was still fine with the eating- the exception were a few big eating/drinking nights with friends, so naturally I gained a couple of pounds. No biggie, right? It was far less damaging than most of my trips ever are.

    Well, I’ve been home over a week an I have NOT gotten back to that blissful state I was in before I left- where just a couple of bites was enough to satisfy. I find I’m thinking about treats more and not feeling ‘settled’ until I get them! So annoying. There have been some emotional things going on- perhaps they are hitting me harder than I realized?

    I almost wonder if we just go through phases in our lives naturally where our eating IS affected by emotions, and other times that it is LESS so. Does this make any sense to you?

    I’ve read all of those books that everyone has listed, and the bottom line for me is that I know pretty much every thing they suggest. And in the end- it’s my own mind that either decides to cooperate or not. The end.

    While I’m really sorry that you are struggling, we’re definitely in it together.

    • Elina

      Deb – the only thing that helped me there was to stop weighing myself. I got a little too excited about losing weight doing it intuitively and I think subconsciously I was still feeling like I was “being good” so there was always a time to start the sabotage again (even though I was totally listening to hunger cues and eating things that were satisfying). Obviously I’m no expert since I still fall off the wagon on occasion (this post is exhibit ZZYB) but just sharing what helped me move forward at some point :)

  • Setbacks are normal. What matters most is the progress you have made, your ability to identify setbacks, and then move ahead. No one is perfect.

  • Holly

    Ditto what Meghan said. I’m going through a rough patch right now with the IE as well. I try to keep reminding myself to ride the wave and that everything has an ebb and flow. Hang in there. You are so brave and I really appreciate your blog.

    • Elina

      Hope you got through the rough patch and were able to move forward! Let me know if I can somehow help (or if I’m doing enough by sharing my experience with you)! :)

  • Elina thank you for your wonderful blog – I find you inspiring.

    I just started a blog – anonymous – documenting my w8loss –

    http://losingthew84good.blogspot.com/

    Am told I’m funny and a good writer.

  • Elina

    Thank you all for your sweet words. I climbed out of whatever it is I was feeling. Nothing like some blog therapy (lol) and time with Adam to get me back on track and excited about everything in my life :)

  • two steps forward and one step back? sounds like you’re still making progress. maybe we just need that little reminder to stay on course! happy is good :)

  • Oh Elina, I admire your honesty in your posts and with yourself! But you are a REAL person, and of course there are going to be a little bumps in the road.

    But look at how far you’ve came, and the person you’ve become along the way. Little bumps don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

    I think the most important thing is that you are your happiest and most comfortable with yourself that you’ve been in ages – that says a lot. Keep up the great work and stay motivated!

  • Holly

    Thank Elina. I appreciate your kind response. I’m on the 2nd day of getting my sh*t back together. I spiraled out of control while traveling over the Memorial Day weekend. Why is it so hard to this while away from home. Riding the waves… Thanks again :)

  • […] my last diet free living post things have eerily been going smoothly. I think I have the weather gods to thank for it because […]

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