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This Is Not My Life

I was having dinner with a colleague and friend one night and we got to talking about our previous lives and struggles, identifying what helped us progress and how we might use that knowledge to help our clients. With very different histories, both of us had made full recoveries. The more we talked about our transformations, the clearer it became that we did have one very significant thing in common.

Neither of us believed that the life we’d been living and the addictive struggles we’d been having way back when were what was meant to be for the rest of our lives. As soon as my friend said, “I just knew this wasn’t the life I was meant to live,” I realized that I had felt the exact same way. There was no chance I was going to spend my life alternately starving and stuffing myself, obsessing about food and weight, and never feeling comfortable in my body. There was no way I could go on choosing a diet and deprivation mindset only to blow it with binges that left me exhausted and depressed.

Knowing we weren’t meant to live the lives we were leading wasn’t saying that there was some master plan we were destined to follow and, at least for me, there was no spiritual awakening or conviction that something greater than myself had a hand in my life. On the contrary, I knew that I could not continue to make choices that kept me out of control and miserable. I had a better idea of how I wanted to live—diet-free, honoring my natural appetite, nurturing myself in ways other than food, clearing space in my head for a future beyond my next or last meal, coming to terms with my authentic feelings.

I refused to be this person with eating problems and could not conceive of wasting my life battling with food and my body. It wasn’t what I was raised to do, it wasn’t in my childhood dreams, and it certainly wasn’t part of growing up and being the happy, healthy person I intended to be as an adult. Hating my behavior (but, not myself—there’s a huge difference), I decided my behavior could not continue and that I would do anything and everything to change it. My friend and I talked about this too over dinner, how we were single-minded and vowed that we would become whole and healthy because we would accept no less. Call it strong motivation or determination, call it sheer will or being so miserable that recovery couldn’t possibly be worse, it all started for both of us with a firm conviction that something was wrong and that we were not living the lives we were meant to live.

Think about it: What life are you meant to live and what do you need to do to achieve it?