Learning to love my body

*Trigger warning* Please note that the following post discusses weight and disordered eating. Please make sure you are in a safe place before reading.

Food and I have had a disordered relationship for a long time. I have used food to punish and to soothe. I have used it to attempt to fill a void and restricted it when I believed I deserved it. I have struggled to see food as just food, instead demonising it and using shame to beat myself with. My weight has yo-yoed many times over the years.

I’m currently at almost the heaviest I’ve ever been and yet my disdain for my body is at its lowest. I’ve learnt that a number on a scale doesn’t determine my worth. I am no less worthy of love and being cared for because I have a higher weight. I am learning to use food to maintain a healthy level of mental wellness and giving myself grace for my choices.

I am currently changing my eating habits and I’m keeping track of what I eat. Normally when I do this, I tell myself that less is better. I tell myself that 1200 calories is too many and congratulate myself when my calorie tracker tells me I’m eating too few calories for the day. I last for a few weeks and then I binge. Then begins the shame cycle. I tell myself I’m a failure. Why can’t I just eat healthy and lose weight? However this time is different.

While doom scrolling Tik Tok one afternoon I came across a guy talking about how he’d lost weight and got healthy. Normally I would scroll past, I knew it all I told myself, I just needed to get motivated and stop being so damn lazy. The liberal use of the word c*nt drew me in though. I watched a few of his videos and his no nonsense advice just made sense. Eat more, stop starving yourself and work with your lifestyle. Three things that I’d never done when trying to get healthy. One of his main pieces of advice was that it’s hard to lose weight when you’re miserable, if you’re eating food that makes you miserable, you aren’t going to feel better about yourself.

With this advice in mind I started using My Fitness Pal properly. Instead of using it to guilt myself because I’d dared to eat more than 1000 calories, I aimed for the calories that the app had determined I needed to safely lose weight. The first thing that I noticed was that unlike previous attempts at changing my eating habits, I wasn’t counting down the minutes until I could eat again. I didn’t have headaches, and I didn’t hate myself. I’m not restricting and I’m not binging. I still eat fast food occasionally and have found healthier alternatives to the treats I enjoy. There’s no tricks, no gimmicks and no shame.

My disordered eating brain screamed for the first week that I was eating too much. I struggled watching the calories consumed go up while I was supposed to be ‘dieting’. I struggled with the concept of enjoying food while also losing weight. I struggled with the idea that losing weight didn’t have to mean shame, guilt and punishment. I struggled most of all when it worked. Old habits die hard.

If you’d like to check out the guy I mentioned, you can find him on Tik Tok or Instagram. I also use recipes from this guy on Tik Tok, he’s got super easy recipes and they’re yum! I fell in love when he said that potatoes are great for weight loss!

Here’s some of the foods I’ve been eating over the last month and still staying within my recommended calorie intake.

Yes that is the new cheesy beef from Maccas!

6 thoughts on “Learning to love my body

  1. Vanessa

    Online health advice is often trash, especially weight loss focused health advice. I remember years ago I had to eat *more* for a deficiency I was experiencing, and how especially online, “health” is too often made to equal low weight. Losing weight wasn’t right for my health at that time. I’m grateful I could access a skilled dietitian at the time to help me work out what suited my needs AND my tastes and budget.

    1. Tegan

      I’ve noticed that there has been a bit of a shift recently and interestingly from what I’ve seen it’s being led by male creators. They’re focusing on reducing fat rather than automatically assuming that lower weight means someone is healthier than someone with a higher weight. One video I saw was talking about personal trainers and how they’re often so disconnected from their overweight clients because they’ve never had to deal with a body that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to and they fail to factor in that even just walking is weight training when you’ve got a high body weight.

  2. Lydia C. Lee

    As someone whose body changed shape with menopause, I find it hard to shut up that idiot voice in my head. I do love at Festivals there are young people of all shapes and sizes compfortably flaunting their bodies. Every single time that old wiring in my head sees the first person and thinks “You’re too big to wear that’ (I blame that on going to an all girls school frankly) but then intellectually I correct myself (and hate myself a bit for it still somehow being in wired in there) but within the first 30 moins I genuinely see the world differently and I hoinestly don’t notice. So I do beleive we can over rule that outdated thinking, it just takes time.
    Sometimes when i get dressed I think ‘I have to change’ so I put on a flowing dress and hide in it. Other times I think ‘If I was 20 I’d wear this and not care so stuff it’ and I do…isn’t it funny how instead of being revealing of your bust, the scandalous think is the shape of your tummy??? That’s just bananas really. #WWandP

  3. Debra

    I have always been on the heavier side. Loosing weight is not easy. I just found Weight Watchers. After setting up App with my weight and target weight it figured what my daily points should be. I can scan the food and it will track my intake points. I can eat any foods that I want as long as I stay with in my points. Some foods like vegetables and fruits are zero points.

    Seems like I am always eating, and I am loosing weight!

    I have lost 12 lbs in two months. This is a plus for me. I have been happy with my results so far.

    Best wishes in your journey!

  4. Denyse Whelan

    So good to read your words and I had a lot of understanding there too. I too have been restrictive in eating (and not liking me) and then the other way when it was time for me to soothe and calm. Right now, I am “at a good weight” for me…why “good?” I mean I am eating well (for me, and with my mouth limitations) and I have recognised what feels good inside me and how I can eat from choice.

    It is, as they say, a work in progress.

    So pleased for you to discover this person and doing what works for you.

    And BIG yay for blogging again T!!

    Thank you for linking up this week for WWandPics on Denyse Whelan Blogs to Connect. Next week, I hope you join in again too, and be there to read my “C” for change & connection post! Warm wishes, Denyse.

  5. Christie Hawkes

    Thanks for sharing your story, Tegan. So many of us have struggled with body image and food issues. At this point in my life, if I catch myself disparaging the appearance of my body, I remind myself of how wonderful it is to have a strong, healthy well-functioning body. I also use this daily affirmation: “I love my strong, healthy body. I treat it with kindness and respect.” When it comes to eating, I make a conscious effort to eat mindfully and truly enjoy whatever it is I’ve decided to eat. There’s no point in choosing something decadent and delicious and then not even enjoying it, because you feel guilty about your choices. I’m not perfect at any of these things, but definitely improved over my younger years.


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