How I Broke My Addiction to Unhealthy Food (& how you can too!)

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I remember vividly filling up my bulk candy bag with another round of sugar free gummy bears. I tied the bag off, threw the multi colored treats into my cart, and headed off to find more diet soda, sugar free chocolates, and microwave popcorn. 

At one point in my life, these sugar free and “light calorie” shopping trips were a weekly occurrence and quickly became my way of life. As I continued on with filling my body with every sugar-free, fat-free, diet food option on the market today, I noticed my emotional wellbeing being tied to food.

If I was stressed, I ate. If I was overwhelmed, I ate. If I was excited, I ate. Every emotion I felt was either rewarded or comforted with food. Many of you know my story but this unhealthy pattern eventually turned into a vicious struggle with Binge Eating Disorder.

Thankfully, I had my come to Jesus moment and with lots of hands on work, research, trial and error, and honestly Mommas by the grace of God, I was able to break my addiction! Today I’ll be sharing 5 strategies that helped heal my relationship with food and hope you gather some powerful encouragement to better your relationship with food as well!

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How I Broke My Addiction to Unhealthy Food

I stopped counting calories. We live in a culture that is OBSESSED with numbers on packages. At one point during my health journey, I became so obsessed with counting numbers that I actually began to count bites. Sigh… that’s tough to type but I know it’s a powerful note to someone out there who needs this encouragement. Momma, if you’re hearing me- please know that our bodies don’t crave calories. Our bodies crave nutrients and when you can shift your mindset to nourishing your cells with good, wholesome food instead of being worried about how many “numbers” you’re consuming, I promise you’ll have a much healthier relationship with food!

I learned what real food was. I thought for the longest time that food labeled as “diet” and “sugar or fat free” was healthy! After years of college and graduate school, it’s safe to say that I now understand the powerful of good, wholesome foods and the power of choosing foods to honor and nourish the body has on the body! There’s a fancy meme on that floats around on pinterest and says something along the lines of each time we eat is opportunity to fight or feed disease and y’all, I mean seriously! How true is that! When you EAT choose to nourish. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re full. Don’t ignore your cravings. In fact, I want you to lean into them! If you’re craving something sweet, salty, crunchy, (insert your craving here!), just pull up the Abundant Motherhood Club and whip up a nourishing treat or dish to satisfy your need!

I stopped weighing myself! At one point in my life I was weighing myself up to 4 times per day! This rigid and obsessive pattern soon began the way I identified myself and truly set the tone for my emotions for the day ahead. If I was down a pound- I was going to have a great day! If I was up a pound of two, my mood was OFF. Can you see how addicting and unhealthy this mindset and relationship is?? Once I threw out my scale it no longer had control over me and I tapped into how my body FELT on a daily basis. Ladies- this is so liberating! Plus… our bodies can fluctuate throughout the day and let’s just be honest, a true teller of how we’re “doing” are those jeans without elastic ;).

I quit BINGING. If you have ever struggled with Binge Eating, you know that it’s not that simple just to “quit”. A binge feels like you are so out of control with what you’re putting in your mouth… like you literally cannot stop. You eat so much until you feel sick and then you get SO mad at yourself. And then the cycle repeats again…. until you put the stop to it! What helped me gain control over this area of eating is making sure I was eating well throughout the day and learning how to cook the same meals I enjoyed previously, but now with a much lighter and more nourishing ingredients (which HELLO, this is why I created the Abundant Motherhood Club!). I didn’t worry about eating perfectly, I just tried my best each day. I soon became so passionate about re-creating recipes in a healthier way and to this day, credit the AMC for helping me break my binging addiction!

I learned to have a positive body image. This one… Wow. Now that I’m a Mom, I have an even more guarded approach to honoring and showing my body self-love because my children are going to see how I treat and talk to myself and will be impacted on my choices! My struggle with body image actually started in high school when a 16 year old boy called me “husky”. I thought my normal-athletic shaped body was fine until that day. After years of struggling with anorexia, exercise anorexia, and binge eating disorder, I’ve had to re-learn what it means to love my body and now, as a Mom, my body has changed again! I think kindly about my body everyday. I remember what it does for me and how much I can do for it. I know how powerful the mind-body connection is and how the body hears everything the mind says and thinks. I work hard to honor the body that God has given me and have to surrender daily. Especially in the age of social media, it’s super easy to compare our bodies online… especially when it seems like there are at times no filter to what people can post and share. Remember that your body is strong, amazing, and powerful! It is perfect just the way it is and you can always strive to do better, yes! But please know that what you are doing right now, showing up each day and doing your best and not worrying about being perfect…THAT IS ENOUGH! YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Okay, Mommas! There you have it! I know this lesson was deep today, but I hope it left you feeling inspired and ready to take action on your life! What did you find as the greatest takeaway? Let me know in the comments here or over on instagram!

XOXO,
Jen

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