What I learned from Fad Dieting, Binge Eating, and Exercise Anorexia

Happy Monday, Mommas!!

If you’re an audio listener like me, be sure to listen in to this blog on our podcast show on iTunes- you’ll love it!

Who is ready for a FAB week ahead?! I know we are here at the Blossom household and within the entire Blossoming Mommy + Baby Community! I’m already dreaming of the fresh and amazing opportunities that await EACH of us this week! Can you feel it?? The choice to wakeup feeling energized, inspired, and enthusiastic about your life is a decision you must make EACH DAY! So let’s do it, Mommas! Plus, with Spring right around the corner…. it has me feeling all kinds of FRESH energy and EXCITEMENT, how about you?! 

Speaking of Spring… this time of year ALWAYS brings on fad diets and trendy workout plans to get women geared of for… wait for it….”bikini season”. Today I’m going to tackle this touchy subject HEAD ON with my experience from fad dieting, binge eating, and exercise anorexia. More specifically, I’ll be sharing what I learned from this difficult season in my life and what this means for YOU and YOUR mindset and lifestyle choices. Spring is the PERFECT time to checkin with your mindset and to make sure that YOU are making the right choices with the right heart and intentions.

You can listen to my in depth story of how I beat anorexia + binge eating disorder by downloading and subscribing to the Blossoming Mommy and Baby Show on iTunes (on your podcast app).

Okay, beauties. Let’s dive into today’s topic-

About 15 years ago I started to REALLY and I mean REALLY struggle with body image, self-confidence, and exercise/nutrition. Although this was just a season of my life, it was an intense and life changing one at that. I’m not going to dive into all the details (you can listen to them above!) for today’s blog, but rather share with you what I learned from that time period of my life, how it has shaped my career today, and how my experience can help YOU in shaping a positive and a healthy frame of mind as you venture through your health and wellness journey.

To be clear, I struggled for about 3 years off and on with: exercise anorexia, anorexia, fad dieting and binge eating disorder.

These are the BIGGEST takeaways and growth from my period of struggle:

  1. There is NO diet that will replace healthy living. I truly dislike the word “diet” and think it can be so misleading for women today. From the lemon + cayenne water cleanse, to starvation, binge eating, weight loss plans, and diet bars…. I tried it all. And guess what… it all failed. It wasn’t until I truly learned how to cook from the heart and understood the depths of nutrition that my lifestyle changed. I was caught in a negative pattern with bad behaviors for so many years and just like any behavior change, it was HARD to break. I fell victim of anything and everything that was sugar free, fat free, or had the word diet in the label and that, my friends became my daily intake. The problem was that this lifestyle was providing my body with minimal nutrition, poor energy, and excess bloating. Today, it is my greatest passion to teach women just like you how to break this trap! Nothing replaces healthy cooking with good, wholesome ingredients like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and a non-processed, low sugar diet. Your body, mind, and soul will transform when you consume healthy foods. Plus.. you’ll look and feel your best! (This is where my cultivation of healthy recipes inside our Abundant Motherhood Club comes into play, as well as the Blossom After Baby Method!)

  2. When you obsess over food and calories, it consumes your life. EEK! This is SO true! If any of you have been there, or are currently there now- you know what it’s like to have this thought process RULE your mindset. For me, I never used to see food as nourishment, instead, I would dread the calories that were going into my body. (So crazy to think back now! What a distorted thought process)! I want to speak to that Momma right now who may be going through this… you MUST learn to redirect your thought patterns. If you’re in this season, you are making food your idol. The bible teaches us in countless scriptures that we are not to place greater importance on things than God, and this includes ourselves. Instead, I want to encourage you to shift your mindset to a nourishing, healing process. Think about the privilege it is to honor your body. To take care of your body. To serve this amazing, healthy gift that God has given you with wholesome nourishment. When we can learn to release the grip and give God our obsession, asking Him to free us of this thought process and slowly acknowledge that healthy choices are meant to provide our body with energy, wellness, and vitality… it changes everything! So… aim for moderation! If you are eating clean for the majority of the week, go ahead and splurge every once in a while, just make sure it’s in moderation AND.. when you do splurge, try splurging on a healthier version of your desired food item (for example… if you really want a chocolate bar, try a bite or two of an organic chocolate or if you’re craving ice cream, opt for an organic, almond or coconut milk based blend). It’s subtle changes like this that will help you satisfy your cravings while transforming your lifestyle! (If you’re finding yourself caught in a negative thought pattern, learn how to kick it inside my mental health program G+G)

  3. Throw out the Scale! I used to obsess over the numbers and the daily fluctuation. Anyone else? I began to let the number on the scale define my attitude for the ENTIRE day. If I was down a pound… it was a great day! If it was up then negative food and thought patterns would present themselves ALL. DAY. LONG. Ladies, this is NO way to live. You are NOT defined by a number on the scale. Throw it out. Plus, a true test of how you are “doing” in the health department if you’re truly worried about your weight is by how your clothes fit. I mean come on… jeans don’t lie

  4. If you starve all day, you’re probably going to binge at night….. Not to say this is true for everybody, but it definitely was in my case. I feel safe to talk so openly about this because I suffered for years in silence. I was so embarrassed by my decisions and choices that I would literally eat my emotions away at night and you guessed it… the negative loop began ALL over again. The disbelief of “how did I eat all of that?!” frequently set in after I had time to process the vast amount of food I just consumed in such a short amount of time. Binge Eating Disorder is something that is SO difficult to overcome- it was for me anyways, as I found great comfort in actually EATING the food, and I couldn’t get enough of it, so I ate more and more… and more until I physically couldn’t. And then.. the guilt set it (mindset trap) and you guessed it, the cycle started over again the next day: starve self, over exercise, over eat, repeat. If you’re here, please reach out and get help. You CAN overcome this and this is absolutely no way to live. It’s not healthy mentally or physically and it is so hard on your body and mind. You can have control over your thoughts and actions again, sweet friends. Know there is hope- but you must be willing to take action to overcoming it! It wasn’t until I opened up my struggles with my Mom and sister that I was truly able to heal and began to slowly educate myself on how to live healthy and balanced.

  5. Exercise is a gift, not a burden. Okay, Mommas. My last and final realization from this season of life… we’re given one life to live here on earth and every waking moment is truly a blessing. When we look at our body and how we care for it- physically, mentally, spiritually and nutritionally, it will directly impact the way we act, feel, and live. In regards to physical exercise- I see so many women (and I used to be one of them!) who are obsessed or abusing exercise today. Exercise is a gift to the body. It’s an opportunity for you to SWEAT, get stronger, leaner, toned, and feeling GREAT! Likewise, it should not be taken for granted. There’s no need to spend hours at the gym or the exact opposite (no hours at the gym). Find your happy medium. Someday, you and I won’t have the energy or strength to do what we are capable of doing today. Don’t abuse your body with too much or too little. Find your MOJO, mix up your workouts, and relish in the fact that you are strong and your body is mighty! Remember that exercising has much more than surface level benefits. When you exercise, you’re investing into your body, your health, vitality, energy, mood, and overall wellbeing. This is going to make you a healthier, happier Momma because of it!

Whew! Did you learn a lot today? I truly believe God brings us to and through seasons of our life for a reason; and this was mine. I’m here today because of my journey. I now can shine a light on what used to be a dark area to help YOU overcome yours. Ladies, if this was inspiring or encouraging in anyway to you, please share this article and/or podcast episode with a friend today. Just click the share tab above this article and make sure you let me know your thoughts on EVERYTHING we talked about today over on instagram!

Love You, Mommas!

XOXO, Jennifer