*this is another of my wordy posts where I discuss topics that may be triggering if you have an eating disorder, if you feel this could affect you negatively then you may want to skip this post
Last time we had one of these chats I was feeling pretty happy with my body, in a good groove with my workout routine and was continuing to experiment with my diet after being vegan for about a year and a half.
I’m still feeling pretty happy with my body, but after my holiday in Brighton where I indulged rather a lot, I had piled on some additional weight (ahem 7lbs) which if I’m completely honest I didn’t feel comfortable with. However I have found that since coming back and resuming my regular eating pattern, most of that weight has dropped off. There are positives and negatives around that, as on one hand the weight coming off quite easily demonstrates that my metabolism is functioning well, but then any weight I had gained could have been useful in tackling my amenorrhea. Either way, I feel more comfortable now and less stressed about it.
I’ve also come to an overarching conclusion – I’m just not a naturally skinny person. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m fat right now, or anything even close to that. And god knows one thing that used to piss me right off when I was bigger were women who were a size 12 or less describing themselves as curvy or voluptuous. However, because I’ve experienced both extremes – being a UK size 18 and also a UK size 8, I do feel nicely ‘curvy’ now at a size 10/12 (mostly a 12) in comparison to being at my thinnest. I can say that I will never ever see a size 8 label again in my life and be able to call myself healthy. I’m just not made to be that size. I know some people might disagree with me, but I feel I look a million times better now than I did back then. To quote Lady Gaga, ‘baby I was born this way’, and embracing that has been a very important process for me.
Recently I’ve also been having a few epiphanies when it comes to diet and nutrition. Now of course this is just my opinion and observations, but I can’t believe the number of people that go around touting their way of eating as something that will work for everyone and promising perfect health. Its just bollocks. We are all different, there is no way that eating a certain diet will work the same for everyone. The more I learn and the more I read it becomes clearer – some people thrive on certain diets where others don’t. The bottom line for me is whole unprocessed foods. Simple as that. I think that if there is one common ‘right’ way of doing things it is to eat whole foods as much as possible and then experiment with the levels of sugar / protein / fat / fibre / animal products within that frame work. Of course it’s more complex than that (personal ethics and particular medical conditions for example), but I do believe that’s the crux of it really. Studying holistic nutrition with IIN is one of the best things I’ve ever done for developing a more balanced yet all encompassing view of a healthy diet.
Last week I ate some wild salmon, and I am planning to try some red meat soon. I’ve had the strangest craving for it over the last month. I wish I could be at my healthiest eating a vegan diet but the bottom line is I am still not where I need to be health wise. I am going to eat some animal flesh again, but like eggs and dairy I will be striving for free range / organic and local if possible. I can’t see me eating it a lot, mainly because I couldn’t afford it, but also because I still love my veggie centric meals too much.
I truly feel like I have come full circle, I was reading some posts from my first year of blogging when I was an omnivore – I was also the same weight I am now and happy with my body so what the hell went wrong? I could point fingers at several things, including blogging and reading blogs if I’m brutally honest, however I would not change it for anything. My experience of being at a lower weight, having some particularly disordered thoughts and feelings, and ultimately the process of gaining weight, has been a valuable learning experience and one which I believe will make me a better health coach in the long run.
I also have to keep reminding myself that my achievement in losing weight, and keeping that weight off for over 3 years, is not diminished because I’ve also gained weight as part of that process.
Well there’s a bit of a ramble of some things that have been doing the rounds in my head these last few weeks! Has anyone else experienced changing their diets and coming full circle in the same way I have? Do you feel you have a natural healthy size for your body and do you ever feel at odds with that?