Guest Post: Christie, I Quit Dieting

Hi there! I first want to thank Brandi for giving me the opportunity to write this guest post and share part of my story with you.  Thanks, Bran!

My name is Christie and I write the blog I Quit Dieting.  As you can see from the name of my blog, I don’t believe in diets and I practice intuitive eating. I am recovering from binge eating disorder and for me, eating intuitively has salvaged my relationship with food and my body. Learning to eat this way has been a big challenge for me because I had a number of struggles to overcome. When I started on this journey more than two years ago, trusting my body was a foreign concept and I used food to cope with every emotion and situation under the sun. My path to healing has been a bumpy ride but now, I am in a place that I feel contentment and appreciate my body as it is today. In order to get to this place of peace, I had to learn new ways of coping with my emotions and situations that would trigger my compulsion to over eat or restrict.

My first step was to create a food mood journal where I recorded what I ate, when I ate, where I was on the hunger scale and any thing I was feeling emotionally. This was my turning point and I will never look back. Shortly after I started using this journal, I began therapy and discovered who I truly am. I learned what my triggers are and then, I started on the path of discovering ways to deal with them.  I have learned so many new ways of coping and I would like to share a few of them with you.

  1. Yoga  – I practice vinyasa yoga a couple of times a week and it has truly changed my life. By going with “the flow”,  I am able to just breathe through my challenges and by holding challenging poses for long periods, I learn patience with myself and the way my brain works. My practice has tremendously relieved my anxiety symptoms and I am able to deal with the day to day antics with a sense of calm that I never had before.  The vinyasa style is not for everyone but I encourage you to try out a few styles and incorporate a regular practice into your life.
  2. Regular, but not obsessive or punishing exercise – For many years, I used exercise as a way to punish myself for eating. Even “healthy” eating would trigger hours of exercise and beating myself up if I missed a workout. Now, I exercise regularly and only participate in activities that I enjoy. For me, that means walking, lifting heavy weights and yoga. I don’t exercise if my body (not my mind :D) tells me not to and I feel great.  I feel strong and proud of my body and my energy levels are through the roof.  Grab a partner and get moving, your body, and mind, will thank you!
  3. Coloring Mandalas – I discovered mandalas while I was in an eating disorders therapy group and it was another one of those life changing things. One of my problems with binge eating was that I could never identify the emotions behind the binges. Now, when I am feeling something that I can’t figure out, I grab my colored pencils and color. I flip through the coloring book and color the one that stands out the most. As I color, colors will pop into my mind and I use whatever those colors are. I always start with the color blue because it relaxes me and opens my mind to using all of the colors. During the coloring process, I often realize what the emotions are and if not, most books have a color analysis chart that gives some insights. At this point, I pretty much know what each color means in my life but it is wonderful to be able to look at the beautiful creation and feel whatever I need to feel.
  4. A strong system of support – It took me a long time to figure this one out but now I know how important it is to have people that understand me and my struggles. For me, this means a strong network of friends, a good therapist, an RD that specializes in intuitive eating and eating disorders. There is also a wonderful world of online support for those that don’t have strong support systems in their walking life. I find online support very useful because often times, the people in our lives are facing different struggles and online, we can find whatever kind of group that fits our needs. It is important to be able to reach out at any time that you need help and have someone there to listen and help you through.

Not using food as a coping skill is a really hard hill to climb but it can be done. Finding ways to ease my mind and face life’s challenges has been an essential step in my recovery. I hope that you can take some of these suggestions and incorporate them into your own life. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at Christie {at} quityourdiet.com

Thanks for reading!

11 Responses to “Guest Post: Christie, I Quit Dieting”

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    1
    missyrayn — July 26, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I love that you use yoga to help. I love vinyasa and it really helps me to forget about the troubles and to enjoy my body.

    And food journals were huge for me. I ate for every emotion and when I started recording what I ate and why it helped me to not eat whenever I was upset/happy/angry/etc.

    Congratulations on working on yourself.

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    AZLinda — July 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Great post!

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    3
    Lynn (The Actors Diet) — July 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    thanks for sharing your journey christie! i have never heard of the coloring mandalas before but it makes a lot of sense.

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    4
    amyjogo — July 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Christie,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I know (like most other overweight people) that I am an emotional eater. I’ve tried to find a way to stop that cycle but haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll look into the the intuitive eating thing as well as yoga and mandalas. Can you recommend any books on the subject that were particularly helpful to you? I’m not much of a self help book reader, but I’m open (and desperate for change).

    Thanks for your honesty.
    Amy

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    5
    buffmuffy — July 26, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Great post! I myself have been recovering from an ED that I have been dealing with most my life… I’m trying to use intuitive eating to battle it as well. Eating clean is helping by itself even!
    -muffy

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    Christie @ Quit Your Diet — July 27, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Thanks for the sweet comments, everyone.

    Amyjogo, If you are interested in intuitive eating, I would recommend the book Intuitive Eating, A Revoluntionary Program that Works. I also have a number of website and book recomendations on my blog under the resources tab.

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    Paige @ Running Around Normal — July 30, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Great post, Christie! I love reading other people’s stories, and yours is wonderful :)

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