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Taking Back Control of Your Life: A Mom’s Tale of Overcoming Body Issues, Eating Disorder, & Self-Worth

I’ve always liked working out.  I’ve always loved eating too.  It wasn’t until my mid 30’s and three kids later however, that I found out that I really LOVE to work out.  But getting to where I am today wasn’t easy!  Yo-yo diets, an unhealthy relationship with food, self-confidence issues, and the stressful life of a mom of 3 wonderful kids left me searching for solutions and a happier, more fulfilled life.

"I never thought of myself as “bulimic” because I told myself I wasn’t doing it every day or even regularly, I had control over it.  Boy was I naive."

I was always a thin girl growing up.  I could eat anything I wanted, and my body never changed a bit. I know!  Totally unfair – right!?  In fact, I was notoriously known in college for hitting up McDonalds for SEVERAL cheeseburgers almost every single night (and that was after dinner).  Yikes!  Just like most things in life, all good things come to an end.  As I got older, and after having kids, I learned quick that I couldn’t eat like that anymore and expect my body to stay the same.  It caught up with me and I struggled for years.  I’d be up 20lbs and then down 20lbs like the flow of the seasons. This yo-yo dieting wreaked havoc on my body!

"Everyone faces hurdles and challenges though. Everyone has EXCUSES.  Life keeps moving though.  No matter how tough things can be, we can’t just give up. You keep trying until you find that thing inside of you that motivates you." 

To make matters worse, I’ve always struggled with self-confidence and negative body image issues.  My biggest problem was feeling deprived of good food.  Inevitably, I’d find myself creeping back into old habits.  Unfortunately, I developed some bad and scary habits with food over the years.  I’d eat so little and so bland that when I would binge, I would binge hard.  I would eat till I was sick and then actually make myself sick to get rid of the horrible choices I had made.  I never thought of myself as “bulimic” because I told myself I wasn’t doing it every day or even regularly, I had control over it.  Boy was I naive.  I became caught in this vicious cycle for years.  I recently had to search deep into my soul and decide this wasn’t a healthy way to keep living.  I wasn’t happy.  It wasn’t easy and writing this blog certainly isn’t easy. But, here I am though.  I’m proud to say that…..well just that…..that I’M PROUD OF MYSELF!!!! 

"I’ve found this thing called BALANCE and it’s glorious!"

I decided to stop making excuses and I took back my life.  I knew I needed to get back into the gym, but more importantly, food is what I knew I needed to really focus on.  I’ve found this thing called BALANCE and it’s glorious!  This time it’s different because I’m learning about my body and my body specifically.  I’m a mom of 3 boys and 2 of my boys are on the Autism Spectrum.  Life can be super challenging at times.  And guess what, I’ve got many more challenging times that lie ahead.  But who doesn’t?  I can’t give up on these special kiddos of mine.  They need me and most likely will truly be dependent on me the rest of their lives. Everyone faces hurdles and challenges though. Everyone has EXCUSES.  Life keeps moving though.  No matter how tough things can be, we can’t just give up. You keep trying until you find that thing inside of you that motivates you. 

"The most important thing I learned about food on this journey is that food is simply fuel for your body and that is it.  I had to stop creating emotions and stories around food that made me feel good." 

You may not enjoy certain activities, but there are so many forms of activity out there to get your body moving.  Get creative and find something you CAN do and start from there.  DON’T quit and don’t stop striving to be a better you.  The most important thing I learned about food on this journey is that food is simply fuel for your body and that is it.  I had to stop creating emotions and stories around food that made me feel good.  I in turn took all that emotion and focus over into other areas of life.  Get joy out of your friends, family activities and leave food where it belongs.  Food doesn’t always have to be super creative and fun, sometimes you must eat what’s right and move on!  It’s not easy, relationships with food never are.  Take back control over your life!  No matter your injury, no matter your excuse, you can work through it.  Don’t let an injury hold you back.  Find the right people to help you work around it and build strength elsewhere as you heal.  I promise you, living a healthy life is so much more rewarding!  Lastly, find a community that supports you.  I’ve found mine and have made many new friendships and learned so much from these amazing people.  Surround yourself with encouraging people who believe in YOU!  We are ALL worth living our best life!

by: Dixie May, Loving Wife, Mom of 3 & Propello Life'er

 

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