This Is Your Brain on Diet Culture.

When I went through my disorder-y eating phase, I thought about food and my body pretty much all of the time. 

  • What am I eating for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks
  • How can I make this thing that I really want to eat but healthier because god forbid I actually eat the thing that I want
  • How many calories/grams of sugar/fat are in that thing I really want to eat
  • Feeling bad about my body
  • Feeling pride about my body (not the same thing as feeling positive/respectful towards my body - this is sorta a gross outcome of thin privilege and the objectification of thin bodies) 
  • Planning exercise
  • Feeling bad about myself for missing planned exercise 

Basically, this was my brain on diet culture:

This is your brain on diet culture. When you're trying to restrict, there's no more room in your brain to focus on other fun things in life, like personal growth and relationship. #intuitiveeating #haes #healthateverysize #wellness

Because my disordered eating was pretty mild, I was able to chalk it up to being a health conscious foodie. In hindsight, thoughts about food, body and exercise were taking up way more of my headspace than it should. 

Once I (slowly) started to ditch diet culture, it opened up room in my brain for things that actually matter in life - relationships, personal growth, work, creativity, learning, rest, pondering important, and unimportant things (currently, who is Patricia from Southern Charm engaged to?? I must know.)  

This is what my brain looks like now: 

When you're not dieting and restricting, there's more room in your life for the things that matter. #intuitiveeating #haes #healthateverysize #bodypositive #wellness

Great things started to happen for me when I stopped obsessing about food and was able to direct that mental energy towards more important things. My relationship with my husband grew stronger, my business took off, I discovered my inner strength and voice, and I learned a lot about the world as I stopped reading about nutrition and recipes all the time and started reading about things that are infinitely more important. 

If hyperfocusing on the healthfulness of my food added any years to my life (it probably didn't), I still wouldn't go back to that place, because my life is infinitely better when food is part of it, not all of it.