Heather’s struggles with eating started around puberty. She didn’t like her changing body and developed a disordered eating pattern of restricting and bingeing. As a teen, she had a short “success” with Weight Watchers, but once she stopped, she regained the weight she lost and then some. Instead of learning healthy eating habits, the message she got was that some foods are “good” and some foods are “bad.” This way of thinking did nothing for the guilt and shame she felt when she overate and made poor food choices – in fact, it amplified it. Her negative body image and disordered eating continued through college, during which time her weight climbed to an all-time high despite regular physical activity and attempts to control her eating.
During her first nutrition class, she heard a lecture by Terry Garrison, author of the book Fed Up. Terry talked about getting away from the diet mentality through size acceptance. Though it took her a few years to really internalize this message, she never forgot it during her years of study.
The concept of size acceptance was what finally helped her break the cycle of disordered eating and start enjoying food without guilt. Armed with the knowledge of nutrition she gained in college, Heather worked on developing healthy eating habits that made sense and allowed for treats as frequently as she wanted to prevent that feeling of restriction. Now she loves food as much as she always has, and she enjoys it more!
Heather’s transformation from disordered eating, weight-obsession, and negative body image to a healthy lifestyle, positive body image, and freedom from guilt about food is something she doesn’t take for granted. She worked hard to put food in its proper place in her life, and she wishes the same for all women.
Learn more about Heather’s practice in Lawrence, Kansas, at freestatenutrition.com. Sign up for her Intuitive Eating DIY course and check out one of her favorite tools, The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
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