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This RD blew me away. Her tactics included therapy as well as education. She asked me a series of questions—not about what I ate or how much—but rather, how I felt. Was I hungry when eating? Full? Did I eat at normal times? Did I taste the food? Was I upset? I always knew deep down that I was eating out of emotion or severe fatigue, but it never dawned on me that I rarely listened to my hunger or honored it. In fact, I often ignored my hunger completely and ate on a very strict schedule where hunger and fullness weren't even factors.
When it came to hunger, my body and mind were completely out of whack. In fact, my RD told me that I didn't know what hunger was at all. So, under my RD's care, I started a hunger log where I checked in every hour to see on a scale of 1 to 10 how hungry or full I was. My goal was to eat when I was a 6 or 7 and stop when I was at a 7 or 8 on the full scale. At the onset, I thought this would be pretty easy to do, but it took me weeks to figure out what the numbers meant to me and my belly. Figuring out how hungry was "too hungry," and how full was "too full" or "not full enough" were things that I had to relearn. My RD was also brilliant at getting to refocus my life on what really mattered instead of calories and my imperfections. She even helped me schedule off days from working out and helped me to see that spending too many hours in the gym was doing more harm than good.
On my wedding day, a few months after our sessions began, I felt more confident and beautiful than I ever had. I now have the tools to recognize when I'm becoming out of balance with my workouts and my eating, and I have coping mechanisms to better deal with these things (just stopping and breathing does wonders!). I still slip up from time to time, but I don't beat myself up about it. I focus on being healthy, happy and as balanced as I can be. And then the rest just works itself out. Below are a few others things I learned during the process that can help you on your journey. Continued ›