Meet one of our favorite ladies around, Amy, who we lovingly call, Ames. She is as sweet as honey and lives her life open and honestly, spreading smiles and laughter as she goes. Like so many of us, Amy’s relationship with food has been a rocky one. The hardest thing about disordered eating is that food is our lifeline, and it’s not something we can just walk away or take a break from. We are so happy that Amy is in a place where she feels fantastic, and are incredibly honored that she wanted to share her story with us and YOU.
Take it away, Ames…
You know that moment you feel so drawn to something, so incredibly inspired that it just smacks you – calls you – to sit down, jump up, scream, text frantically, A PURE adrenaline rush, endorphin flowing BLISS?? As I sit down to write this that is EXACTLY how I feel. All because I feel in control. In control of my thoughts, my behavior, my actions, but most importantly, at this point in my life I feel in control of the food I eat. Everything that I put into my mouth.
Control or lack thereof has been something that I have struggled with for years, almost 10+ years. I don’t wallow in sadness or sorrow because of having struggled with an eating disorder for that long, but instead feel empowered, light, and finally free. Especially free to share. I’m going to give ‘her’ the name Harry to lighten the load a bit. Harry seems fitting because around food I almost always feel like I’m in a little bit of a ‘harry’ predicament. Uneasy territory. Set up to fail or willed by the food to “eat meeeeee!!!” And I am not alone. Nearly 24 million Americans have at some point suffered from disordered eating. As Americans, we are OBSESSED with food. We are bombarded with the newest diet fads weekly if not daily. Calorie counts have been intricately placed on every menu in the nation. I could go on and on and on. Bottom line – we as Americans have an issue with food.
Back to my story. Harry began to take over my life. Almost every second of every day I was thinking about food. Before I had even gotten out of bed in the morning I would think about what I was going to eat for dinner. How could I set my day up right? I wanted to be successful with my eating. I yearned to eat healthy, but I struggled day after day with the balance. I felt completely out of control. Harry had an appetite. I envied each and every sugar laden pastry in the Starbucks window. I would dream about desserts, chocolate, peanut butter… Bread. I would crave white bread. And I couldn’t stop myself once I started.
Eating disorders, Harry in my case, should not be taken lightly, or without medical attention. I was treated at a facility specializing in eating disorders, under the care of physicians and nutritionists, which was essential to my recovery. But today, I share my story with an emphasis on the whole picture. Participating in the most recent Get Balanced program by Prescribe Nutrition brought (no pun intended) the balance I needed. I owe so much thanks to Megan, Katie, and Anna for creating such a genius organization. Their motto says it all. Nutrition for real life. I gained a gauntlet of amazing (and absolutely delicious) recipes, but more importantly the program gave me the knowledge of what what was happening in my body on a physiological level.
During Get Balanced we explored the digestive system, adrenal health, and so much more. Katie and Megan broke it down to the molecule. Every single thing I put into my mouth effects the level of hormones in my body, which in turn effects how I feel. Prior to the program I was feeling out of control, sluggish, bloated, tired, and just pretty c r a p p y. The biggest take home for me was the brilliant amazing news that SUGAR (or any trigger food) did not have to control my life. Don’t get me wrong. It was not easy – especially the first few days of the program. I was often tempted to sneak a peanut butter cup or drink a glass of wine (and I did). It was hard. I complained to my good friend who did the program with me. I complained a lot. But I realized why I was having all of the cravings. Sugar is highly addictive. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of it (because that’s what the program is for), but it is possible to eliminate the cravings.
Introducing something new is almost always scary. I was fearful of never being able to enjoy a sinful treat again once the program started. As the program went on my cravings subsided. Oh. My. God (thank YOU!) I now get excited about food – what to cook, what sauce would work with what vegetables, or how to get creative when making healthy desserts. I prioritize time for food prep, and set aside a budget for organic, whole foods. To me, the price of organic food is worth it (thank you Kelly B. for the reminder!). It is an investment in your health; just like other preventive health measures you take. I take pride in eating healthy because of what these ladies have taught me. They are real and willing to get down and dirty with you. They know first and foremost food is a sticky subject but they want you to see the other side. They bring light to functional nutrition. I hope my story and authenticity inspires you to join me in their next program starting September 15th. Reset:14. I will be your support buddy when the times get tough and would be honored if you joined me!