When was your first diet?

I was 12 years old.

My best friend and I weighed ourselves and then decided that we needed to lose weight. I ate mostly fruits and vegetables for about a month and got lots of praise for my food restriction and weight loss. After a month I ate a cookie and then binged on sweets and salty foods. That was the beginning of my restriction/binge cycle that lasted until I was 40 years old.

I look at myself in old photos and see a beautiful, innocent and healthy girl. I wonder what my relationship with food and my body would be like today if I was told that I was beautiful and encouraged to love my body. If I was discouraged from going on severe restricting diets and encouraged to eat what my body told me I needed.

My first diet was the trigger that sent me down a path of 28 years of disordered eating.

Restricting, binging and sometimes purging was how I dealt with my self loathing. Each diet was a promise that I could prove that I was strong enough, beautiful enough, worthy enough.

I am so beyond grateful that I found acceptance in myself. That I learned about Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating and Body Acceptance. Today I truly love and accept myself. I know that I am enough. That is a true blessing.

If you are reading this and relate, feel free to reach out to me. You are not alone. Dieting and eating disorders are at epidemic proportions in this country. You CAN find peace with food, your body and most of all YOU!