Hopefully everyone’s week has been as beautiful as the one here in NEPA. We’ve had consistent 80 degree weather all week. It’s wonderful! I’m loving the fact that I can run outside more often.
Clare at Fitting It All In was nice enough to allow me to interview her about how she transitioned to a healthy lifestyle after suffering from an eating disorder. She’s super inspirational and she is very open on her blog, something a lot of bloggers have trouble doing online, but this makes us feel more relatable with our favorite bloggers.
I interviewed Clare via email, so all answers are 100% her replies. Enjoy!
When you wanted to get healthy again, what was your turning point after suffering from an eating disorder?
After battling Anorexia, I ended up overweight because I didn’t know my hunger cues. I had been telling myself “eat eat eat” for so long, with no regard to portion sizes or proper nutrition, that I was clueless. I was restricting during the day, eating packaged diet foods, and then binging at night. I was so unhappy in my skin and knew my relationship with food was wrong. I remember one night bringing food into my bedroom and binging alone while my roommates were together upstairs.
I starting reading some healthy living blogs, and finally decided that they obviously were doing something right. None of them were eating diet foods or having to restrict their intake. I realized that it was worth it to me to try this new way way of eating, even though it was scary, because nothing could be worse than the way I already felt. I started eating big oatmeal and almond butter breakfasts, baking sweet potatoes and roasting vegetables, and snacking on apples and Greek yogurt. I challenged myself to start running, and things started to fall into place. Weight fell off, energy levels skyrocketed, and bingeing stopped.
Did you gradually begin to eat healthy or did you go into it full force?
I’m not really sure! I know I stopped drinking soda all at once, but I think that I learned about nutrition and trying different foods over time. For me, though, i wanted to do it right. I wasn’t going to eat a wholesome breakfast and then junk for dinner. It was a full lifestyle choice.
I know you spoke about intuitive eating. How did this effect your healthy eating habits? I feel like I would intuitively go for junk food sometimes…LOL.
It’s definitely intuitive to go for junk sometimes! At the beginning, people often eat all the foods previously on their “bad” list. Lots of cookies, ice cream, etc. And that’s fine – it’s part of the process and teaches you that those foods HAVE NO POWER over you. Eventually you start to learn what makes you feel good, and most of the time that’s whole nutritious foods. Naturally you’ll crave sweets every once in a while, and you should listen to those cravings and indulge. However I bet that constantly eating junk makes you sluggish and bloated, so intuitively you’ll know when you go for something different. Intuitive eating isn’t JUST about what tastes good, but what makes you feel good and fits best with your lifestyle. After all, someone with celiac disease wouldn’t intuitively eat a slice of bread even though it tastes good!
When did you tie exercising into your lifestyle after recovering? Did you stop for awhile to gain some weight?
I wasn’t exercising at all while I was Anorexic, and didn’t resume until I was given the okay by my doctor. After that I mostly stuck to the elliptical. However since I started to gain too much weight, I started challenging myself more. I started running during my senior year of college and that was when I really started getting into fitness. I started racing, trying yoga, spinning, and then weight lifting. Now I love it all!
If you could give one tip to people trying to live a healthy lifestyle (so they don’t go overboard with it), what would it be?
I think one of the biggest issue these days is orthorexia – or becoming too obsessed with being healthy. To me, a healthy lifestyle definitely includes nutritious food choices and lots of exercise, but also drinks with friends and ice cream on a summer night. Health is holistic, and you have to be fulfilled in your relationships, career, and spirituality just as much as you have to be fulfilled by your food and exercise. Make a happy, laughter-filled, spontaneous lifestyle your focus and find ways to make healthy choices with food and exercise around it. There is no point in having a perfect diet and muscular physique if you have to skip dinner plans and avoid social situations.
Also, there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect diet! There is so much nutrition and fitness information out there that you could constantly think you should be doing something different. Vegetables and water are good, too much sugar and processed food is bad. Move your body pretty often. Other than that, do what makes YOU feel good and what makes YOU happy.
What side of the healthy eating spectrum do you think you fall into?