What has been your experience with nutrition? Have you always “had it together”?
I went on my first diet when I was 12. In middle school I struggled with being bigger than all of my friends and started to feel self conscious about my weight at an early age. I started with cutting out entire food groups, and doing really neurotic/compensatory things like always doing 25 sit ups as soon as I ate something like a cookie. I got a handle on eating healthy after a while, but when I started my bodybuilding journey at the end of high school, I had an old school ‘bro mentality’ bodybuilding coach who put me on a strict cookie cutter meal plan. I went from 136 to 98 lbs in 4 months and it really changed my relationship with food forever.
After competing in my first show, I struggled with uncontrollable binge eating, all day, every day. It impacted every aspect of my life. My relationships, my social life, my school life, my work life. It was a nightmare. Luckily, I found a coach who then taught me how to diet flexibly which helped for a while but I still struggled with binge eating 1-2 times a week for about 3 years. I have gone through seasons of orthorexia and bulimia up until about 6 years after that first traumatizing diet. It wasn’t until I started appreciating the biochemical effects of food and how powerful it can be that my relationship with food changed.
Also, with finally taking a break from tracking for 7 years, I moved towards more habit based tracking. Tracking macros really helped me to find balance in the season when I decided to stop tracking. But the aggressive strict meal plan diet that rapidly changed my body and created an all or nothing mindset really threw me for a spin.