Sharing My Little Story

Good Saturday afternoon! I have been battling an early spring cold that knocked me down, but not out, yesterday. I have been productive at the house but still rather pathetic. I finally got ready, put on some make-up, and I’m down at one of Knoxville’s sweet local cafes. Smoked salmon panini with turkey stew and hibiscus tea. {I must share that as soon as I stepped inside, a gentleman joked with the owner that it was a bad time to have started his diet. I cringed and wished I could’ve told him to live life and not live with so much guilt and restriction.}

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I have shared about my journey in nutrition and eating on my blog, but I thought it was worth revisiting once more. As I’ve continued to read some amazing blogs by RD’s who have ditched the diet mentality and have embraced intuitive eating, I wanted to contribute to the conversation and movement as well. Admittedly, I have always pulled back from sharing so much because I worry how others will view me. But if what I share can help someone else, then it’s all worth it.

In 2007, what began as an innocent and positive choice ultimately fueled my desire for control. My sister and I joined a gym and each hired a personal trainer. They told me how many calories I needed (which was incredibly wrong), and there began my obsession with calorie counting and weight loss. I bought a food scale and began meticulously measuring and calculating my daily intake, down to the 0.5 tsp of cinnamon I used in my oatmeal…it was very extreme. Dining out became a chore and unenjoyable because I couldn’t control the food. I would review the menu online and make my choice before ever even getting to the restaurant. It was no longer about what I wanted and all about what I thought was the “right” choice. One example was from December 2008 when we went to TX for my older half sister’s college graduation. That morning I walked from the hotel over to the gas station in search of skim milk. My education had taught me this was the safe, healthy choice. They didn’t have any, so I asked my dad to go by some fast food place. They also didn’t carry any, and this caused me a lot of anxiety. I had to get x number of dairy servings a day, and it had to be fat free. By the time we all met at a barbecue restaurant, things had escalated to the point of my sister becoming really upset and a whole ordeal unfolding for all to witness. There weren’t any “healthy” options, and I was at a loss. No control. Instead of it being a fun, light-hearted day, it ended with tears and anger.

The more people commented on my appearance and my “discipline”, the further I became trapped in this behavior. By the time I entered UT fall 2008 and declared nutrition as my major, I barely weighed over a 100 pounds and was a very confused version of myself. Sometime that year I had also lost my period. How I couldn’t see this as a sign that things needed to change I don’t know. My sister told my parents, which did upset me. Later I realized it was the right action for her to take.

There were many days I would get up, and while Matt slept in a little more that morning, I would quietly go into my bathroom and weigh myself. I would weigh myself multiple times daily and would allow my self-worth to be dictated by the number I saw. It wasn’t until one day Matt just sat back and said matter-of-factly that I was no longer the girl he met, I knew I needed help. This was still many years until I finally ditched the food scale and the restrictive behaviors. I’ve been a work in progress for a long time, and I continue to be. I listen to my cravings, but there are days I still question if I should honor them or make a safer choice. If I’m having a particularly bad day thanks to IBS, I can tend to want to restrict. But I stop myself short, remembering all the pain that comes from it.

Looking back, I can see I’ve craved control for a long time. My mother was incredibly loving, sweet, and amazing, but she suffered severely from alcoholism. I couldn’t control her or our home life, but when I found nutrition, calories, and so forth, I saw I could control this. It was a false sense of security because I realize there is a lot in life that cannot be controlled. I am still coming to terms with this, but it’s a far better place to be than the former.

Lastly, when Kylie of Immaeatthat divulged that she was seeking therapy, I decided it was time I did once more. I started seeing a therapist in 2012, almost 6 years after my mom had passed. It wasn’t until then that I realized I had needed therapy for a long time. Last year, the combination of my anxiety and wedding planning hit an all-time high. Even after our ah-mazing on-cloud-nine wedding and honeymoon, I had another breakdown after we had been back home for a few weeks. Since then, I have been seeing my second therapist. I firmly believe that for me to be an effective and empathetic RD, I too need help. I’m only human and fall prey to fear and stress. I must say that I believe many things happen for one reason or another and in their own time. I am beyond thankful that my sweet man did not ask for my hand in marriage until December 25, 2015. Had it been a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy our honeymoon like I did. Eating out all that we did, indulging and experiencing, would’ve caused unhappiness. Instead, this past October I just lived in the moment, and you know what? It was healthier – physically, mentally, emotionally – than following some ambiguous diet.

So, all this is to say: please follow your own intuition. Don’t follow some ridiculous diet (because diets don’t work!), don’t base yourself on a supposedly “perfect” girl on Instagram, and don’t even base your eating on a food blogger or RD. What works for me may not for someone else and the reverse is true. If you’ve been on the fence about seeking therapy, I recommend it. All you can do is try and see if it’s right for you. I love my life more than I can say, but sometimes being an adult can be very difficult. There’s no shame in admitting we need help. I hope this is inspiring and not depressing. I don’t want attention or anything of that sort! I set out to create a positive blog with light-hearted content, but sometimes I want to get a little more serious. Everyone has their own story and struggles. Be careful with your choice of words and praise. You don’t know what someone is dealing with in private. Above all, be kind. ❤

7 thoughts on “Sharing My Little Story

  1. Thank you for your candor. It’s not easy to accept that we are not in control and need help, no matter what our challenges are. I am so very blessed to have you in my life. You are a constant source of inspiration. Love you 💜

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  2. Awww Kori, this warms my heart. Reading your story I was nodding my head because of the many similarities I had with my own journey. I talked about it in my journey to self-love post a couple of days ago. I can’t say that I’ve mastered completely on my attitude and feelings towards food. However, I am proud to say that I completely ditched on the MyFitnessPal app – so no counting calories! But I continue to look at food in a negative way – and I feel it both in my actions, my behavior with others when I’m eating, and how I think when I’m not eating. It’s definitely a long process – however, it’s something that I don’t necessarily regret because during my weight loss journey, I found my love and passion for nutrition. So deciding to naively lose weight was definitely a good and a bad. Thanks for sharing, Kori! You’re so brave in doing so! xoxo, Steph

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I definitely have good days and bad days, but as you said, the progress made and lessons learned keep me thankful. It’s easy to fall in that trap again, so keep being positive and mindful. I find that if I’m having a bad day or negative self-image, that’s when I must be aware and prevent myself from restricting. Try to identify what’s truly bothering you instead of punishing yourself. You are a fabulous person who will conquer this! XO

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw yes! I’m so glad to have found such a sweet and supporting friend through blogging. It’s definitely hard to keep this positive mindset in this day and age of social media and photoshop. Have a great rest of the week! xoxo Steph

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