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I Choose: A Journey from Restrictive Eating to Freedom!

By Jessie Russo

Jessie Hiking in Sedona - smThe article Got Cravings? Three Words to Eliminate from your Vocabulary really resonated with me as someone who lived in a Restrictive Eating Cycle for most of my teens and early twenties.

When I turned 25, I made a commitment to take better care of myself.  I was exhausted from my restrictive lifestyle! I saw my health being affected by my choices so I promised myself I wouldn’t take this restrictive lifestyle into my thirties. I began to shift my focus from being thin to being healthy. I made huge strides and became very healthy physically. I was eating nutritious foods and exercising a healthy amount. Even my doctor was giving me praise for being at a healthy weight and having top notch results on my blood work.

However, I was still totally preoccupied with food. I had placed new rules and restrictions on different food groups, and unless it was on my “good” foods list, it didn’t come anywhere near my mouth.

Dairy, among others, had become my nemesis. I noticed I didn’t feel my best after I ate it, but do I have a severe dairy allergy? No. It didn’t matter though. I wouldn’t allow even a trace of it to come close to me for fear of inflammation and a bloated stomach. I began to realize I was now obsessed with healthy eating and had welcomed a new form of restrictive eating into my life. The three word’s “I can’t have” were a part of my daily vocabulary (some days it seemed like the only words) and they ruled my life.

After going through the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program and Facilitator Training, I’ve realized I have the choice to eat anything I want. ANYTHING! There are no good or bad foods and there isn’t anything “I can’t have.”  Because dairy does bother my system I still stay away from it, but now I just listen to what my body tells me and I eat with intention and attention. I eat with the intention of feeling better when I’m done than I did when I started, and really pay attention to how different foods affect my body.  If I really want a brownie, and it happens to be made with dairy, I eat it anyway. Sometimes my favorite desserts are worth a belly ache!

Changing my vocabulary has been a huge part of changing my thoughts around food. This journey has taken me from “I can’t” to “I choose” and that is the sweet sound of freedom I never thought possible!

Have you had any challenges or success with changing your self-talk, for example, from “I can’t have” to “I choose”? What do you do when your “little voice” starts speaking to you?

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About the author

As a former dancer and now Yoga instructor, Jessica has always had a passion for, nutrition, movement, and the mind-body connection. Jessica is a 200 RYT certified yoga teacher through Bala Vinyasa Yoga, a Baptiste affiliate studio. Her fitness background includes work as a PureBarre instructor, and both Mat and Reformer Pilate’s certifications through Balanced Body. Jessica is also a certified holistic health coach receiving her training through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has gone on to become a licensed Am I Hungry?® facilitator, focusing her coaching work in mindful eating for individuals, groups and in corporate wellness. “My mission is to empower, educate and inspire each individual through the practice of yoga, and mindful eating, guiding them to live a purposeful life. I am committed to supporting and uplifting my community bringing them into their greatness and passing along the gifts my teachers have given to me. “ Am I Hungry?® was the missing link for me in my journey to ending my eat-repent-repeat cycle and developing a healthier relationship with food. After living my entire life in a restrictive eating cycle mixed with "yo-yo" dieting I decided it was time to break free, stop constantly beating myself up for each bite of food that went in my mouth and learn to nourish and fuel myself in a healthy way. What I love about this program is it takes the mindful practices I use in yoga and applies it to my relationship with food, helping me to meet my true emotional needs that food and exercise cannot provide. This practice of mindfulness has carried over from my mat, to my relationship with food, to every other area of my life, helping me to live a more vibrant and fulfilling life. Jessica will lead you through powerful and challenging work both on and off the mat. Using her nurturing sense she will gently guide you to your personal edge, pushing you past your limitations and inspiring you to step into your most powerful and purposeful self.

One Comment

  1. Damary says:

    Thank you

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