I have been thinking a lot lately about how to bring more balance and awareness into my
life. For the majority of my 28 years on earth, I have been very unhappy with my weight.
Every fiber of my being, every waking moment went in to weight loss. I would spend
hours at the gym when I could; I turned down social invitations because I was fearful that
these occasions would lead to me being “bad;” I have been on every fad diet under the
sun: if you name it, I’ve probably tried it. Though <<insert fad diet name here>> served
its purpose at the time, I found that this all or nothing mentality was hindering me a lot
more than it was helping. I would feel deprived all week, binge on fast food all weekend,
and come Monday, it was right back to that diet; with a new week came a new slate, and
this time, I swore I would be “good.” I started to become obsessive for fear that the
“bad” side of my personal justice scale (and let’s face it, my personal bathroom scale)
would be weighed down.
I am not really sure how this internal pressure that we put on ourselves begins, or from
where it originates. Studies suggest that a societal pressure to conform to a thin ideal is
to blame. According to a study done by Bacon, Stern, Van Loan & Keim, 57% of
women in the U.S. are on some sort of diet (2005), most likely because they make
society’s priorities their own. However, I believe that you and your health should be
your first priority. It wasn’t until I started doing yoga regularly that I was able to take a
step back and fully realize this. Everyone has the capacity to conquer this negative
internal voice and emerge victorious in the trial of life. And while I’m not trying to push
yoga or any certain agenda, I am trying to say that the journey starts from within;
however you choose to start is up to you.
One thing that really helped me balance was developing a realistic eating plan that was
easy to stick to by following the principles of Intuitive Eating. Intuitive eating is “an
approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and
body—where you ultimately become the expert of your own body…it is also a process of
making peace with food—so that you no longer have constant ‘food worry’ thoughts. It’s
knowing that your health and your worth as a person do not change because you ate a
food that you had labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘fattening’” (Tribole, 2009). It takes a lot of work
to get to this point, but it is so worth it. Intuitive eating offers a sense of freedom, and
has been proven to improve health outcomes in women. In the same study by Bacon,
Stern, Van Loan & Keim, 78 obese female chronic dieters were observed. They either
followed a “health at every size” approach or were placed on a structured diet. The
results revealed that those women who were counseled with the “health at every size”
approach had more positive outcomes, including weight loss and maintenance, total
cholesterol reduction, increased physical activity, and improved psychological measures
As I have said before, every food fits, and I truly believe that. Remember that it is
important to eat for yourself and your health. You should always be your first priority.
I hope everyone enjoys, and keep working hard on the path to balance!
Bacon, L., Stern, J., Vanloan, M., & Keim, N. (2005). Size Acceptance And Intuitive
Eating Improve Health For Obese, Female Chronic Dieters. Journal of the
American Dietetic Association, 105(6), 929-936.
Evelyn, T. (2009, January 1). Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD - Nutrition Therapist, Author,
Speaker. Retrieved January 23, 2015, from
About the Author
Lisa Samuels is a Long Island native who is currently a Dietetic Intern at LIU Post. She has a B.A. in Art History from Ithaca College, a B.S. in Nutrition from LIU Post & was also a practicing baker for two years. Lisa has finally found her calling. Combining her love for food, writing, and nutrition, she strives to bring you the latest news in the field.
Check out even more posts from Lisa at her website: