Welcome (AKA Why Are We Here?)

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Many of you may know me from my other blog, Tasty Eats At Home, where I share gluten-free and dairy-free recipes and have been doing so for 5 years. Most of my posts are related to (hopefully) mouth-watering dishes that I make for friends, family, and myself, but some of you that have followed that blog for a while may know that I’ve also struggled with ongoing digestive issues even since removing gluten and dairy from my diet, and I’ve worked to find relief from those issues (as well as others). I’ve tried removing FODMAPs. I’ve tried eating grain-free/paleo. I’ve had allergy tests done in an effort to determine what was going on with my body, visited a gastroenterologist and had numerous tests done, and even visited an Integrative Medicine doctor to determine if there was any other way. I wasn’t totally vocal about all of this, as I felt like I couldn’t share completely what I was doing, lest you come to believe I’d found an answer to all of my issues. I hadn’t. My digestive issues have lessened over time, but I have a suspicion that has more to do with time to heal than any of the above.

But I also wasn’t vocal about my simultaneous struggle to stay slim and/or lose weight. This was a goal that started as an on/off goal well before I went gluten-free; but as I became more involved with healthy eating, it became less of a positive goal, and slowly crept its way into every fabric of my being. An obsession. I counted calories. (I still do.) I tracked my fiber intake. I lowered my carbs. I obsessed about protein. I eliminated food groups. I followed a mostly vegan, high-raw diet. I did Whole30s and thought I was gaining a healthier relationship with food, only to fall face-first into a batch of frosting later on. I never missed a morning workout, no matter how tired/sore/sick I might have been. I weighed myself daily, if not more often. I believed that if I just did the next best thing, somehow my body would be perfect and I will have found the miracle.

Instead, I found my way to a truly disordered relationship with food and my body. I still saw myself as…well, not fat, per se, but bigger than I wanted to be. I saw flaws. Cellulite. Squishy parts. Even if I was at my “leaner” weight (which was always heavier than my “goal” weight), I was only one sugar binge away from fat. I also was starting to lose my health. I was wearing my body down with a continuous cycle of insufficient calorie intake, too little rest from exercise, and incredible anxiety about it all.

And then something clicked. When I was getting close to running my first half-marathon earlier this year, I was running out of energy in the middle of long training runs. Five miles in, and I’d hit the wall. Truth is, I wasn’t eating enough. I was still trying to eat mostly paleo, and keeping my daily calorie intake around 1,400 (I might get to 2,000 on long run days). I wasn’t recovering quickly, I was losing strength (I lost my ability to do full push-ups during that time, even though I was doing them on a regular basis previously and never stopped.) and even more insane – I was gaining weight. It was during this time that I was wondering if something was wrong with me. I started to research about carbs and fueling for endurance, and started allowing more into my diet as a necessity. Shortly thereafter I found a little Facebook support group for people tired of diets and looking for balanced/healthy approach to eating. My world then shifted on its axis.

Since then, I’ve been EATING. Recovering. Becoming healthy. And more importantly, I’m working to let go. Let go of the anxiety. The body shaming. The obsession and struggle to be thinner, fitter, more perfect. I’m forgiving myself for only wanting perfection, and learning to be happy and in love with me. I’m hoping through this blog to not only share my personal stories, but also help break down the body-shaming, the dietary dogmas, and the misinformation that is so prevalent throughout the media, the diet industry, and into everyday life. It’s a journey, but it’s one well worth the time. Won’t you join me?

15 thoughts on “Welcome (AKA Why Are We Here?)

  1. Alta, you are one beautiful lady. I will never forget your kindnesses. I’m so glad you are trying to break free of this prison we women often find ourselves in. Baker Peabody (Peabody Rudd of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody) is a big champion of body image acceptance as well, if you do not already know. We have all learned so much from the low carb, raw, vegan, primal and paleo worlds (a huge step in getting away from processed foods and eating nutrient-rich foods), but we need to live. I’m a huge advocate of the 80/20 plan, yet I fall off as well. And, we need to be happy and love ourselves to enjoy the journey called life. Thanks ever so much for sharing your story. You will always have my support. I wish you well with your new blog and look forward to checking in and being a cheerleader. Have a great weekend, girl! xo

      • PS – I think many women (and some men) find themselves in a similar boat. I’m sure I’ll write more about these topics, but it’s become almost normal in our society to be obsessed with diet and clean eating and all that. But it’s not normal. I’m hoping that by talking about my journey, others can realize that this isn’t the way! 🙂

  2. Alta, this is wonderfully written, thank you for sharing. I have struggled so much myself and it’s so nice to hear many of my thoughts and experiences echoed in yours.

  3. Love this first post. Love, as in I love that you’re sharing this with us. Don’t love that you struggle with this or that I struggle with it or that any of us do! But it will eventually reach a tipping point, and I feel like we’re right about there. Hopefully things will begin to change on a greater level.

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE (did I say LOVE?) this, Alta…this is such a wonderful message and so well written. I did suffer from an eating disorder back when I was in high school and it has been something that I have had to deal with my entire life since then. I can so easily fall in to the trap of always worrying about what I am eating and how much I am exercising and how fit I am. I am finally at a good point in my life. I found that simple short-burst interval workouts work great for me and only takes a little bit of time a few times of week yet leaves me feeling energized and happy. I don’t beat myself up when I can’t get to it either. I also learned to not get upset with myself on the days that I don’t eat so well.
    Thank you so much for sharing this….

  5. It is so wonderful that you are willing to share this – so many people feel this way, and can certainly relate. And you ARE perfect – perfect at being you!

  6. Alta this is beautiful and so honest. Thank you for sharing it with us. I know you know you’re not alone. I have had a troublesome relationship with food since I was in high school. I was about 125 pounds and I had to lose three pounds so I could row on the lightweight team. I was a healthy, fit, active teenager. I didn’t really have 3 pounds to lose. That started it all. I’m really happy where I am now, but it’s taken a long time to get here. I don’t think blogging about food helps much 😉 I’m excited to follow you on this site too. xo

    • Maggie – Thanks for sharing that. It’s tough, how a few pounds can start us off into a battle with ourselves. And I agree – blogging about food really makes the waters murky…even more so, in my opinion, when you’re looked at as a “healthy” food blogger. 🙂

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