My name is Peta and I do not have a problem – promise.
I have a confession to make: sometimes I eat cake for breakfast.
I’m sure my current ‘treats for breakfast’ situation would be of envy to some, but I haven’t always had the sweetest relationship with food.
After growing up overweight and then dropping four dress sizes to become a model, I’ve always been pretty conscious of every bite I took. I developed an unhealthy relationship with food that saw my weight yo-yo. I’d never touch my beloved cake, and my mental dialogue when it came to food was really unhealthy.
Even if I ate something I loved, I’d never enjoy it because I’d be working out how long it would take me to burn it off.
I associated being thin with having to diet, and I didn’t think it was possible to eat cake and still be considered healthy (one of many healthy-eating lessons I learned in Paris).
You’d think cutting out food would make me my desired dress size, but I ended up piling on the weight and being at a loss as to how to lose it. I felt like I was never going to get off the dieting train or have a healthy relationship with food.
Over time I learned a healthy diet starts with a healthy mindset, and that lesson has helped me drop a dress size.
Here’s what else happened when I stop dieting and started relaxing more when it came to food.
I saw exercise as a reward for my body
I stopped mentally scheduling exercise just because I’d eaten something unhealthy. I reframed my perception of exercise and went into workouts with a better frame of mind. I didn’t exercise to punish my body, I exercised because I loved it and the way it made my body feel.
I started to view food as food and ate without attaching labels or guilt
I used to call myself disgusting when I’d eat something processed, especially cake. I’d limit the amount of ‘bad’ foods I ate, which would result in a mass blowout when I finally indulged. Removing the labels meant getting rid of the guilt and those binge sessions.
I said ‘yes’ to going out with friends
My fave thing to do now is head out for an antipasto platter and a glass of vino with my girlfriends. Hanging out with people who have good relationships with food made me see how food can be loved and enjoyed, and that it’s a vital part of social life.
I ate what I wanted, not what I felt I should
If I woke up and wanted to have a cup of coffee and a danish for breakfast, I would. I began to listen to my body and give into my cravings rather than eat other food to dull the cravings down – FYI, that never works and you’ll always end up eating what you were craving anyway.
I noticed the negative effects stress can have on the waistline
Want to know why stressful times can boost hunger? You have cortisol to thank for that. Cortisol is a hormone that has many effects on the body, and it can be the culprit for your major appetite, particularly when you’re stressed. Even though my diet was healthy, all the added stress around mealtimes ended up being detrimental for my waistline.
I became relaxed about food choices
My fave sweet is an almond croissant or a piece of chocolate lava cake with a hot cup of coffee – especially for breakfast. I never make a habit out of anything, I just make sure I’m relaxed with my food choices and that I enjoy it.
Comment: Have you ever had an eating disorder? What did you do to overcome it?