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Eating disorders ruled my life for almost two decades. I was obsessed with, and tried, every possible diet, weight loss plan, detox, cleanse and restrictive eating plan. All that I got was an even greater obsession with food and weight.

My eating disorder took various shapes and forms – starting off with anorexia and then progressing to binge eating, compulsive overeating, excessive exercise, laxative abuse, bulimia and binge eating. I have been through it all! I was given a taste of all the different flavors of an eating disorder.

I sought help through a number of different paths and sources. I tried eating disorder counselors, support groups, spiritual healing and I was even hospitalized twice in order to stop the extreme acting out.

What I didn’t realize was that it was my dieting and restrictive eating that was fuelling the eating disorder and until I stopped that, nothing would change. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I would try all the different treatment programs but my behavior and attitude remained the same – I would diet, restrict and eventually binge. I just could not connect the dieting to the eating disorder. I thought you HAD to be on a diet and anything else was absurd and ineffective.

I never truly believed that I would find a lasting eating disorder recovery solution. I thought that I would always in some way or another live with the mental obsession, the preoccupation with food and weight, and at best have periods of “abstinence” from the extreme manifestation of the eating disorder.

Things got so bad at some point that I guess I reached that real rock bottom place. You now the place – where you cannot live another day the way that you have been living. Things had to change because I had no life, no interest and no spirit left.

I did not know exactly what normal or intuitive eating was at the time (well, I still don’t), but I just had the desire to be a “normal eater.” You know the ones? They eat what they want, they stop when they are full, they do not have any off limits food and they do not suffer with guilt or obsession over what they ate.

This was my goal and after reaching that rock bottom place where I absolutely had no life or interest other than food and weight loss, I became determined to become a NORMAL EATER.

The process takes time, patience with oneself and practice. I’m still on my journey. I’m still learning every day and I make mistakes so don’t judge me strictly. I didn’t become disordered eater overnight, so the recovery takes time. However, the more I let go of diet rules, plans and restriction, the more I focus on ACTING like an intuitive eater, the faster I notice results.

The biggest challenges that I have faced up to this time are initially not knowing what to eat and a major fear of weight gain. But slowly I add food that I like; I taste things out and observe the results. Even thought I am terrified at times that I would not be able to stop eating, the I’m happy with the results that the more I focus on being a normal eater, letting go of the scales, rules, restriction, the more freedom I experience and the lesser the obsession is.

So here is an example of what I eat during the day. My WIAW (yesterday) meals!

I have never been a breakfast eater so you’ll never see anything breakfast like on this series.

Morning: coffee, coffee, coffee! Lunch: leftover chicken soup from yesterday, gluten free soft taco tortillas with salsa and cheddar cheese, some salad on the side. Snack: a pot of coffee and a fruit salad.

Dinner: chicken salad with lots of veggies. Snack: full fat yogurt with some berries and nuts. What about you? Are you more of an intuitive eater or strict meal planner? What is working for you?