A guest post by Women’s Health and Lifestyle Expert Shannon Sullivan:
Have you ever thought to yourself, “My life would be different if I had a different body?”
For me, that was the thought process throughout my high school and college years. Almost anything that didn’t go my way — when I didn’t get invited to the party I wanted to, when I didn’t get the attention of the boy I wanted to, and when I didn’t feel right in the clothes I had. I can vividly remember making a loose set of plans with the popular kids in high school and then waiting by the phone at home (this is all b.c.p. — before cell phones) for a call from them. I was showered, hair done, new outfit on and ready to go! As the time ticked by, I started losing hope. I started feeling stupid, lonely and went into this spiral about how no one liked me. So what did I do? Did I call other friends? No. Did I try to salvage the evening and make other plans? No. Did I think of an activity that would improve my mood? No. I bee-lined it for self-sabotage. I went to my “go-to” comfort food: white Wonderbread and Skippy peanut butter. This was the quickest, easiest way to make me feel (slightly) better.
This was emotional eating at it’s finest (or worst, depending on how you look at it). I was hurt and thought if I were only hotter, with a better body I would be out with the popular kids right now. There are a couple funny things about this situation:
1) The lack of phone call was not nearly as malicious as I thought. These loose set of plans were just those, and I didn’t bother calling them to confirm. All of this was in my head.
2) If I thought I wasn’t thin or attractive enough, why on earth would I do something (eat junk) that pushed me even farther away from this goal?
After half the loaf was gone, I felt sick. Slathering creamy, sugary peanut butter onto slice after slice of white bread will do that to you, especially when you’ve already had dinner and you are not the least bit hungry. I was stressed and using food to both ease the stress and punish myself, but I’m not the only one:
Fact: In the past month, 26% of teens say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods because of stress. More than half of these teens (52%) engage in these behaviors weekly or more.
After overeating or eating unhealthy foods, teens report feeling bad about their bodies (41%), disappointed in themselves (40%) and sluggish or lazy (39%).
Unfortunately this kind of repeated behavior not only affected my waistline, but also my mindset — I felt worse about my body, I was disappointed in myself and didn’t feel like moving at all. And that mindset stayed with me for over a decade. Everyday I was in this constant struggle of wanting to change the way I thought about food, the way I used food, and the way I treated my body. And more often than not, my emotional eating would win out over my willpower.
27% percent of adults say they eat to manage stress and 34% of those who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say this behavior is a habit.
I stopped volunteering for things, stopped going to parties, just put everything on hold, thinking that as soon as I found the diet that works, or go to the right boot camp I’ll get the body I want. And then (and only then) will I be able to be happy and start living the life I want. But c’mon — that can’t happen without the perfect body, I don’t deserve it until I have that perfect body. Boy was I wrong!
You see the big game changer for me was to actually get out and start living first. I needed to start laughing more, enjoying life more, and figuring out what made me authentically happy. Then, I focused on getting a whole lot more of that in my life, and stopped relying on the food. I had a void that I was trying to fill with food, and, big surprise, it wasn’t working!
Now I relate to so many women who are feeling exactly how I used to feel. I know the frustration and I know the struggle, and now my mission is to do something about it! It took me well over a decade to change my mindset, but I love helping women expedite that process and learn from my own mistakes, learn from my own trial and error. Because I lived it, and it was painful, and if I didn’t make a change I knew it would rule and eventually ruin my life.
So will your life be different if you have a different body? Yes! But it’s so important to put things in the right order, and if you’re someone who IS putting their life on hold, who has tried every diet under the sun and failed, and who is ready for a major change before heading into 2016 — great! There’s no better time than the present!
I’m here to help! Join me at a free virtual summit that will help you understand how to stop putting your life on hold and stop “weighting!” It’s called The Fat Girl Slim Summit: Learn to Love your Body, Release the Weight, and Confidently Live the Life of your Dreams and features interviews with over 20 women’s health and lifestyle experts (including Just Stop Eating So Much’s own Gregg McBride) — each of whom will teach not just the nourishment factors, but also the mindset strategies and emotional components that will allow you to fall in love with your body and release the weight that has been holding you back. If I had access to this sort of expertise all at the same time, I know my past would have looked a lot different! I’m inviting you to make that change possible for you, now, in your own life! Click here to reserve your spot!
About the author of this guest post:
After working with so many incredible women, it became clear to Shannon that today’s modern woman doesn’t need just meal plans and food education. She needs a way to prioritize herself and her health, learn to love her body and design a lifestyle that works!
Shannon believes that when we view each action as an “act of love” toward our body, we make better decisions about what we put into our bodies, lessen the negative self-talk, and ultimately learn to live life confidently!