- Melissa Mauricio
I Had a Meltdown on Thanksgiving. Here's What Happened.
Picture me a few years ago, before I knew anything about Intuitive Eating, crying at the Thanksgiving table. How did I get here?!
I had been having trouble with my skin so I decided to try a month-long elimination diet to see if I could figure out what was causing my breakouts. I eliminated a long list of foods. My main motivation was to see what was going on with my skin, but this diet is touted for being all about health. I, of course, cared about health, so I thought it was the perfect fit. Clearly this was before I knew about the harmful effects of dieting.
When I say, “eliminated,” I mean not one single bite of anything on the list of foods that weren’t allowed. Unfortunately for me, it was a really long list.
I did fine for the first bit. I did all the things that they recommended. I had cravings but pushed them away, convinced I was doing this for my health. My body started to give me signs, but I ignored them. I was convinced that this diet was the answer to perfect health and clear skin.
Then it started to feel really restrictive. I was avoiding social events because there were so many off-limit foods. I was exhausted from reading food labels. I was tired of feeling limited. I started to feel really trapped. I was feeling anxious that I would mistakenly eat something that “wasn’t allowed” and all this effort would be for nothing. So much mental energy was being put into this. By this time, my breakouts had gotten worse.
I was doing everything according to this diet, but mentally I was really starting to suffer. Emotionally I started to feel like the diet was controlling me and I started to feel really disempowered.
Then, Thanksgiving came around. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love time spent with family, the focus on gratitude, and the food. Oh I love the food. Except, this year was going to be different because I was in the final days of my elimination diet.
We made a reservation for Thanksgiving lunch at a beautiful place in Dallas. I looked at the menu and immediately felt my stomach drop. Not only was I starving by then, but there were only two things I could eat on the menu: fried brussels sprouts, and plain turkey. Honestly, I wasn’t 100% sure that the turkey was allowed, but I gave in because eating only fried brussels sprouts didn’t feel like an option.
When they brought out my meal I burst into tears.
It was a massive plate with a slab of dry turkey that looked anything but appetizing. All I could see in that moment was the empty space where the stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes were supposed to be. They brought the brussels sprouts on the side and I didn’t actually want them. I felt anxious because again, I wasn’t positive the turkey was allowed, and I felt like I was blowing the last month. Nothing looked appetizing at that point, and I couldn’t eat what I really wanted. I was so mentally and emotionally drained.
It was a mess. I was a mess.
That’s when I realized my relationship with food needed a serious upgrade. It felt both absurd and very real that here I was, crying, because I couldn’t eat what I wanted.
Once I got support, once I untangled what was going on, and once I changed my mindset and habits, everything changed.
I stopped obsessing.
I stopped bingeing.
I stopped worrying.
I stopped fighting against my body.
I stopped fighting against my cravings.
I got freedom.
I got my energy back.
I started to feel balanced.
I finally felt confident in my body.
I got my life back.
This moment at the Thanksgiving table opened my eyes to how my relationship with food was getting in the way of my life and my health.
If you are feeling guilt or shame for eating “bad foods,”
If you feel controlled by food,
If you’d like to feel better in your body and confident in your skin,
Then getting the right support is your key to freedom.
Learning to listen to your body will change your life.
To get support, click here, to schedule a complimentary Food Freedom Breakthrough Session.
Together we’ll get really clear on what having food freedom means for you and your ideal health, what’s stopping you from having the health you want, and I’ll develop a plan so you know the exact steps you need to take to create the freedom and confidence you desire.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my skin also cleared up once I learned to listen to my body!