In fact, it wasn't really an epiphany at all, it was more so a "make a change now or you're screwed" situation. Yet, it wasn't for the reasons you may think about for someone that was struggling with an eating disorder. I wasn't medically unstable. I didn't have family and friends worried about me. I was keeping up with my commitments to school and work. Which is exactly how I designed it - as long as everything looked fine on the outside, everything would be ok.
Or so I thought.
The thing about suppressing your emotions, ignoring your inner-hurts, and utilizing detrimental coping mechanisms is they can only last you so long, even though it never feels like that when you first start. When you start it feels like everything you have ever wanted - control, comfort, relief.
Those were the feelings I experienced the first time I started to fixate on the way that I ate, moved, and looked. The satisfaction of being able to take the reigns in just one area of my life felt like everything I could have ever needed. And you know what they say about good things... there's no such thing as "too much". Or wait, is it actually "too much of a good thing"?
Once I experienced those desirable emotions I decided the answer was to seek out more, so I embarked upon that journey rule by rule. What I loved about this was there was never an "end" to the ways I could "optimize" myself and my habits. There was always a new ingredient to obsess about. A trending body standard to reach. An unsustainable exercise routine to follow.
The problem was those initial feelings of control only lasted so long and next thing I knew it felt less like I was controlling my body and more like my body was controlling me. It felt like a partner betraying me. A best friend stabbing me in my back. My world crumbling around me. So I held on, because what else would I do? Try to work though it?
I used to wish I did though, work through it.
If, upon that first realization, I had just started my journey to healing, everything could have been different. My journey would have been more exemplary, commendable, traditional and less messy, chaotic, tumultuous.
But if that had happened you and I also wouldn't be here right now, sharing this story.
If you're reading this you may feel like your story would never be sitting in the "feel good" section of the bookstore. Maybe, you even feel as if it would be found in the literary fiction section and the premise would be something along the lines of "woman who continuously takes wrong turns chronicles her journey to finding herself". I won't lie, this is personally my favorite premise, so that means you're probably my favorite person.
I became a Registered Dietitian and started a business because I wanted to help people. Looking back, I realize that I probably even wanted to help myself, current and past. Which, in turn, leads us here. You, on this page, reading my story and wondering if you are prepared to dive into the journey of healing.
I'm not here to tell you that you have to be ready, but I am here to tell you that I hope you don't let having an "unconventional", "untraditional" journey hold you back. All the thoughts in your head that tell you why you can't reach the relationship with food, body image, and exercise that you want are telling you that because they want to keep you stuck.
There is no such thing as being "sick enough."
The "right time" to start doesn't exist.
You are not "the exception" to healing.
It won't be easy but there's nothing harder than being stuck in a place where all of your energy is taken up by something that drains the life out of you, for as long as you live.
You deserve to live unrestricted just as much as anyone else. Let's write a new story together.
Born in Uganda, raised in the UK and working in the US from London, Gloria found and fell in love with the LU mission this year and joined the LU team shortly after as our Interim Director of Operations. She is building out our operational strategy, to make sure our CEO and team work more seamlessly to support our amazing LU clients. When she's not being the Chief Getting Things Done Officer, she loves traveling, eating and laughing loud with friends and family, as well as long heart to hearts with the love of her life and husband Francis.
Elle committed to freedom in 2023 after years of struggling with her relationship with food and exercise by going through Live Unrestricted and is excited to have a part in helping other women experience the amazing feeling of recovery. Elle helps spread the word about Live Unrestricted through marketing efforts. Elle is a DIY enthusiast whose catchphrase is “I bet I could make that”. She loves crocheting, playing the trumpet, and spending a night in with her husband and cat.
Chloe became involved in the food freedom movement after her journey overcoming orthorexia in 2019. After her recovery, she has grown an interest in helping others in their process towards recovery. Chloe works as our virtual assistant, speaking with clients about the application process and answering questions about the program.
Outside of the LU team, Chloe is a medical assistant at a fertility clinic. She loves trying new coffee shops, reading the biggest books she can find, and thrift shopping.
Nicole has a passion for all things anti-diet after recovering from her own struggles with disordered eating back in her early college years. Through the process of rejecting diet culture, Nicole realized that food freedom was so much more than giving herself permission to eat what she enjoyed; ultimate food freedom, to her, was having the mental, emotional, and physical capacity to love better in her friendships and other relationships, dream about her life, and actually CARE about these things! When Nicole isn’t working, you will find her taking too many pictures of her cats (she will likely need to upgrade her phone for more storage space), spending time pursuing her Christian faith, or finding unique food and restaurants with her husband.
Cahleigh is a Registered Dietitian who became interested in nutrition and health after overcoming years of a negative relationship with her body, orthorexia, and body dysmorphia. Cahleigh experienced firsthand how our relationships to our bodies can affect all aspects of our lives, and she loves helping people regain the mental and physical energy that diet culture takes from us. Outside of Live Unrestricted, Cahleigh loves hiking with her pup and husband, reading fiction, gardening, and napping with her 3 cats.
Lakin is a Registered Dietitian who strives to help others build an enjoyable relationship with food while honoring health AND our taste buds. During her dietetic internship in Houston, she grew a passion for working with those who struggle with disordered eating choose fuel over fear with food. Lakin strives to continue educating others about eating disorder prevention, especially as it pertains to ending weight stigma and weight bias, and work with other health professionals in weight-inclusive healthcare. Outside of her work - she can also be found walking at a nearby park listening to murder mystery podcasts, taking care of her plants, and attempting the next trending crockpot recipe!
Amy struggled with an eating disorder in college, however, in recovery learned that she had a disordered relationship with food for much longer than that. In recovery, she learned all the time spent worrying about what her next meal was going to be, hating her body, and obsessing over exercise could be used spending quality time with her friends and family. She also became passionate about learning all the great things food and nutrition can do for our bodies, fighting against diet culture and helping others do the same. Outside of work she can be found reading, spending time with her cat and pup, growing herbs, cooking, camping, attempting to surf in the very cold Great Lakes, among many other things that she now feels blessed to be able to enjoy with her food freedom.
If you enjoyed this story, I'm confident you'll love the podcast. It's packed with more conversations just like this, delving into topics that provide support on the journey of breaking free from the clutches of diet culture, similar to what I shared in my own journey. With a new episode released every week, I hope to catch you tuning in to the next one.
Do you have the desire to create a positive relationship with food, your body, and exercise but feel lost in terms of where to start? Do you wish you had the steps to achieve changes that last in these areas? The road to freedom and acceptance can feel confusing and that is exactly why we are doing everything we can to make it easier. Start with our free challenge designed to do all that is listed here and more (we promise there is no catch, it's just that good).