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Introducing a monthly health and fitness column
I lost 20 lbs in the last six months. I workout less and I eat what my body is craving, even if that’s pizza five days in a row.
Let me start from the beginning. I know you guys want me to get to the “My Top 10 Tips for Getting Fit” or “My Secret to Long-Lasting Weight Loss” or “Exercises for rock hard abs” type post, but first I need to tell you my story.
For many years, I suffered from an eating disorder. My disorder started when I moved to NYC from Montreal. I lost the ability to be “naturally skinny.”
What does “naturally skinny” mean? It means you eat what your body wants and you stop when you’re full. You don’t eat when you’re bored, sad, tired, pissed off, anxious, happy, etc. You get my point. You also listen to your body and what it needs. You’re tired, you sleep. You’re hungry, you eat. You’re emotional, you cry.
When I dealt with the depression and anxiety from moving to a new city, I lost touch with my body and started abusing it with dieting, purging, over-exercising, using diet pills, diet supplements, etc.
Every fad diet or workout, you name it, I tried it. I was vegan for a year, not necessarily for healthy reasons… I used to buy a venti coffee in the morning and sip on it all day to curve my appetite. I would chew gum, smoke cigarettes, anything not to eat. This is extremely unhealthy.
I would workout almost two hours every day no matter how exhausted I was. I even did a 90-minute hot yoga class every single day for six months. Then, of course, my body would be like, “yo I am fucking starving right now, eat a whole jar of peanut butter while your boyfriend is in the shower, so he doesn’t see…” so then I would proceed to overeat to the point of sickness.
It was a constant battle of overeating, over-exercising, and dieting, then repeat. It went on for years. It was exhausting.
At some point, I was able to rid of my binging disorder by going to therapy and a lot of self work but still did not have the most healthy relationship with food, exercise, and my body.
Fast forward a little – I got pregnant. To be honest, I had a pretty awesome pregnancy and actually loved my body during the whole process. It was kind of wonderful to feel that sense of calmness and at peace with my body. I really was that glowing pregnant lady, and I thought at that point that I was cured of my eating disorders.
Then mini-me was born, and I soon realized that I had 50 lbs to lose (I am 5’).
And the cycle begins again. I lost the weight, I became a vegetarian for a year, and became obsessed with everything I ate and worked out all the time.
Then I started ChicpeaJC and found my true passion in life… but I also started writing about food, and all the weight came creeping back. All the anxiety of dieting, over-eating, and over-exercising were at the forefront once again. This time, I was in the public eye and subject to comments about my weight which was extremely difficult.
Six months ago, I decided to take my life back. But for real this time. No BS diets, over-exercising, and stressing my body. I needed to do it the right way and get back to my “naturally skinny” ways.
How did I do it?
Here is the thing. I don’t really know the answer. I think for everyone to make a REAL change in their lives, they need to make a decision and be all in to make a change. There is no magic pill unfortunately. You just have to put your mind to it.
I told myself I didn’t want to hate my body anymore, that I needed to be the best version of myself.
It was around the time I celebrated ChicpeaJC Turns 2. I started feeling sluggish, and none of my clothes fit me. I was very unhappy, and I didn’t want to struggle anymore.
I decided to do a healthy food cleanse, not those juicing cleanses because I felt like that would start another pattern of diet and binging. I decided to try the Busy Bee cleanse, which consists of 5 days of full meals which are all delicious, organic, and very nutritious.
During the process, I was also planning a big event “ChicpeaJC Turns 2.” The cleanse made me realize how much I eat to push down my emotions. I was under so much stress at this time and would normally reach for the nearest snack, but this time I couldn’t since it wasn’t part of the plan. It forced me to find other ways to calm my nerves. Like actually feel the nerves! Scream! Cry! Laugh! Call a friend! Write! It was all very helpful.
As I went through the cleanse, I also realized I didn’t need to eat huge portions of food to feel full and that my body reacts better to certain foods.
The combination of the cleanse, and also focusing my energy and thoughts on other things besides food, was extremely beneficial to making the change.
I also started living life for myself and not for others. I decided to do things that make me happy instead of do things that I thought would make others happy. It is a known fact that “people pleasers” are also emotional eaters.
The moment I let go of that thought that I needed to make everyone else around me happy and focused on things that would make ME happy, a sense of calmness took over.
Every month, I will be covering a different topic and will be sharing some of my health and fitness tips!
Welcome to Journey to Abs, a ChicpeaJC Fitness Journey filled with all things to help you reach your goals in the New Year!
Are you in or what?
I follow you on IG as well as your blog and I definitely noticed how much weight you lost. I thought to myself, “I wonder what diet/workout chicpea does.” I was back in Base JC on New Years Day deciding that after paying for a membership for 2 years, and only going a handful of times, it was time to stop wasting money and get back to it. I just needed to get myself back on track to lose the extra lbs I am carrying since my wedding 7 months ago. The New Year is always a good place to start. I noticed you working out that day and I thought to myself – “that’s dedication-look how fit she looks… it’s fantastic and of course she’d be here on New Years Day but she’s a regular.” You were my motivation to keep going that day while on the cardio machine after 8 months of not working out. Was I a little envious of your fit body? A little. But then I snapped out of it and thought about how my body and journey is different from anyone else’s including yours. How fantastic it is to see you post this today and discuss some of the issues and struggles you’ve faced with your body. Sometimes I think to myself “why is it so easy for everyone else and why do I struggle with weight/image so much?.” Not that I am happy you’ve gone through what you have but it’s a little comforting to know that I am not alone in the struggle. chicpea – you rock. I look forward to this column!
Hello…I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you telling your story. I feel as though you’ve described me as you’ve subsequently described yourself. The disconnect from your body…the eating for every emotion…the people pleasing and on and on….everything you’ve spoken about resonates with me. It helps to hear your story and your honest words about your transformation towards a healthy you (whatever weight that is). Thanks for sharing. I look forward to hearing so much more about your journey so that perhaps it will help mine. Sincerely, a married chick living in Hoboken
I do see such a transformation! Amazing accomplishment…!
I can relate to so much of this is it scary… emotional eater, especially when stressed and anxious, people pleaser person , self- body hater… I could go on. I have to get all of this under control. I am in and good or you!
You look amazing and most importantly healthy. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thanks so much for your kind words!
More people go through it then you know. Stay strong you can do this!!
Thank you so much Emma for your kind words. You are not alone in this! Many men and women suffer from the same things you described. I hope I can inspire everyone to make a change in their life for the better.
Diana you rock too! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I reiterate that you are not alone! food issues comes in all shapes and sizes and we have to be kind to ourselves! I am happy I inspired you to keep going on that treadmill! keep it up girl. Be the best YOU and love yourself in the process. You will see in a few months how sexy you look :)
I am so happy that you are covering this blog! I have been following you since last year and I remember you posting your gym routine six months ago. I told myself if she can do it I can do it too. You may not have been there physically to push me but your motivation is what kept me going. I have lost tremendous weight and gain the confidence again. I know you will influence many others as you did for me.