I’ve been in the nutrition industry for 12 years now but only in the last 3 years have I really tapped into and begun practicing intuitive eating. Looking back on it I think, “why did it take so long?” but no point in judging myself as everyone’s journey with food is just as unique as their individual bodies.

 

This is my dieting journey

It’s been a rollercoaster over the last 15+ years and to throw into the mix an emotional eating one too – in a way I assume you haven’t acknowledged as emotional eating before, so I’m going to spill the beans! No journey is easy, after all it’s a journey. Just like flying across the world to a new continent, it’s not a piece of cake exactly but it’s doable.

My journey begun whilst I was in high school around the year 2000, my brother after months of testing (close to a year) was diagnosed with Coeliac/celiac disease. I remember coming home from school that day to find that mum had literally thrown almost EVERYTHING out of the panty and fridge. Safe to say as a family with 4 kids we all went gluten free till mum could work out what the hell gluten was.

She signed up for the Coeliac Society and received an ingredient guide book – more like the bible of coeliac survival. It starts here, as a young teenager at the time I simply believed that food was just that food, it fuelled us and all food was well… good. But hours upon hours of walking the isle’s at the supermarket with the ‘bible’ in hand checking every single label of every product we’d ever had stored in our pantry or fridge I quickly realised that some food was, well not food.

Most diets for women begin around body image and appearance, and today it’s so sad to see that in primary schools children as young as 6 talk about ‘diets’.

For me however it was quiet the opposite – the quest for health.

 

Diet 1. Gluten Free

Safe to say I still eat Gluten Free ad have for coming up close to 2 decades now, well before it was a ‘fad’ or marketed on packaging. Why do I do this still? No I’m not a coeliac like my brother and since then, my sister too. It’s because of 2 reasons; I have the coeliac gene and experience very strong reactions to eating it, and secondly most gluten today is generally dead food. Meaning no nutritional value, is stored incorrectly and doesn’t add to the vitality and zest of life that I deserve to feel. Not to mention I feel better when I don’t have it so, I don’t have it.

 

Diet 2. Dairy Free

This one was purely an accident. Traveling around South East Asia with my sister I quickly noticed that there’s no dairy, basically anywhere. Unless of course you’re wanting to by Streets or Magnum ice creams, or cans of condensed milk. Um no thanks, I’ve kind of never liked milk, but I came from a cheese loving family, cheese with almost every meal. Not focusing on not eating dairy in Asia, rather being attached to eating the most delicious local foods I came home to cut a slice of cheese only to take a nibble and realise how potently strong the taste was and it naturally turned me off. Having not eaten dairy for 2 months straight at the time, I’d not only lost weight but my taste buds had changed. This was a time in my life where I’d just begun listening to my body and it just didn’t feel right eating cheese or any diary for that fact, plus when I did I definitely didn’t like how I felt afterwards. To this day I’m still dairy free – by feeling and by choice.

 

Do I miss gluten or dairy?
Gluten no, as a teenager it was so sad not being able to experience hot cross buns, pizza, pasta but today I don’t even miss it one bit. Knowing that there is gluten free foods available now I still only eat bread maybe once or twice a year at most and there’s been times I’ve gone without it for multiple years. Don’t miss it at all.

Diary on the other hand, do I miss it? Well parts of it. Sometimes the thought of my aunties amazing fairy cupcakes just for the whipped cream cross my mind, or enjoying a big scoop of full fat yoghurt, or milky chocolate. But knowing that I’ve had nibbles on healthy sources of diary items here and there to experiment over the past few years, I still feel better without it.

 

What do you feel better without?

Can you live without it?

Ok, the stories getting long, a lot longer than I had imagined.
So you can read all about Part 2, here and how I un-dieted my way to becoming an intuitive eater.

And hold on tight, because there’s a roller coaster of diets to come in Part 2.
This is just the start of where my yo-yo’ing began.

 

 

Experienced dieting and yo-yo’ing before?

I’d love to hear from you, share your dieting stories below or over on Instagram and be sure to tag me in @wellsome_jemalee.

 

Jema Lee Womens Health and Nutritional Coach