THE BLOG

How I Ended My Body Shame and Emotional Eating

07/04/2015 15:13 BST | Updated 06/06/2015 10:59 BST

I've wanted to write this post for a while now but there was a voice in my head saying, "no one will believe you?" Because those who know me have always said "you're so lucky to be slim and eat anything you want."

I certainly didn't see it that way.

Only a few short years ago I was full of shame about my body and I was an emotional eater.

I wouldn't just turn to food if I was sad, happy or angry, I would turn to food no matter what I was feeling - take me to the food!

My body shame was always around my middle. I always had skinny legs and arms but any weight would go on around my middle and I hated how disproportionate my body was.

It dictated how I felt and what I would wear. I was so conscious of my protruding middle that anything even remotely 'snug' fitting just wasn't an option (I LOVED it when tunics came into the shops!)

I felt like people were gawping at my middle, but this was simply because I was so fixated on it myself.

In my attempt to reduce the size of my middle I would eat bird-sized portions... the result? I was starving and to say I felt deprived was an understatement. This approach only had me losing weight in areas I didn't want to shed weight. But at first I couldn't see this myself. It was only when my husband took a picture and showed me what was really going on. My crazy efforts to lose my middle had me looking like skin and bone everywhere else. Argh.

How did I deal with those feelings of deprivation? In my flatting days if I had the house to myself I'd have an indulgent night of eating whatever I wanted (I was on my own so it didn't matter how much my middle blew up), and I did just that - I literally ate every single food I'd been craving that week. In the moment it was bliss, but afterwards I still had to deal with the same old crappy stuff in my head.

I used to say to myself: "When I feel comfortable in my own skin, then I'll be happy"; "When I feel comfortable in my own skin, then I'll get the job I really want." But everything I was doing in my life was sabotaging my goal for ever reaching that place, plus I know now how backwards my thinking was.

When I could finally see how crazy this pattern was, I made it my mission to change it. It's been a journey but nowadays things look a lot different. I now know the triggers that helped me gain that weight and bloat around my middle and when it comes to emotional eating, well... there's many factors that come into play with emotional eating but for me there was always an underlying feeling of not feeling 'good enough,' so that would manifest itself into a permanent feeling of, well, just plain crappy.

Today I choose foods that still taste damn fine but that are nutrient dense foods that nourish me, plus... a big dose of SELF-LOVE!

But what is 'self-love' many people ask? Self-love to me means making a conscious choice to rest, move our body, and nurture our body and soul to the best of our ability. Self-love is not something we do now and then, it needs to be an ongoing process.

Struggles with losing weight and body shame show up in many different ways for different women, but I believe that EVERY women deserves to look and feel radiant in her body.

Bridget Brocklebank is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who shows women how they can quit the diet cycle by nourishing and nurturing their body into the radiant and healthy body they desire. You can grab her FREE eBook 'Simple Steps to Nourish & Nurture' here http://thiswholesomelife.co.uk/nourish/