Why I Gave Up Trying To Eat Perfectly

When I was on the diet-binge roller coaster, I was always “on” or I was “off.” I was “good” or I was “bad.” “Black or white,” and never gray.

Bouncing back and forth this way was a painful way to live. I was striving to “get somewhere” but couldn’t escape this vicious cycle. I was always either trying to maintain control of what I was eating — fiercely tightening my grip around food — or lunging into an oblivion of binge eating, that made me both physically sick and emotionally depleted.

As time went on the extremes of “off” and “on” became more intense; the diets became more self-punishing and restrictive and the binges would last hours or days, rather than minutes.

Eventually I became so desperate to “get it right” that I took up prescription pills and other versions of speed to try and control myself. It wasn’t too much longer thereafter that I ended up in rehab.

Even post-rehab, I fell into the same cycle. For years, I tried to “get recovery right,” and totally missed the point: there’s no such thing.

Trying to “get it right” is what doesn’t work — it’s what launched me into ever-deeper versions of self-loathing and rebellion with food. I know because I tried for years, and I now work with women who have fallen prey to this same trap over and over again.

Ever heard Einstein’s expression, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?” That’s what trying to “get it right” with food is. It’s impossible to eat perfectly in a world that demands flexibility and rolling with the punches. Something will always knock you off your horse.

I finally learned to eat according to my body's needs — peacefully, effortlessly, and easily — when I learned to live and eat in the “gray zone.” The zone where I can have lean protein and kale for dinner, and some chocolate, too, if I feel so inclined. The zone where I can “mess up” with food and not call myself a failure, but instead, call myself a human.

The gray zone is where you’ll finally find those answers you’ve been looking for.

To learn more about the “gray zone” and what it might look like for you, download my guide, “How To Not Eat Chocolate Cake." You can change your relationship with food permanently, if you’re open to a new way of thinking.

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