How I Stopped Restricting and Started Living

Caitlin Fisher
Nov 20, 2019 · 3 min read
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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I have always chased success and compared myself to others based on restriction. I can lose weight if I don’t eat sugar. I can get more done at home if I don’t watch television. I can be more productive if I don’t use social media.

That “ideal” version of me, the one who weighs 150 pounds and works out every day and truly enjoys salad, the one who works nights and weekends to stay ahead at work, the one who cranks out best sellers year after year as a prolific writer, could be just around the corner if only the me right now would stop baking cookies and going to bed early and having friends.

I could be so productive if I just stopped doing everything I enjoy.

Eventually the Jenga blocks of perfection fell entirely apart and I had a massive “I’m not doing this anymore” moment. This moment was pure “fuck it.”

I am fine right now. I am living my life right now. And it is a really good one. I am happy. I am taking care of myself. I allow myself to rest. I remind myself to wash my hair. And I allow myself to eat anything.

I eat anything now. Anything I want.

This has revolutionized my relationship with food. I don’t have to restrict. I don’t have to have a sugar ban or never eat bread and pasta again. Carbs are no longer a forbidden food.

I’m allowed to eat. YOU are allowed to eat. I swear. You’re allowed.

Here’s the thing about food: we need it to live. And we have taste buds and brains. And when stuff hits our taste buds in a nice way, we like it.

Enjoying sweet or salty or fatty or whatever molecule you’ve banned this month in an attempt to lose those “stubborn ten pounds” is not a moral failure.

Food is not good or bad. Food is food. Food is neutral. You need food so you don’t die. And it’s okay if that food is a cupcake.

I used to think that a healthy way of eating was a limit on the types of food I eat. Keep it simple, eat whole foods, eat organic foods, eat fresh and raw foods, eat ethically sourced foods, eat food you can make in one pot, eat food you can eat in a bowl, eat the same foods every day, only eat at certain times per day.

The more rules I tried, the more I blamed myself for not being able to follow them. But eating is supposed to be easy.

Now, my only limit in eating is a limit on restriction. As in, no restrictions. I can eat a sandwich or a cookie or ice cream — even right before bed.

The truth about food that I can finally see is this: What I eat has absolutely no bearing on my skills, personality, worth, or beauty.

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Caitlin Fisher

Written by

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +754K people. Follow to join our community.

Caitlin Fisher

Written by

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +754K people. Follow to join our community.

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