I think back to 2016 when my entire iPhone home screen was littered with diet and fitness apps. I was doing my 3rd round of Whole30, going to the trendiest barre classes (where the instructors are yelling at you to “burn off your dinner” or “earn your smoothie”. Fitness instructors are still doing this, of course (I wrote a note to them on Instagram around Thanksgiving HERE).
I showed up to Thanksgiving dinner once with a couple of green juices because I was on a “cleanse”. And cringe still every time I remember.
It started innocent – as most health pursuits do.
I had gained a
lot of weight totally normal and healthy amount of weight during my 3rd pregnancy and I wasn’t losing it as quickly as I had in the past. I felt uncomfortable, my clothes didn’t fit, I hated the way I looked and felt so so ugly. In reality, I was suffering from body dysmorphia.
BODY DYSMORPHIA – A mental illness involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. The flaw may be minor or imagined. But the person may spend hours a day trying to fix it.
I was desperate to feel like myself again, to like myself and my body or at the very least accept it as what I had to carry me through life now. After all, I had grown and birthed 3 babies with this body. Had danced on stages all over the country, sang in front of thousands of people, managed to overcome an eating disorder before — surely I could at least appreciate my body for all it’s done for me?
That’s the thing about body dysmorphia – it doesn’t care about what reality is. It only cares that you’re not good enough. Not skinny enough. Not pretty enough. Not healthy enough. Not nearly as good as everyone around you.
And to back all that up, we have the Wellness Industry and influencers and movies and TV shows saying exactly the same thing!
My first step was downloading MyFitnessPal. Track my food for a bit. It’ll be helpful. It’ll be fun. It’ll be motivating and insightful to see what’s going on.
SPOILER ALERT – it was not fun or helpful or motivating.
Obsessively tracking, counting, making sure I didn’t go over my carbs by eating an apple that day led to an even worse relationship with my body and my food. It made the dysmorphia worse, it deepened a postpartum depression, and led to even more harmful dieting and restriction.
The thing is, I wasn’t losing weight. I wasn’t looking much different. I was just miserable and sad all. the. time.
I’m going to spare you the details of how exactly all of this went down because (1) it’s depressing and (2) if you’re in this season yourself you don’t need to relive it or make your own experience worse.
At the heart of it, I really was interested in being healthy. In how my body could thrive and how I could feel great about it, nourish it with the right foods without starving myself or skipping homemade cookies because I couldn’t figure out how to add them to MyFitnessPal so they were exactly right. Which is what ultimately led me from juice cleanses, endless whole30s, and my BFF MyFitnessPal to quitting it all and going to get my Masters in Nutrition and seeking out a therapist.
I suppose I’m slightly grateful for this dark time in my life. If it wasn’t for being so so lost and disconnected from myself and my body I never would have started therapy. I never would have started asking for what I need. I never would have gone to get my Masters in Nutrition and never would have started this career helping you get out of or avoid the same mistakes I did.
This is one of the many reasons I do what I do. And why I’m super passionate about combatting misinformation in a way that’s palatable and approachable and *hopefully* motivating and inspiring.
When I thought about what I wanted to offer people in this space and how I wanted to help, I think about 2016 Bri and what she would have needed. And that’s exactly how I created Feed Your Bliss. The frameworks I’ve built out over the years of helping 100s of women go through this transformation from confused, frustrated and hopeless to thriving, empowered and fully nourished.
Even if you never use one of our programs, I hope you find some support here and know I’m beyond grateful for you being here 🤍