Ditching the BUSY Diet

Yesterday, I almost forgot to eat…almost. It was one of those work from your car, the hair salon and be the kids’ chauffeur kind of days. I couldn’t help but think of a diet I used to be a big fan of – the BUSY Diet.

I grew up hearing the phrase, “I was so busy today, I forgot to eat.”

This led me to connect that forgetting to eat (aka restricting) means you are busy and productivity means you are worthy. Stopping to eat and nourish my body quickly became equated to weakness, shame and/or worthlessness. After every meal or binge, I would berate myself, “Why can’t I ‘forget’ to eat?” I was embarrassed to eat in front of others because in my head it meant I was lazy and worthless.

The BUSY Diet and its harmful ‘I forgot to eat’ language echoed the halls of high school, my home and reverberated throughout my life for years to come. Now that I am a proud member of the motherhood gang, I hear about the BUSY Diet on the days that end in ‘y’. It makes me thankful for my recovery and sad that so many busy themselves in hopes to numb out uncomfortable feelings or anxiety.

I get it. We are B-U-S-Y. I have had plenty of days where I look at my watch and it is 1pm and I have to scramble to find lunch. I also get the physical appeal of forgetting to eat. That feeling of emptiness and maybe even the number on the scale going down because you are so busy. Of course, when the number on the scale goes down, the compliments increase only reinforcing the BUSY diet.

I’m thankful to have escaped from the BUSY Diet…and my eating disorder. Food is no longer on my brain 24/7, but neither is busyness! Sure, I’m off-balance most days, juggling work, kids and the Dempsey zoo. With the chaos of my life, I forget A LOT in my daily life – kids’ lunch boxes, those 100 solo cups I signed up to bring to school Friday, returning emails, texts, calls and any other form of communication…the list of “Things McCall forgot” goes on…and on…and on. But one thing I never forget is to eat.

I wrote this blog from Zoe’s Kitchen where I grabbed a late lunch before picking up my ballerina for dance class. After a late breakfast and coffee, I headed to my once a year hair appointment (praise up for fresh hair!), left the salon at 1pm, ran to Target (because I refuse to take my children into Target, especially Marjorie, it turns into a 2-hour trip looking up and down every aisle.) After Target, I planned to go home and eat, but time got away from me. Marjorie isn’t the only one with time management issues at Target.

I was starving and knew I didn’t have time to make it home. So off to Zoe’s Kitchen I went and ate all by my happy self. I could have EASILY ran three more errands or stopped at a coffeeshop to work, filling up on caffeine instead of the real calories my body needed. But, alas, the beauty of recovery!

In a world that tells us we should GO-GO-GO, recovery tells us the opposite: slow down and take care of your body. I wish everyone could understand and embrace the recovery lifestyle. I am so thankful for my eating disorder for giving me the opportunity to learn how to live a life that honors who I am: mind, BODY and spirit.

Mom life keeps us busy enough. Hell, I don’t know how I make it through most days without forgetting a kid or locking the dog outside (actually forgot the cat outside last night so never mind). My main motivation for recovery was to be a good role model for my kids. I would never want my kids to deny themselves food for the sake of productivity so why would I do that to myself?

I slow down to nourish and recharge. I cannot pour from an empty cup. And Lord knows a hangry momma isn’t a fun momma!

The BUSY Diet is just as bad as every other diet. Being productive does not make you a worthy and capable human being. You are worthy as you are. Take time for YOU. Slow down. Rest. Recharge. And go again.

Skip the coffee and get some real food. (Or get coffee with real food). I highly recommend Zoe’s chicken roll ups 😉

PS…While busyness isn’t an excuse to not eat, busyness is my excuse for not paying more attention to this blog. Life has been cray-CRAY. And I can get perfectionistic with this blog – perfect title, photos, links, etc. So I will be ripping off the perfection band-aid and heading back to the imperfect world where I live. Stay tuned and subscribe because I plan to be writing a lot more imperfect posts 😉 

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