Ep. #120: How Katy Quit Dieting for Good

Today’s interview is with one of my clients – Katy! I know everyone enjoys a good success story, and I also want you to hear what’s possible when you have the success and accountability you need to make your goals happen! Katy first started dieting as a young girl, and today you’ll hear about her whole journey. The results? Well…the title says it all! This is a celebration of how Katy quit dieting for good.

This is an amazing interview for anyone who might be currently dieting, testing the intuitive eating waters, or considering working with a health coach. (And if you’d like to join the Quit Dieting for Good program yourself, you can find that info HERE. I 100% believe in your ability to quit dieting for good — just like Katy!)

Let’s Meet Katy!

Katy lives in Philadelphia, and is a singer and voice teacher. She found me on Instagram (shout out to my amazing IG community!) right at the start of Covid, and joined the program not too long after.

Before intuitive eating, Katy shares that dieting had been part of her life for about as long as she could remember. She was eating Smart Ones and dieting food since elementary school. At the time, she remembers being a little embarrassed about it….but also that her house was filled with dieting-related food because that’s what her mom was eating. And Katy wanted to eat that special dieting food too.

She also remembers that she was bigger than all her friends. When a neighbor that was 6 years older passed on some clothes that were already too small for her, it was the last straw! Katy begged her mom to let her start dieting so she could lose weight.

Finally, her mom agreed. She started with Weight Watchers, and throughout the rest of her school career her weight fluctuated a lot. She lost a lot of weight…and she’d gain it back and start again.

Intense Pressure

As a dancer and performer, Katy put a lot of pressure on herself. Her teachers did as well. She was told that she was incredibly talented, and her freshmen year of college was even told she had the talent to perform on Broadway. She was also told that if she wanted to make that happen, she had to lose weight.

Katy already knew that. After forcing herself into through more dieting cycles, she left the dance/performance part of the program to focus on singing alone.

Eventually she took up running, and added in calorie counting as well. With the advent of fitness apps she started tracking every single calorie she put into her mouth, until she realized it was becoming an obsession.

How to Stop Binge Eating

Katy found intuitive eating after another bad night of binge eating. In fact, she ordered her first intuitive eating books after googling “how to stop binge eating”.

Although the principles were amazing….Katy’s first approach to intuitive eating was still pretty diet-based. She still wanted to lose weight, and she approached it from a place of wanting to change her body.

Gradually she cycled through other things: weight lifting, keto, macro counting. The desire to lose weight, and the idea that controlling food was going to make her life better, were constant companions.

Katy even tried to tell herself that she could do intuitive eating AND count macros. She tried to listen to her body’s needs while also following diet-based plans. And honestly…it just wasn’t working.

How Katy Quit Dieting for Good

Then, she found me!

Katy wanted to feel better. She wanted to be done binge eating, and she wanted to have a good relationship with food. Deep down, she also knew that her first go around with intuitive eating hadn’t been a true experience. (She had still been treating it like a diet, and she knew that.)

Watching her mom still counting calories while in her 70’s also felt profoundly sad to Katy. She was starting to see that a dieting-mindset didn’t ever seem to just go away, and that she was going to have to change something in her life if she didn’t want to continue obsessing over food into old age.

She had also starting following more body positive folks on Instagram, and through that she came across my account. After one final check-in, she knew she was ready to quit dieting for good!

How Quit Dieting for Good Was Different

The community connections and guidance were a huge part of Katy’s success! Having others to lean on, talk to, and turn to were helpful parts of the program that enabled her to really succeed. The first time she tried intuitive eating she had done it alone, and that solitude had let her dip a toe in without really going all the way. She had never really released her dieting mindset, and she hadn’t had accountability or support to guide her into doing so.

When she joined the Quit Dieting for Good program, however, she had both of those things! She had also decided to fully trust the process, even when it uncomfortable. That was a pivotal part of how Katy quit dieting for good. She was ready to believe in herself, and to build a relationship with her own intution and body.

One of Katy’s biggest lifestyle transformations during the program has been allowing herself to bring any and every food into her house. Intuitive eating has taught her that she can enjoy any food….and that some of those things she used to binge on aren’t even that enjoyable. She had only eaten them the way she had because she had them up on a pedestal in her mind…and once they were just food that she was free to eat if she wanted it…she didn’t need to binge.

How Quit Dieting for Good Was Hard

Katy gained weight on the program, and that was HARD. At one point she had a total meltdown, and worried that she was going to have to count calories for her entire life. After her “fit”, I had her make a list of why she was doing this in the first place.

Katy made the list….and it reminded her of why she had wanted to quit dieting in the first place. As she relfected, she was able to take herself to that next level of acceptance.

She knew she was more than just a “size”…and that she could learn to accept her body as it was, instead of for what she had been trying to make it be. Katy shares that she started doing a lot of meditation. She also did an Instagram “clean”, where she unfollowed a lot of people she had been following that often made her feel she needed to change things about herself. She sought out accounts of women that were her size, and women that inspired her for no reason related to looks, and women she just found authentically beautiful.

She’s Come So Far

Looking back at how she quit dieting for good, Katy loves how far she’s come! She’s started taking guitar lessons, and also sewing. (Now, she makes her own clothes, and they don’t have a size on the label since they are custom made for her!) Journaling and mediation are also parts of her ongoing journey.

Katy’s also learned that food doesn’t scare her anymore. She eats a wide variety of things, including little fun treats like cookie butter that she loves to keep in her pantry! Another change is being able to keep easy meals on hand, and she also knows the foods that give her constant energy throughout the day.

She has a favorite ice cream that she keeps in the house — something she couldn’t imagine ever doing in the past!

With a laugh, Katy said: “I never thought I’d be where I am right now.”

When it comes to movement, she’s been looking for fun ways to feel strong and powerful. (Her gym is closed so weight lifting isn’t an option, even though she loves that.) She’s also been hiking, doing yoga, and listening to whatever her body wants and needs. Sometimes that even means doing nothing at all.

Katy’s Final Advice

If you’re going to try intuitive eating, find a community! Intuitive eating is amazing…but it’s also not easy. It takes time, but it’s definitely worth doing! Being free from diets and being able to enjoy her life (and body and food) is amazing!

As far as self-care goes, Katy advises you to do your best to get enough sleep. She finds it’s hard to get strong signals from her body when she’s lacking sleep, which makes intuitive eating practices more difficult.

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