5 Things That Helped Me Beat The Obsession

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 17, 2010

Good morning!

Today is a very exciting day…

  • 24’s new season starts tonight and it is 2 hours
  • The Golden Globes are on (I love the fashion pre-shows mostly!)

So fun. :) Is anyone watching?


5 Things That Helped Me Beat My Obsession With Weight

Yesterday was one of those days that I really appreciated how far I have come with my Road to Health. It occurred to me that I haven’t weighed myself for about a year and a half now. I haven’t counted calories, and I generally haven’t obsessed about food for a very long time. Sure, I have my moments now and then like anyone, but for the most part I have been able to leave my eating disorder in the dust!

BathroomScale copy 

1) I Ditched The Scale

I have written about this countless times over the past year and for a good reason. Ditching the same, for me, was one of the most important steps in my Road To Health. I struggled for years in figuring out how to stop obsessing about my weight and what I ate. I finally figured out that for as long as I weighed myself everyday, I would never get past my focus on these issues. I don’t think weighing in is a bad thing for everyone, but for my personality it surely was. Once I stopped weighing myself, I was able to focus on other aspects of my health and take my mind off the numbers.

2) I Stopped Counting Calories

I counted calories from the age of 12 until about 25. That is a very hard habit to break! I always get emails from readers asking me how I did it and the truth is, it is not easy. While I do see the value in counting calories for some, for me it was not a good thing in my life. It took me a few years to finally stop counting calories all together. Many failed attempts. I started with not counting one meal a day, and then worked my way up to a full day, very slowly. I was quite ridden with anxiety at first, but I got over it. Much like ditching the scale, stopping calorie counting allowed me to take my focus off the numbers and onto bigger things, like my overall health.

3) I Learned About Nutrition

Before I learned about nutrition, I used to think that living off apples and ice burg lettuce was ‘healthy’. In university, I took a few advanced nutrition courses and they really changed the way I viewed food. I learned about the components of food, digestion, physiology, etc. and it really made a light bulb go off inside my head. I no longer viewed food as simply how many calories it had. I appreciated how complex nutritious foods are and what they could do for my body. These courses were instrumental in my love for nutrition.

4) I Set Goals

Goals are so important to me. As you may know, I have goals in all areas of my life for 2010. They keep me motivated, inspired, and challenged. Prior to beating the disordered eating, I never set any health related goals. Last year I set goals of running my first races- a 10k, 10 miler, and 2 half marathons (recaps here). I realized that having health and fitness goals showed me that fitness could be FUN, inspiring, and exciting. Finding something that I enjoyed made it seem less like ‘work’ and more like ‘play’. Even when I am sweating it out on the treadmill on cold winter days, I think about my spring time goal of running another race, and that instantly inspires me to train consistently.

5) I Stopped Comparing

I used to be horrible for comparing myself to other women. She has skinnier thighs, a tiny waist…she is prettier…taller…more fit. It is a vicious cycle that will never end unless you put a stop to it. There will always be someone out there who you will perceive to be ‘better’ than you in some way. I had to commit to accepting myself for who I was at this very moment in time- not 10 pounds from now. It took me a very long time to accept a few things about myself that were never going to change. Learning to love myself was one of the hardest things that I have ever done, especially after years of being my own worst enemy. Seeing a counselor while in university helped me plant the seeds and start a new journey.

It is a long road, but one that us surely worth traveling.

Have you ever made any changes in your life that helped you stop obsessing about food or your weight?


  • I changed around a few blog colours yesterday- I think it is a bit easier on the eyes now.
  • Women’s Post selected me as Women of the Week- check out my interview here.

I have a full day of baking orders today…but first, a workout is in store!

Make it a good one! :D


Insist on yourself. Never imitate.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Ella January 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

this is like an answer to my prayers. I’ve been struggling with how to keep my mind off of what I’ve consumed every day. I figure it takes up 85% of my thoughts….. and there’s nothing more that I hate than that fact.

thank you for posting these sort of posts every now and again. it reminds me I’m not alone in having these thoughts and trying to conquer them.


Michelle @ Eatingjourney January 17, 2010 at 10:36 am

I got rid of the scale a week ago…in a tear filled vlog.

best.decision of my life.

I gave up counting points. I sometimes want to go back to it ’cause I know if I do that then I’ll lose weight’

I feel sick and can’t do it. i deserve not to look through my life through points.

It hit me this week ‘I don’t want to be thin, I want to be fit and healthy’.

Many times the idea of being thin is what ironically consumes people. Shifting to being fit/healthy is more important.

Thanks for writing this. It reaffirms me in my journey and will help SO many others.



Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2010 at 10:38 am


I too shifted from wanting to be ‘thin’ to wanting to be ‘healthy and fit’…it is like night and day.


Leah @ Simply fabulous January 17, 2010 at 11:12 am

There is SUCH a difference between working hard to be ‘thin’ and ‘healthy and fit’…. it’s unbelievable how different those two ways of living are. For me, one almost destroyed my life and the second choice, well – it made it much better!


Glowing in Winnipeg January 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

Hello Angela!
I just wanted to say that you have truly inspired me and helped me in my goal of eating less processed foods in 2010. I have just sat down to a breakfast pumpkin pie (yum!!). Thanks for your inspiring blog and good luck with all your goals in 2010!


Brandi January 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

Congratulations!! The article is great!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

Thank you so much for posting this. These are all great tips…some of them, I’ve already taken up (no calorie counting for me, thanks!), and some of them I’m working on (still own a scale…still use it about 2-3 times a week…still working on not letting the number determine whether the day will be good or bad).

I, like many in the blog world, admire the healthy relationship you have with your body and food. I’m working on getting there, myself! Thanks, Angela :-)


Nicole January 17, 2010 at 10:44 am

I got rid of the scale about a year ago. I literally threw it down the garbage shoot in my apartment building. It was such an invigorating feeling! Do you know what you weigh now? What do you do when you go to the doctor’s office and they want to weigh you? (I kind of freak out LOL)


Meredith (Pursuing Balance) January 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I hate getting weighed at the doctor’s office too. I always just step on the scale backwards and tell them that I don’t want to know my weight.


Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 17, 2010 at 10:44 am

You truly deserve to be the woman of the week! It’s a nice article.

Totally agree with all of the things you listed. Instead of looking at how many calories foods have, I look at them for their nutritional benefit.


Hannah (Balancing on Two Feet) January 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

Thank you so much for this. I look to you for motivation each day as I move toward give up my eating disorder.I’m in the thick of recovery and love reading about what is on the other side!


sarah (shep) January 17, 2010 at 10:48 am

thank you for this post, really.


Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) January 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

This is a great post filled with helpful tips.

And I’ll be watching the GG tonight, too — love the fashion! :D


Gabriela January 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

Like everyone else seems to be saying, thank you for this. As someone who has progressed from eating Lean Cuisines and Sugar-Free Jello, to tempeh and fresh veggies, I can absolutely relate! So much of the “healthy” food in America really isn’t healthy at all; instead, it’s bought in the hopes of being thin. This post is a great reminder that it’s your HEALTH that counts, and if you listen to your body, a healthy weight will follow! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Karla January 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

It’s kind of interesting that you posted this today as I posted that I’m going to start counting calories again. As much as I’d like to not count calories, I think I need to at this point in my life. I need to get down to a healthier weight(I’m not obese but I’m a little overweight).
I see counting calories as a good way to be aware of what I’m putting in my body and getting back on track to healthy eating. I’m not sure if everyone else views calorie counting in the same light I do, but I find it a little sad that it has such a negative connotation for most in blogworld. I don’t think calorie counting should consume one’s life or be done all the time, but I think calorie counting can be helpful for people trying to lose a few pounds.
That being said, great post! You are an inspiration! I like to think I’m working my way to the things you’ve mentioned. I’ve set goals and I’m trying my hardest to stop comparing myself to others and accepting myself.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2010 at 11:32 am

I definitely don’t think calorie counting is a bad thing for everyone. I think it depends on your personality. Given that I have an addictive personality, it was not a good thing for myself. For others, it is a good tool. Goodluck with your goals!


Julie @savvyeats January 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I know that calorie counting works GREAT for some people. It worked for me for awhile, but then I started completely obsessing about my “number.” I’ve found I am much happier by eating when I am hungry and focusing on whole, real food as much as possible. But if calorie counting works for YOU, that’s what matters!


Michelle @ Eatingjourney January 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm

It worked for me (I did points–same difference) but I got obsessed. It’s good to know what you’re eating. But what it robs you of (me) eventually is that I felt like I was eating for points/calories and not for my body. I was totally wacked out and trying to eat everything SF/FF and it made me sick. One can only live off of diet food for so long.


*Andrea* January 17, 2010 at 10:57 am

this post made me teary lol. i’m sensitive with this subject and can definitely relate. i think the scale part is so true as well as not comparing but just accepting yourself. it’s soooo much easier said than done :O i love your tips though! you’re so candid and honest and i really appreciate your blog for that


Michelle @ Eatingjourney January 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm

The scale for me was a validation everyday that I was being good or bad. I didn’t trust myself not to have it.

I let that go and got my relationship back with myself.


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

LOVE this topic. I have changed many of the same tips. I stopped weighing myself long ago. It makes such a difference.


Tiffany @ A Dantat's Life January 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

Thank you so much for this post. Someday I really hope to be comfortable enough in my own body that I can ditch the scale and stop counting calories. I still obsess over numbers (I like them…) and panic when I think I went over my calorie limit or something to that effect. I am trying to lose a few lbs, so counting calories is helpful in that respect, and I stopped counting a year ago when I hit maintenance, but then I gained it back again due to poor eating habits and large portions. Thus, I am back to counting again until I am in maintenance. When I feel more comfortable with food and my body, I will try to get rid of the scale and stop counting, but it seems like a catch 22 since those things help me feel comfortable (DE talking there…). I know I should be happy with the weight I am at now and with my body overall, but it’s hard. I’m working on it. You keep inspiring me with every post. :)


Paige @ Running Around Normal January 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

Yay Ange! I love days like this. I pretty much have done those 5 things to get over my disordered eating and calorie counting as well. I don’t know why we own a scale…no one ever uses it anymore!


Leah @ Simply fabulous January 17, 2010 at 11:13 am

Great article/interview!! The writer captured what you’re all about imo! :)


Marisa (Loser for Life) January 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

This is a wonderful post! I am slooooowly working my way toward ditching the scale and trusting myself with food. I recently went back to counting because I couldn’t fully let myself go without getting to goal first. It seemed to be looming over me and impeding my progress. But, I am looking forward to living life free of the scale and emotional eating one day :)


Morgan January 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

I accepted myself for who I am!

I CAN’T WAIT for 24 tonight. Jack is Back :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2010 at 11:33 am

JACK IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We watched the season finale from last season…to prep our excitement. I forgot so much that happened!


Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen January 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

i love this post! those 5 steps are exactly what i’ve been working toward (slowly but surely). the only other thing i would add is to ditch the feeling of failure if you treat yourself to something you love. i’ve been working on that the longest, and it’s probably the hardest thing to change.

learn to love yourself ladies :)


shannon January 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

I agree with Karla’s comment about calorie counting. I think that for some people (and I am one of them) it can be a valuable tool. I have been a vegetarian for 12 years and make a conscious effort to eat whole, unprocessed foods and lots of fruit and veggies. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and about a year ago I found myself officially in the “overweight” column and very unhappy with how I looked and felt. By counting calories I was able to lose about 20 lbs, but more importantly I became aware of portion sizes and how much was reasonable compared to before when I would just pile the food on the plate because, hey, it’s all healthy stuff! I eventually stopped counting because I thought I had it down, and little bit of the weight crept back on. I am counting again, as well as focusing more on exercise. I hope not to have to count forever but I do see it’s value.

Thanks for all the inspiration for healthy living!


AGS January 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

Exactly. My husband and I just started a fitness challenge. I figured out a calorie range for each of us, and then prepare meals within that range. Of course, we are both amazed at just how much food you can eat if you cut out crap (nachos for him, cookies for me, alcohol for both). Neither of us is overweight, but we needed to get back on track, and refocusing on calories/portion size has helped. We are also weighing ourselves every 1-2 weeks. The upside is there is no guilt associated with it — I just step on the scale, record it, and then do my thing (a huge change for me from two years ago).

It all comes down to this for me: what motivates you? If a number on the scale causes you to beat yourself up, get rid of it. If the number generally is a good gauge for you to focus and work hard at goals, keep it.


Becca January 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

It sounds like you overcame a lot! You’re posts are an inspiration and I always enjoy reading them :)


Michelle January 17, 2010 at 11:42 am

I’m at the point where I have a lot of weight to lose, and although I do want to focus on health verses being thin, I do have to lose weight. And I need a quantifiable way of measuring that. I just feel that I can’t ditch the scale just yet.


Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 17, 2010 at 11:57 am

Congrats on Woman of the Week!

And such a great post, so very very true. I have been in your shoes, I had disordered eating. I started counting calories when I was about 15 and just NOW (at 21) am I getting past that. Like you said, counting calories can be a good thing, it’s not always bad. But for some of us, it causes a downward spiral. When I started counting calories, I would have this competition with myself to see how few calories I could consume in one day and the number just kept getting lower and lower and lower… not a good thing. And when I started to attempt to overcome my eating disorder and stop counting calories, it would almost give me anxiety attacks not knowing how many calories that I am eating. It was a very slow process. Now, I do not count calories or weigh myself and I have never been happier with my body and myself. I feel healthy and strong, not always starving and almost fragile. I also taught myself about nutrition and about how different foods give us different things. Disordered eating is such an awful thing but it is empowering to know that you CAN overcome it!


G.G. January 17, 2010 at 11:57 am

I really love this post.


Amy Gaskins January 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I have a hard time with the weighing. I quit calorie counting but weighing is still hard for me. I’ve suffered from anorexia for years. I recently started weight training and want to get toned and fit. I’m tired of the skinny unhealthy look. Its hard being in a gym setting though with people constantly telling u to cut carbs if u want to get fit and toned. I’m so scared I’ll go back to carb counting. Trying to stay strong!!!


Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Be strong!! I know it’s hard but you can do it! The skinny unhealthy look is NOT attractive. Nor good for you. You are better than that!


Lexi (BusyLittleLexi) January 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Tossing out the scale is one of my New Year’s goals. When I was suffering from disordered eating, the scale definitely dictated my emotions. A “good” weigh in meant a good day. I soon realized I’m worth way more than what the scale can measure. I used to weigh myself multiple times a day, but now I realize the influence it has on my emotions.

Thanks for posting this. Great job turning your life around Angela! We are all very proud of you.


Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Angela, great post!

I also struggled with an eating disorder for a big chunk of my life. I was hospitilized for anorexia six years ago and since then, my life has completely turned around.

I decided that I was sick of living in a dark hole and took control of my own happiness. Ever since I decided to LIVE I have been the healthiest and happiest version of myself.

I hope that your blog and the blogs of others who have struggled will help all the girls out there who are going through the same thing.


Island Girl Eats January 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

What a great post. I rarely weigh myself anymore. I used to all the time. But I don’t think that we should let the number on the scale determine how our day is going to pan out for us. I couldn’t even tell you how many calories I eat a day. I am more bothered with if I ate healthy today and did I get enough fruits and vegetables. Just because you are skinny does not mean that you are healthy. When I see pictures of Hollywood celebrities looking really thin, I always think to my, when was the last time that they enjoyed a good meal?


[email protected] January 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I’ve had to start watching cals again just b/c I wasn’t getting enough for energy levels. I did however ditch the scale. That was torture controlling my days. Great 5 things!


Brooke January 17, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Thank you so much Angela for your blog! I think it is fantastic and I love your positive attitude. I have struggled with eating disorders and have been in recovery for 2 years. It is the hardest thing I have had to do but the most rewarding. I also wanted to say I made your Pumpkin Pie Baked Breakfast Cake and it was Fantastic! My 3 year old loved it as well. I have one question about it though, is it more of a thick pudding texture than a fluffy cake texture?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for your comments! :)

Yes it is more of a thick texture for sho! :) I think I started calling it cake because of the ‘cake batter’…whatever you call it, it is deeelicious.


Mandy January 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm

This is definitely what I’m trying to do.

Because in the long run it doesn’t matter what you weigh, as long as you are fit and healthy. I need to try to sink this into my head. Because otherwise I get obsessed with getting to a certain weight, maintaining a certain calorie range every day etc.

It’s gonna take some time and effort, but I’m going to get there :)

Reading all these inspirational blogs is definitely helping!


Cecilia January 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Thank you for this! I have been counting calories for about a year, and while it has been very helpful in that I managed to get my portions under control which in turn helped me lose a bit of weight that really did need to be lost, I have now come to the point where I’m starting to feel that counting calories is hindering me instead of helping me, so your tricks on how to stop are really helpful! I’m training for a marathon now, and I think that’s a change that made me realize that health is much more important than any number on a scale or in a food diary, because now my focus is on eating so I can be a better and stronger runner, instead of becoming a thinner person.

Oh, and thank you for being such an inspiring person! I swear, sometimes I feel like your positive energy is being transmitted through my screen.


Mandiee January 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

wow, this is such a great post! i know it’s a hard road, but i’m glad to see you found things that worked for you. the calorie counting advice is especially helpful because currently, i’m actually required to do it. soon i won’t have to but i know it’ll be hard to break. hopefully your tips can help me :) thanks!
have a lovely day! xox


Mae @ OhhMay January 17, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I was thinking the other day about how GOOD it feels to not eat and be worried if I should’ve eaten MORE, to workout and not be worried if I was doing too much, to walk by the pool in my bathing suit and not hear bon-sighting whispers. It ust feels SO. GOOD.
Calorie counting was the hardest thing to break and like you I started when I was little (like 13??!)One of the biggest things I focused on was an entire week- calories, fat, protein etc. evens itself out through the week, some days will be higher and somedays lower and forcing yourself to eat the same amount every day is ludacris!
Thank you for this post.


Chelsa January 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Wow it’s crazy to see how many of us young women have dealt with eating disorders. While I was dealing with mine, I felt so alone. It makes me happy to hear positive recovery stories.

I love this post!


Chelsea January 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I’m going through these issues RIGHT NOW and have been thinking about all of these things quite heavily. I had a baby 16 months ago and I just can’t seem to get rid of the weight. I’ve been obsessing about it for over a year now and all it has done is set me up for failure and binges. What I struggle with is accepting myself NOW and being okay with my weight when I know that I’m not a healthy weight. A lightbulb just went off when I wrote that that maybe I need to accept that it will all be okay. As long as I’m feeding myself healthfully and exercising I will be okay. *Sigh* I just can’t forget that now :-) thank you for writing this.


Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) January 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Oh sweetie, this post really hit me. I’m sort of where you were–trying to ease off my obsession with weight. I lost a ton of weight after being unhealthy and heavy my whole life, but it definitely warped my perceptions.

You are SO spot on with the counting calories. I haven’t -fully- kicked the habit yet, but the progress I’ve made has been so freeing and relieving.

I think for franchise food it’s good to know what’s in it, because there’s so much fiddling. But natural, whole food is nourishing and knows how to really communicate with your body. It’s like sliding away from the wall of an ice rink–scary at first, but ultimately liberating.

Thanks for the thoughtful post!


MarathonVal January 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I applaud you for how far you’ve come!! Back in June I also stopped counting calories and soon after ditched the scale… and I am SO much happier without it!!!

However, I hate the fact that there is still a possibility that if I weighed myself again, the self loathing may come back. Do you feel that if you weighed yourself now, you would be happy no matter what number you saw? Of if you felt in your clothes that you had gained weight, could you be ok with that? Fortunately I feel like I am at a happy weight now, but honestly, if I got on the scale, saw a higher number, and knew my pants fit a bit tighter, I know that the negative feelings would start flooding back.

Just wondering if you have gotten to a point in your life where you would truly be accepting of yourself even if the number on the scale and your jean size truly didn’t have an impact on your happiness…. and if so, please share with us how you did it! Because I think it’s so easy for me to say that I’m at peace with my body now despite not counting calories and weighing myself since I like where I am currently at, but if I knew I was heavier than I would like than I’m not sure if I would be as accepting…

Does this make sense? Sorry if I was rambling. I would love to hear your insight on this! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I actually have gained weight here and there over the past couple years- I know this by the way my pants fit. I’m ok with this. As long as I am a healthy weight for my body- and giving my body what it needs each day- I’m fine with that. In all honesty, I am SO much happier than I was maybe 10 pounds lighter…and to me, that is way more important!


Dustie January 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I lost 60 lbs but have regained 15 of them. I want to get rid of the scale and calorie counting but it’s like I CANT until I see those 15 lbs come back off. I feel horrible knowing I put them back on when I worked so hard at the weight loss. Next week I will go to get certified as a wellness coach and hope that it will inspire me to look at my own life and weight differently.


EaterNotARunner January 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I think just being able to accept the way I am now instead of always thinking things would be better if I lost 5 pounds, has really helped me a lot! Great post!


Linda January 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

What a great post Angela. I too was obsessed with calories and fat when I was younger. I’m 35 and I feel like I’m finally eating really well and have come to love myself. I use to consume large amounts of diet soda and candy on a daily basis. I ate the candy (like licorice or gummy bears) because it was fat free and I therefore deemed it a good food to eat. Crazy right? Because of my sugar addiction I just had an infected tooth pulled on Tuesday! I was so careless with my body but am on the mend now. I have completely cut out artificial sweetners from my diet and no longer eat candy. I look at food for its nutritional value, not how much fat it has. I feel so much better now at 35 than I did at 25. My weight used to flucutate 20 pounds between summer and winter. Now I stay within a 5 pound range and am sooooooo happy. Thanks for your honesty Angela!! I love love love your blog


Jenn @ Livewellfit January 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Congratulations on the article! You are truly an inspiration to many. :)


Meredith (Pursuing Balance) January 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

This is a great post! I think it is good to focus on being healthy and strong rather than obsess over being thin.


Britt January 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for posting this! I think my biggest thing is to stop comparing myself to others. You’re right! Being happy with who I am RIGHT NOW rather than who I will be 10 pounds skinnier is so important. Thanks for being so inspiring!


Lauren January 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Even though it is so hard I love these 5 things. It really is true, and I think the most important is learning about nutrition. Once you do that all the other stuff sort of falls into place. Thanks for this post!


Shannon January 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

It is because of posts like this that you were selected as Woman of the Week. You’ve come so far and are a great role model to your readers! :)


Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I keep my bad snack foods out of the house, otherwise I will just think about them all day, wishing I could eat them, then eventually giving in a eating them, then feeling bad about myself


Janna (Just Flourishing) January 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The shift from wanting to be “skinny” to wanting to be “healthy and fit” is the key.

Thank you for continuing to write posts like this. They are very helpful and inspiring.

And YAY for The Golden Globes! looking forward to them!


Jil January 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Wonderful post!! I agree with you on all of your points. Though, I can’t say that I don’t weigh myself — I don’t obsess over it. I wish that a few friends of mine would read this post and take all of your points into considering! :)


[email protected] January 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I don’t weigh myself either-we do not have a scale and I go by how my clothes fit and how I feel.

I also never come downn on myself if I ate too much-guilt is not healthy.


Bronwyn January 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I’ve made so many changes, it’s hard to say where to start.

It’s been three years since I began to work towards ending my food addiction and disordered eating. I no longer binge, in fact, I no longer feel the need to binge. It’s amazing to really think about. It’s difficult some days, but for the most part, I’m comming to accept myself as I am, not as I will be.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

wow that is truly beautiful…thank you for sharing :)


erica January 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

great post! i started counting calories earlier this year…at first i thought it was really helpful showing me that “just a little bit of this and a little bit of that” isn’t really so “little” and that all those little nibbles added up…but then it started stressing me out trying to find calories in foods and trying to stay under my target and feeling guilty when i went over. now i’m just trying to eat healthier :) much less stressful.

i was wondering though, i went and re-read your road to health series, and i know you mentioned the weight loss was gradual, but i was wondering how soon you noticed changes in the way you felt and saw the weight coming off, etc? like, hey! this is really working!


Ricki January 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

As a total pop culture geek, I am entirely excited about the Golden Globes tonight! Congrats on the interview–fantastic! :)


Megan January 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I used to be obsessed w/ weight and super restrictive. The single most helpful thing I did was start focusing on what my body could DO. By focusing on running, I shifted from obsessing about being skinny to thinking about actual accomplishments. Plus, I needed to be well-fueled in order to be successful!


ashley January 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Congrats on being Woman of the Week!!


Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

What wonderful information to share with everyone- I can only imagine how helpful and reassuring hearing this is for many readers.


Tammy January 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

HECK YEAH I’m watching 24! SO EXCITED!!!! EEK!


Kristine January 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

This is a great post. I also recently (within the past 6 months) ditched calorie counting. Now my problem is working out and trying not to be too obsessive with it! I think both are almost equally addicting. Who knew it would be so difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle!!


Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Your post inspired me to blog about my own struggle and how I overcame it as well :) thanks!!


Jolene January 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Funny thing – ever since I started my blog, I have stopped thinking about food as much (even though I blog everything I eat), and have stopped obsessing over my body and what I eat. It is weird how the blog has changed me – in a good way!


pam landy January 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I love 24! It’s my absolutely favorite show…cannot wait to see Jack tonight :)


pam landy January 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

…and by my absolutely favorite show…I meant absolutely my favorite show :)


Barbara January 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm

You are such a wonderful role model..yes ROLE MODEL for woman of all ages. You’re real, you tell the truth even if its not puppies and rainbows, it’s true. People can relate to your experiences which might help them slay their own demons.

Thank you for keeping it real and allowing your readers to see where you have been and where you are now. Trust me, it gives us hope and inspiration.

You rock!



Jennifer January 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Hi Angela!

I stumbled across your blog not too long ago and I’ve been hooked. I’m tuning in everyday and have even made some of your recipes you’ve posted (thanks!).

It seems like you’ve written this post for me, it just really hit the core of where my battles lie. I’ve made the decision to get my health in order i.e. stop obsessing about how much I weigh and focus on healthy eating and exercise. I haven’t weighed myself in 2 weeks (mostly because I’m afraid what the scale will say). I don’t like the way the scale has the power to make my day or break my day – that’s no way to live life!! I’m definitely going to take a leaf out of your book! Its a number it doesn’t define who I am or what I represent in life.

Anyway I wanted to tell you your blog Rocks!

From an avid reader in Australia :)


Jen January 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I hate the hold the scale has on me. If I gain, I beat myself up and my day is totally ruined. If I lose weight, I can have a good day. That number on the scale controls me too much.


Katie January 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Love the idea of all these things! I am actually trying to put on weight, so I need to keep the scale to make sure it isn’t going down, but the not counting calories thing is something that I am still struggling with. My type a personality loves numbers! I just try to use the numbers in a positive way. If they start to bring me down or change my mood, I give up the scale for a while. It always comes back to balance, doesn’t it?


Anne @thefitbridesmaid January 17, 2010 at 10:09 pm


Thank you so much for posting this. It helps to know that I’m not the only one out there who has struggled/is struggling/continues to struggle with weight/scale/calories obsession! I just wrote a post the other day and am still trying to figure out if I should count calories or just focus on eating healthfully. (both of which involve effort!)



Jenny January 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I’m watching the Golden Globes right now! I love your take on fashion, I hope you include a little bit in tomorrow’s post :)

Thanks for sharing these AMAZING and healthy things you did to beat your obsession. I couldn’t agree more with them. And also, I finally realize that using a scale works for some people but it’s MY personality that makes it not what I need. I think finally letting go and putting my health first when it came to gaining weight was a big step in beginning my recovery from anxorexia. I still have anxiety issues, but much more controllable now that I know what healthy is.


Katie O. @ Fit to Wed January 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Congrats on the Women’s Post interview- how exciting! Excellent post today, Ange.


Sarah January 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Thank you for this post, Angela. I have been been on a diet for as long as I can remember. Looking back, I wasn’t even at ALL overweight in high school, yet I always felt too big compared to my friends — some body types are just naturally more curvy than others, that doesn’t mean fat! I only took 1 year off of being obsessed with my weight, and that was when I lived in St. Martin Netherlands Antilles. There, if you were skinny, people tried to fatten you up. Popular girls were all curvy and sexy, and I didn’t step on the scale once. I was a HOT MAMACITA. Then I came home, and whoosh — out the door. I was obsessed again. Now I am a bit overweight, and trying to get down to an ideal weight for my frame. But I’m really making an effort to do this through healthy eating and a respect for myself and my body, not some insane sig-zag of self deprivation and bad feelings. I’m so glad that you’ve come so far, and indeed, you do glow because of it :) I truly look forward to getting there myself.


Trail January 18, 2010 at 2:04 am

I was kind of the crazy opposite. I was naturally thin as a teenager, and my mom obsessed over my weight and whether I was thin because of an eating disorder. I never battled with that, thankfully, but it put a lot of unnecessary stress and focus on food for me, even if it wasn’t my own obsession.

I loved my nutrition courses in college as well. If they had a full degree program in it, that very well could have been the direction I took for my career.

I think comparisons are the hardest thing for any women. No matter how happy you are with your body, you’ll always have something that you unconsciously compare against others.

Congratulations on the huge leaps and bounds changes that you’ve made to heal yourself. You’re an inspiration to others :)


Kate January 18, 2010 at 9:16 am

I also ditched the scale and calorie counting. The counting got to be so distracting that it was the only thing I was thinking about all day long! Over the years I realized there were more exciting and fun things in life that I wanted to be a part of, and my obsession with food and exercise wasn’t allowing me to explore these other things.

I’m so much happier not worrying about what I eat and I believe it makes it easier to eat healthfully when not obsessing over every bite! :)


Laura Georgina January 18, 2010 at 10:33 am

Oddly enough, keeping a food diary helped me feel less obsessed over what I ate. Before, I felt like my eating was all over the place but, once I started tracking, I saw that I was actually eating better than I thought I was, and that having a couple of crackers here and there were no reason to feel guilty because it all balanced out, in the end.


Leah January 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

Awesome tips! It is so easy to get caught up in the numbers. I’m in the process of learning about nutrition and it’s definitely changing the way I look at different foods. I find that when I’m focused on the right things I feel so much better about myself…no matter what the number on the scale says.


Blaine January 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

Thanks so much Angela, it makes me happy to read about how you are empowering so many other women about their relationships with food.

3 years ago I counted every calorie but I told myself it was just until I lost a little excess (I’m only 5′ 2″, not a lot of weight there to lose)
Eventually it spiraled out of control until I was alotting myself only 900 calories a day – 300 calories per meal. So warped.
It turned into a monster of its own. I felt sick, tired, depressed, and anything but confident and radiant. I had always considered myself a strong, no-nonsense person, so I dealt with a lot of denial about something actually having control over ME. People that count calories should be honest with themselves about why it is actually important.

Healthy does NOT equal skinny, I am so happy with myself now that I have learned that with my deepest intuition.


Candice January 18, 2010 at 11:47 am

Awesome post! I feel like I am somewhere in the middle of where you are. A little over two weeks ago I gave up counting calories, which I’ve done off and on for years. I also made a commitment to eat only healthy, clean foods (including healthy, clean treats:). While I am trying to lost about 15 pounds, I am also focusing a lot of energy on just getting healthier. I’m excited about my change in lifestyle, and I’ve never felt better. I have still been weighing once a week, but every time I get on the scale I first remind myself that the number is still just a number, and that even if it goes up, my overall goal of getting healthy is still intact. Thanks for this post, and I also want to say thanks for all the fun recipes. My green monster has become my livelihood on my morning commute!


Kristilyn (singer-songwriter) January 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for this post, Angela! I’ve been trying to lose those last 10 pounds since Christmas and it’s been slow. I figure if I count calories, weigh myself diligently, and exercise lots that that’ll work, but now I’m thinking the opposite. I’ve never wanted to kill myself with exercise, but rather try to work in enough that I could keep up for the rest of my life. As for calories, I’ve been counting them lately but I think I’m going to try and stop. I get obsessed with that total number for the day and am always whipping out my calculator to see where I’m at.

My goal is to focus on being healthy. Looking through my cupboards I can see that I’ve come so far with this since I initially started losing weight over 2 years ago. We eat healthy now and I have to focus on that and my portion sizes. Keep moderation in my head and follow my hunger signals.

I’m training for a 10K, so I’m running a lot more lately and I’m trying to be diligent with strength training, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I miss a day of exercise.

Life is way too short to be focused constantly on this stuff – I want to enjoy it!

Thanks again!



Melissa S. January 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I am like you and have finally been able to ditch the scale! I’m still working on not calorie counting anymore and taking it one meal at a time, but like you said, it’s hard. after doing it for so many years its hard to forget what everything has in it.

but i’m glad you have those goals for 2010 and that the goals you had in 2009 went so well! things like that are inspiring!!!


Julia January 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I’m just a lurker here, but wanted to thank you for this truley inspiring post. The progress you have made is incredible and really motivating. I was diagnosed with Anorexia at the age of 13, nearly losing my life. Although I’ve regained to a healthy weight since then, I still have to get weighed weekly by my parents to ensure I’m maintainin within my set-point range. It’s really frustrating and I wish that I didn’t have to get weighed… there was a period last year where I went three months weigh-in free (due to our scale breaking haha) and I felt so powerful… just well free from the number. But I ended up losing weight, unitentionally, so we had to go back to weekly weights (I’m really athletic so my calorie needs are sky high…).

I hope that some day I can reach the point that you’ve gotten to. The skinny vs. healthy and fit mentality is a great starting place. This year, I want to continuing on with my running as I enter college and be the best athlete possible. I hope to compete in marathons when I’m done with collegiate athletics, and even enter figure competitions some day! lol

Sorry for all the rambling… it’s just that I have days when I don’t think it’s ever going to get better, that the residual effects of my Eating Disorder will forever be impeding upon my life. But hearing wonderful people like yourself talk about the hope that does exist, well, it really helps. So thank you for sharing this, so, SO much! And once again, congratulations on the LEAPS AND BOUNDS YOU HAVE MADE!!!

In health,


Lori January 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Love your list! I think that all of those are valuable things that we need to be reminded of now and then…



GiGi Eats Celebrities August 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

These tips COULD NOT BE MORE TRUE! Especially STOP weighing yourself and STOP counting calories!!! Those numbers DO NOT define who you are as a person, EVER!!


Recovering Recoverer March 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm

You are one of the people who inspired me to write – thank you for inspiring my continued recovery: talesofarecoveringrecoverer.wordpress.com/

I would be interested to know about your thoughts on my recovery, given your experiences…


TJ April 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Great article! Although this is from a few years ago, I think it will always be a good and educational read. I too suffered from an eating disorder. I would count my calories and make sure that I was taking as low a number as I possibly could while still living basically! If I ever did have a treat or went above my max number of calories (which was still ridiculously low) I would excercise enough to burn it off. I was obsessed with calories, my weight and food and it was all I thought about. It took over my life, ended relationships and I was miserable. I always thought, if i just loose a bit more i’ll be happy but that never happened. There was always a new # I wanted to see on that scale. My family and friends gave me the courage and support to speak to a counselor which helped and slowly but surely, I gained some much needed weight and improved my relationship with food. It’s been about 5 years now. I have educated myself on nutrition, fitness and overall health and although I have come a long way, I still struggle. Sometimes I can feel my old habits creeping back in and I do my best to push them aside and read positive articles (such as these) which helps. I have never tried a vegan diet and I’m giving it a lot of thought. I also deal with very high sensitivities to Dairy, Eggs, Fish and Soy so I think becoming Vegan wouldn’t be too hard. I struggle with anxiety and control which I think stems from my past eating disorder. Wow, sorry for blabbing on here, long story short I wanted to thank you for posting such motivational articles and recipes. It’s great to read these and feel that I’m not alone and that i’m not a failure. I strive to live a healthy and happy life everyday and this blog is sure to help. I also just received your new Cookbook as a birthday gift and i’m very excited to try some recipes! I would love to hear your thoughts on how you deal with old feelings/habits coming back into your mind and life.


Emilie December 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Wow! Read this at the perfect time in my life. I’m in college right now; I have been clean eating for about 1.5 years, and recently decreased my animal product intake). Lately I’ve been struggling with body image, binge eating, and restriction. I am trying to remember how to just eat when I am hungry, stop when I’m full, and be happy with myself. This post speaks volumes to me! Thanks!
My cookbook is coming in the mail tomorrow- can’t wait :)


laura April 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

I really want to get to this point,

I have recently acknowledged that I have a problem with weight and weight loss. I count all my calories, I am constantly on a strict diet and I do not allow myself any treats because I cant stand the guilt afterwards.
I weigh myself everyday and this dictates my daily mood and how I feel in my clothes. I feel it is getting out of hand and is causing a lot of arguments in my relationship.
It does not help that my friends all talk about being skinny and losing weight – its just everywhere. I used to be a size 14 and now I am a size 8-10 but I am still not happy and I view myself as that fat girl still.
Its just horrible. I am just scared I will put the weight back on.


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