Hi All! How are things? Winding down from Thanksgiving over here and enjoying the (very quick) transition into Christmastime. Ideally I should be done or nearly done with holiday shopping by now…. womp womp. Anyway, this post is going to be a quick trip down the story of my health and fitness journey and how my lifestyle has evolved into what it is these days!
Rewind back to middle school days where I literally ate 4 Reeses peanut butter cups and a coke every day for lunch, and the summer nights where I stayed up all night watching So Weird on Disney eating Oreos and peanut butter straight from the jar – only to sleep the entire next day away and repeat it all over again the next night. Back then, I knew nothing about healthy eating. And exercise? Oh you mean what they forced me to do in P.E.? UGH
Moving on a few years- I can remember around freshman year in High school, going on my first diet- the Atkins Diet- AKA low carb. Lots of meat and cheese and veggies. I lost a reasonable amount of weight and was able to semi follow the diet rules for the next few years. But looking back, ordering Little Caesars pizzas and eating the entire pizza’s worth of cheese and meat toppings is not healthy. Skinny does not equal healthy.
A few years after high school a boyfriend payed for my gym membership and we would go and workout together. I didn’t really know what I was doing but it felt good to be doing SOMETHING. At that point in time my eating was still semi low carb but I wasn’t on any specific “diet.” After that membership (and relationship) expired, the gym was out of my life for a little while at least.
FF to a few years later (again) and I met my now husband who was totally into working out. We would go to the gym together and he taught me everything I know about weight training. I became obsessed with following fitness models’ regimens, reading about manipulating nutrition, exercises, and following fitness experts on social media. I changed my diet and cut out fast food, I stuck to “clean eating” aka lots of veggies and meats and “healthier” carbohydrates. Eventually this lead me down a dark hole of barely eating and always working out. I lost a significant amount of weight and people were constantly telling me I was “withering away.” I’m not sure why hearing people say things like that about my weight fueled the fire to eat even less food and work out harder. WHY?!
At some point in the mix of all this I got married and met a really great friend, who long story short, helped me to see what I was doing exactly. I started educating myself on something called intuitive eating (truly listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.) I participated in an online challenge put on by Jamie Mendell- that simply told me eat whatever I desired and however much I wanted to eat. This may sound silly to some of you, but when you have restricted yourself for a period of time, allowing yourself to have no rules with food is a scary thing! After battling the crazy thoughts in my head for a while, I spoke with a therapist who helped me to focus my energy on things that make me happy, and to find other things that I enjoy spending time on (other than food and gym.) Life is more than what you look like or what you put on your dinner plate! If you fill your life with the things that make you truly happy, you won’t need to fill the emptiness with food. It literally took me YEARS to find a REAL healthy place with food and exercise. I still wonder sometimes if I am eating enough or too much, but I have learned that my body will signal for more food if it needs more or maybe I will go longer between meals if I ate a little too much. Your body is smarter than you think, it will find your natural “set point,” all you have to do is listen!
These days as a wife, mom, and working woman, I go to the gym when I can. I don’t have aesthetic fitness goals. I don’t beat myself up if I miss a day, week, or month(s) of going to the gym. I do home workouts, join fitbit challenges, and try to walk as much as I can. As far as eating goes, I have learned that I feel best eating mostly plant based. I don’t eat as much as some people and thats okay. OH also, I eat chocolate everyday! Another thing I learned is that when you allow yourself to have the things you think you can’t have because you thing you’ll eat the whole lot of it, you desire them less and less- and are satisfied by smaller amounts of it. The more you tell yourself you can’t have something, the more you want it. Trust me.
Eat the chocolate, enjoy the dinner with your family, treat yoself! Life is short, don’t spend half of it dieting and fretting over fitting into a certain size. Eat to be healthy, exercise in ways that make you happy and feel good. Really listen to what your body is asking for!
If you managed to make it through to the end, thanks for reading! I hope I have helped you in some way or another.