I found a pin with the exact quote from this post title on Pinterest and it immediately resonated with me! I’ve tried to be really candid about this health journey I have been on, and eating well and MORE is part of what has made this so life changing for me.
You see, I used to excel at eating a lot less than I do now. I’d feel better in my own skin if I ate like a bird and weighed a certain magical number (which doesn’t really exist, but I still strived for it. ) I typically skipped breakfast and ate something tiny for lunch, and then overcompensated and ate a huge dinner. If I ate no snacks and was in “control” of what I ate, I was happy. If I didn’t, I would punish myself with cardio and promises that I would be better. And yes, I was thin doing this. It “worked” for me. My baby weight from my two kids was mostly gone and I could wear a bikini on the beach and be okay. My benchmark for inner happiness was a “good” weight on the scale and supreme self-control. Needless to say, needing to weigh a certain number and rely on eating less than I need was not a recipe for happiness.
I am the type of person that has really good self control and willpower. It can be good and bad, as unchecked, it can turn on me a bit and make me live in a way that is not sustainable. Enter Beachbody Guide in my life. I’ve written about my gym program and the eating plan I follow, but I wanted to go deeper today. You see, my BIGGEST takeaway from it has been my inner transformation.
I work out to be strong and healthy and my personal best, not to punish myself for what I ate.
I eat to fuel my body, not to obsess over calories and weight.
I weigh myself very rarely, and focus instead on how I feel.
I look at food as what it can do for me and my body, and not as an enemy against my self-control.
I treat my body and my health like I want my kids to treat theirs.
So where does ‘eat better, not less’ come in this? Like I mentioned, I always counted calories like a maniac, and judged myself based on my weight. I used to eat about 500 calories LESS per day than I do now, and I weigh basically the same. I want to repeat, I don’t really weigh any different from what I did 6 months ago.
Left: start of BBG/Right: 24 weeks of BBG
I think it is easier to see this with a photo. I take these photos every four weeks or so for myself, because it helps me see my progress as I go through this program and it solidifies the fact that eating more and better really does mean everything. My weight did not change by much between these photos, maybe a pound or two at most depending on when I weigh myself. Again, I have no idea my exact weight. This is probably the first time in my entire life that I have not defined myself by my weight!
It. Is. So. Freeing.
Food for me now is fuel, rather than the enemy. I look at my food diary app and see that I need more carbs, or protein, and eat that way. I eat so much more than I ever did when I was trying to micromanage and undernourish myself! I eat to give myself energy and help me achieve my fitness goals, and I have never been happier. The key is to eat more foods that are BETTER, based on your activity level and goals. My current goals involve building muscle, so I eat a little more of certain foods than when I am trying to lean out a bit (my spring/summer routine.)
I think the moral of this story is, for me, that it has taken me years of weird fad diets, reading health blogs, and just plain getting older and (hopefully) wiser to figure out what I need to feel good inside. I need to feel good in my skin and that comes from challenging workouts and great food that fills me up and gives me energy.
Tell me, is it challenging for you to find a balance between eating healthy and feeling good about yourself from the inside out? Let’s discuss!