I had started my "health kick" when I was in my senior year of high school. I started doing all the things. While playing sports I was going to the gym and began cutting out all the "bad things''. I stopped eating pizza and fruit past 8pm. I started the fastest cardio, the fat burning pills, the detox teas... all of it.
I then at some point began doing cheat meals, which would result in my gorging myself. Sometimes for hours. Usually it was a Friday night and that would unleash me. I would lose control for that night and sometimes the whole weekend. It would ruin me for the weekend. The self criticism, the negative self talk. These episodes just kept happening and i couldnt understand why. Why couldn't I control myself?
What it taught me was that to be fit you had to fit into this tiny box of expectations. You had to be miserable. If you mess up even a little bit all your progress is gone. I drank the apple cider vinegar, I drank gross smoothies and tried weight loss teas. I did all the things because what else was I supposed to do? That's what I was being told I had to do to be fit.
At 18 I became a personal trainer. But, I had developed a warped perspective of food in high school. So the personal trainer certification added to it. I had so much pressure to look a certain way, eat my salads and avoid certain foods. I would deny foods I loved because I was "supposed to". I'm a personal trainer I have to be rigid right?
Looking back on this now it makes me so sad. I spent years making myself miserable because I assumed thats what I needed to do. If you wanted to be fit it had to be your life. It had to be who you are. You can't go out and be social and be fit. You can't sleep in on a Saturday, not do cardio and be fit. You couldn't have both. right?
Well, it took a few years of missing out and forcing myself into this way of living. But, I started coming across instagram pages of people eating chick fil a and they had muscles. Or people going out during the week and they looked happy AND super fit. I was mind blown that you could do that and look like that. In my years of endless hours of cardio and eating spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I did not have this killer body. I was doing all this work, was miserable and it wasn't paying off for me.
So in my time of looking into other peoples instagram profiles. Then, doing my own research and getting my health coaching certification. I realized there might be another way. Throughout this process I came across macros. It seemed once I opened that door there was a whole world I didn't know about.
How could this be, that you could have a burger or pizza during the week and not feel guilty. That was so foreign to me. But, I had been going through cycles of denying myself. Then, when I would allow myself a cheat meal, I would lose control. I would eat everything in sight, without satisfaction. I could remember coming home from a girls night having had none of the snacks. Only to come home and gorge myself with whatever I could get my hands on.
I couldn't do it anymore. I felt fake and exhausted. So I started to give macros a try. I saw several people doing it. So I worked with a few coaches but nothing that was super specific to me or helped me work through those thoughts. But I started to allow myself to eat foods I was wanting. I wouldn't say no to going out and I would eat food with my friends. I would plan ahead and work things in. I started to feel excitement and be happy when I was out with people. Not anxious that I was going to screw up.Those changes in my thoughts took a long time to break. But I got there.
I learned from others and my own experience that I could in fact be fit and have a social life. I didn't have to deny going out with friends to go to the gym. I didn't have to do cardio the morning after a "bad" meal.
I want to also add in that there is a level of sacrifice. Because if you're working out or planning your meals you're not doing something else. So you are sacrificing something. You may still need to make some changes in order to show up as your best. But fitness doesn't equal misery, It should enhance your life. Make you feel your best, not your worst.
I learned that our body needs carbs, fat and protein. (macros) I was binging and not getting results because I wasn't giving my body enough food and nutrients. Those teas and other fads couldn't do anything for me. They were a bandaid over my lack of nutrition. That's what a lot of those things are. Bandaids for things far too great for a bandaid to fix.
I couldn't believe I was living so far the other way for so long without results. That's the other thing, when I got educated on what my body actually needed. For example: more carbs and more protein. My body started to change, I was getting leaner. It was blowing my mind. I started to get compliments of how good I looked. WHAT!? What I realized was my body was so deprived of food. Once I started to eat more I stopped having so many episodes of out of control eating.
Something to be said too is it wasn't an overnight change in my mind or body. It took time for me to not feel guilty eating certain things. It took time for me to break some of those old habits and mindsets. And like any sustainable way of living or changing your body, it took time. But I am able to sustain and make further progress in my physique. And the crazy thing is, I feel in control and I enjoy it. I'm a happy fit person.
So what I would tell anyone who is flirting with a disordered way of living fit. Reach out for help. I did that with my parents and at the time boyfriend .(now husband) Educate yourself. Don't do things to do it. Have reasoning behind not eating or eating things. And consider your future self. Do you want to be doing what you're doing 5 years from now?
Stop missing out on your life. ❤️ Consider joining the MIFIT facebook community. It's a free group where we are against fad diets. We are for simple, sustainable fit lifestyles that enhance your every day life. Join us here. ❤️