…Sounds kind of strange coming from a personal trainer and nutritionist huh? 😉
I’m currently holding on to a 20 pound weight loss. I didn’t count one calorie, I didn’t examine nutrition labels, I didn’t count macros or follow a meal plan, I didn’t worry about getting enough protein, I didn’t follow any rules and I certainly did not restrict myself.
So what’s my secret??
I stopped caring so much about food.
Growing up I was thin and athletic but was always somewhat obsessed with being on a diet and not eating foods that were supposedly “bad” for me.
In high school, I remember not wanting to eat breakfast because as soon as I ate I thought my stomach wouldn’t look flat anymore. My mom would make me a Canadian bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on an English muffin and most days I would leave it sitting there. What I would give for that kind of service now 😉
In college, I remember going on the South Beach diet to get ready for Spring Break, but instead of following the diet, I made up my own version which consisted of cheese sticks, chicken and nuts. This was on top of exercising for a couple hours each day and going out drinking at night. After almost passing out in my dorm hallway, I decided this definitely wasn’t the way to go, so I tried Slimfast, then the Special K diet and took up running to shed any extra weight.
After college, I began teaching group exercise classes and personal training and thought I had to “look the part” so I did detoxes, drank too many protein shakes to count, used My Fitness Pal religiously, counted every calorie and every morsel of food and exercised for 3 or more hours a day teaching classes and doing my own workouts in between. I even hired a personal trainer during this time because I didn’t think I was doing enough…seriously.
When I got a full-time job, I started running more, lifting more and took up hot yoga. Since that still wasn’t enough, I thought I should train for a figure competition. Enter even more serious disordered eating habits, horrible body image issues and extremely low self-esteem. I categorized foods into “good” and “off-limits”. Naturally all the “off-limits” foods were eventually eaten in excess and though I was training for a competition and had a meal plan and exercise routine in place, I gained 20 pounds.
Finally, after three LONG years of taking one step forward and two steps back, I figured out what worked to get those extra pounds off.
I stopped caring about food and the weight came off almost effortlessly because I did the single most important thing I could have done to change my body.
I changed my thoughts which in turn changed habits.
Every day I do some form of mindset work whether it’s reading, listening to podcasts or audiobooks or writing and it has forever changed the way I look at food and how I look at my body.
Through this work, I’ve learned that the only way anything can have power over me is if I give it power.
So for me, the only way I was going to keep binging is if I kept food in the good/bad categories and obsessed over it. The only way I was going to free myself from hating my body was if I stopped criticizing myself and started loving myself and appreciating what my body could do.
I know…it sounds kind of hippy dippy, but it’s the absolute truth! Do I still have my moments? Yes. But that’s all they are…moments. Not weeks, months, years (!). I’ve wasted enough time worrying about food and worrying about what my body looks like and that got me nowhere.
Today, my diet isn’t loaded with junk food, but I do give myself a lot of freedom. I eat chocolate and candy with zero guilt, have a glass of wine or two a couple nights a week, go out on weekends and eat pizza. I’m not looking for next meal plan to follow or the next exercise trend to try. I feel strong during my workouts, I eat what I want, when I want it and I don’t give it a second thought.
I have never looked or felt better in my body than I do now because I am free of the restrictions and binges and negative self-talk.
The reason I share this story is because I know a lot of women suffer from the same things I did. The yo-yo dieting, trying the newest diets and the latest fitness trends, and I want to help them stop the madness! If we can learn to listen to our bodies and shut out all the noise, that’s where the magic is and it’s worth the journey. There’s too much living to do and worrying about food is an incredible waste of time. I want to help women find the solutions that work for them for the rest of their lives and through my experience, both personally and with clients, I have the tools that work.
Lauren- I love, love, love this post!! And I’m so happy you’ve been able to make this shift mentally towards food and working out. I had similar struggles (not with dieting so much, but rather just not eating a lot and working out a lot) and to be where I am now is such a good feeling. Jill Coleman and Neghar Fonooni have both been so helpful with making me love and appreciate my body for how it is so much easier. You look great, which I think I told you the other day, but I hope you know I meant it! Excited to stalk your blog tonight 🙂
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