Ohkay, seriously though – fitness and health are touchy subjects. We all have friends who have gained weight as they aged, or the friends that had an eating disorder once upon a time, or those friends that are ANNOYINGLY into fitness now. And maybe you yourself, fall into one of those categories.
And such is life! Most of us ebb and flow as we go through different cycles of our lives.
The “honeymoon” phase in a relationship, where you’re eating out all the time, maybe you stop going to the gym as much because you’re hanging out with that special someone more. Your priorities change, and you gain a few comfort pounds. That’s life – nothing wrong with that.
Or how about the “revenge bod” when you’re newly single and all you do is live at the gym! You’re getting in the best shape you can because F THAT PERSON, you’re going to show them what they’re missing, right? That’s life – nothing wrong with that.
Or even the “maintenance mode” phase – where you’re living your life, happy with where you’re at in multiple aspects and kinda just cruisin’ through in maintenance mode. That’s life – nothing wrong with that.
What I’ve seen as the main reason for discontent, is when people get stuck in a phase and they don’t know how to transition out of it. Or they develop an unhealthy habit in said phase.
i.e. an eating disorder.
Which, as many of you know – I’ve struggled with for years. Weight has always been a constant battle for me. I lose it, I gain it – and the circle goes round.
For a long time I didn’t understand what I was doing”wrong” when it came to dieting or exercise. I thought I was eating healthy. I thought my gym routine was normal, even though it was pretty much borderline obsessive. I thought I was making “healthy” choices when I was eating this (banana) and not that (toast).
However, until you actually TRACK your food – you really have no idea what you’re putting into your body, unless you were a nutrition specialist in a previous life.
Before I started tracking my food, I didn’t realize that some of my healthy swaps, weren’t really that healthy. And you’ve probably heard “Alcohol is nothing but empty calories”, but seriously – it’s true. Empty calories as in, it doesn’t do anything (good) for you, no sustenance, but is additional calories nonetheless.
And if you don’t drink your bourbon straight, then you’re adding A LOT of carbs (sugars) to your cocktails using mixers (holy calories Batman). Which honestly, a lot of us don’t think about when it comes to guzzling down a couple drinks with friends at happy hour.
Now please trust, I opened the way I did because if you’re happy with where you’re at – then by all means ENJOY it! But if you’re unhappy, and don’t know how to get out of the circle you’re in – then this next bit is for you.
Training isn’t the hard part – the food is the hard part.
I don’t like the word diet, because “diets” fail, diets are fads – what you consume on a daily basis has to be a lifestyle change.
I’d say about 95%+ of your results are based on nutrition (generalizing here).
So, here’s the challenge…
Take a week and actually write down everything you eat or drink. Yes, including coffee, creamer, juices, condiments, alcohol, energy drinks, etc. EVERYTHING.
Keeping a food journal instantly makes you more aware of how much, and what you’re eating. You’ll be surprised by the caloric intake of some drinks, and what a difference a “simple switch” can make.
Food diaries can help with: accountability, portion control, thinking before eating (not just snacking from boredom), and can also tie in the emotional part of eating, such as: stress, timing and location.
The goal here is to understand what you’re putting into your body, and how it may be effecting your overall goal(s). What you DON’T want happening, is creating an unhealthy mindset when it comes to food. You don’t want to feel guilty for having a “cheat” meal, or a couple glasses of wine with friends. That is NOT the intention here. And if that starts happening to you, you need to a.) stop what you’re doing and b.) talk to someone about it.
Know why you are embarking on this journey. Be clear about your intentions and what you want to learn. Whether it’s wanting to lose weight and make some swaps, wanting to become aware of hidden food triggers, or maybe even some problematic eating patterns.
Whatever it is you are looking for, keep that in the forefront of your mind. And if you’re not sure, but you know you need to do something, then find a coach and see what they recommend.
Everyone has to start somewhere – and it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you do!
And by no means do you have to “eat clean” all the time! There are days, or meals, you will indulge – and that’s life, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Hopefully, after a week of logging your food and drink, you’ll see the benefit of a food journal. And if it’s not for you, then it’s not for you! No harm, no foul – but at least you gave it a shot and tried something different.
If you have any questions – please ask! If I can’t answer them, I’ll refer you to someone who can ❤
Let’s get real about the importance of nutrition.
Let’s get uncomfortable, and be brutally honest with ourselves about our lifestyles.