So today I wanted to talk a little bit about a thought that has recently sprung back up in my mind. This idea has also been in the back of my mind since the beginning of my fitness journey.
The idea that you can’t love fitness and love food at the same time boggles my mind.
It seems to me that the fitness community takes the phrase “you can’t bake a cake and it eat it too” too seriously. While there are some boundaries that have to kept in mind when you mix that phrase in with fitness it doesn’t make sense. So you’re telling me I can’t love running and a good greasy pizza every now and then? While you can’t eat cheeseburgers all week and only workout one day for 15 minutes I don’t see anything wrong with keeping a balance with food and fitness.
This realization came to me after three long years of struggling with my weight.
I started my fitness journey back in 2015 and my intentions were all wrong. I was changing myself because I wanted a guy to like the way I looked. I started out light, only doing 30 minutes of cardio and light lifting. What started out as light workouts turned into almost two hours in the gym every day. I lost 20 pounds very quickly.
From an outside stand point that sounds like a pretty good routine doesn’t it? When I got home from the gym it was a different story.
I would look in the mirror and squeeze the areas of my body I thought had too much fat. I developed a routine of eating, throwing it up later, then eating again a couple hours later and repeating this routine all day. If the numbers on the scale didn’t go down within 24 hours I spiraled into depression and became too disgusted with myself to eat.
When I finally realized that the guy I was trying to look good for wasn’t going to be mine I resorted to a “fuck it” attitude. I told myself that if I meet a man then they’re going to like me because of my personality not because of my body. If they don’t like me at my Christmas body then they can’t have me when my summer body comes. So I ate and ate and ate until I gained all of the weight that I had lost back and then some.
This mentality lasted from the end of 2015 and most of 2016. I didn’t wake up from this mentality until I noticed certain things started happening to me. My hands and arms would get numb to the point it was painful. I developed a ring around my neck. When I did my research I found that these were symptoms of diabetes.
So I went back to the gym before Christmas of last year, terrified I was going to get judged for gaining so much weight. Much to my surprise no one judged me. No one even looked my way at the gym. Everyone was wrapped up in doing their own thing and I was worrying about them judging me.
Since then I’ve learned to keep a nice balance between my love of fitness and my love of food. Workouts at the gym are balanced and if I feel like a workout is getting easy then I up the ante. On days I have to go into work I do yoga and Pilates. I eat the foods I love (i.e. pizza, cheeseburgers, barbecue) but I keep them in healthy proportion.
I’ve learned that fitness is all about balance and putting your intentions in the right place. When I started my intentions were all wrong and landed me back into depression and dealing with what I didn’t understand at the time was an eating disorder.
Now all I’m worried about when I workout is my happiness. Running makes me happy but the five dollar lunch combo at Little Caesars also makes me happy. I’m not going to sacrifice one thing that makes me happy for the other. You can have both.
The point of telling the story of my fitness journey is not to try and gain sympathy votes; it’s to make a point. I’m a big girl that loves to run, I love doing yoga, I love dancing. Fitness is a lifestyle change but it does not mean that you HAVE to lose weight unless it’s life or death.
The last time I checked that scale I was just under 200 pounds and I am perfectly fine with that. I am also perfectly fine if I lose more weight. I am also perfectly fine if I gain weight from muscle building. I am perfectly happy with wherever I end up on the scale and that’s what fitness should be about. Don’t focus so much on losing weight that you find yourself unhappy with the results when you get to your goal weight. Focus on the happiness you feel during and after that workout.
You can be a bigger person that loves fitness and food at the same time. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It can be done. Fitness is not a box that focuses solely on weight loss and cutting carbs. It’s about the happiness you feel from working out that changes your life.
Yes I am big. Yes I love fitness. Yes I love food. And that’s okay.
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