In February I began to realise the truth about my binge eating and my poor relationship with food. Since then I have been trying to think of ways to improve this relationship and getting my head into a healthier place.
Avoiding crash diets is actually hard
I know, I know…I’m supposed to say that I love taking life in the slow lane and gradually changing my habits, and that I love my body so much more because I’m no longer punishing it with extreme dieting.
But you know what? I don’t. I don’t love my body more and I’m not enjoying this sustainable approach.
And here’s why:
It’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t see results quickly.
I know I’m not alone in this because otherwise detox teas and waist trainers wouldn’t be all the rage right now.
I’m changing my habits gradually as I feel this will help them to become ingrained, as opposed to something I stick to for a mere five minutes. On an intellectual level, I understand how important this is and know that I will hate my crash diet within a matter of days. However, on an emotional level, when you don’t like what you see in the mirror and want to change your body as quickly as possible, it is hard to stick to the healthier-but-slower route.
It’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t see results quickly”
I have changed some key things over the last month:
- I eat a large, healthy breakfast every morning (usually oats with one chopped apple, or scrambled egg whites on toast.)
- During the day time I only snack on fruit – I don’t have crisps or chocolate.
- I drink water throughout the day.
- I’ve significantly cut back on dairy.
- I’ve been experimenting with my cooking and trying to become more interested in creating delicious wholesome dishes, rather than going for convenience. So far this is the biggest and most important change that I have made because it is altering how I see food, and I’m making the time to create nutritious dinners as opposed to eating a plate of refined carbs.
However, since I injured my elbow back in October/November, I haven’t been able to work out in the gym. I also find that any body weight exercises involving my arms (e.g. burpees, push-ups, side planks, etc) can trigger a bout of pain that will last for weeks.
As a result my workouts have been limited to basic lower body exercises and jogging, both of which I find really, really boring (if I’m being honest!)
Working from home means that much of my time is spent at my desk and that I rarely have a need to leave my house. I do go for walks but, let’s be real here, there’s only so many times you can do the same three walks each and every day!
Becoming interested in cooking and nutrition is one of the most important changes that you can make. Stop seeing food as convenience and view it more as an act of self love.”
Trying to shed fat without lifting weights sucks
There was a time that I lost an entire dress size from eating 1000 calories a day, taking Zumba classes, and jogging. And now I don’t know how I did it, I really don’t.
Because now I’ve seen how enjoyable and healthy weight loss can be when you lift weights, it’s hard to return to the conventional cardio regime: I can’t eat as much, I have to work out for longer to burn the same amount of calories, my glutes have shrunk, I don’t feel as capable and as physically strong, and taking cardio-based classes is much more expensive than my £20/month gym membership.
The reality is that being injured absolutely sucks.
I don’t like my body when I don’t exercise
There’s something about exercising that mentally changes my attitude towards my body.
I was never lean when I lifted weights – not even for a minute. Yet I absolutely loved my body and how it was starting to look. The fact that I didn’t look like the bikini models that I admired didn’t matter because it was the journey that I was on that was important – I loved my lifestyle of going to the gym, lifting heavy, rarely drinking alcohol/partying, and eating well.
Going back to the cardio band wagon is damn hard as I can’t eat as much and because my injury means that I’m limited with my workouts.
I was never lean when I lifted weights – yet I absolutely loved my body.”
The temptation to crash diet is real
With the absence of decent workouts, I cannot tell you how tempting it is to just calorie restrict and drop the weight.
The toxic ways of thinking come in all too easily: “Debs, you only have to eat 1000 calories a day for a month or two, just to reach your goal, and then you can eat healthy after that,” that evil voice in my head croons as I step into the shower and catch my naked form in the mirror. “Surely it will be easier to eat healthy when you can actually see some weight loss results? Go on, drop the calories and we’ll worry about the sustainability of your diet later.” Then it pulls its trump card, “It’s almost summer – imagine how disgusting you’re going to look in your bikini if you don’t do something about your waistline?”
So far I’ve avoided the temptation to calorie restrict, and I’ve stuck to my premise that dieting will do me no good and that creating a healthy balanced lifestyle is the only way forward.
Recovering from injury
The best thing I can do for myself is invest time and money into healing this elbow of mine so that I can get back into the gym.
I’m investing money into sports therapy massages, and I’ve been taking the time to stretch and strengthen the affected muscles. I’ve even been attempting healing meditations (desperate times call for desperate measures!)
If nothing else, this time away from the gym has taught me just how important weightlifting is to me and how I won’t be taking my health for granted any time soon.
In the mean time I will be cultivating as positive an attitude as I can and focusing on getting better
PS: Have you stuck to any healthy/fitness/weight loss goals since January? Or are you finding it tough? Either way I would love to know how you’re getting on so be sure to leave a comment below!