ALL OR NOTHING, Part II
Hi guys! Thank you for joining me again to hear the follow up from last week’s ALL OR NOTHING part I, where I explained the rollercoaster of weight I was on for a decade. Today, I hope to inspire you or at least inspire you to take a look at how you are living your life, especially in regards to fitness.
This blog couldn’t come at a better time to explain my progress and life as I know it because we decided to tackle a kitchen remodel this weekend. In the past, this would have sent me freaking out. No kitchen? How will I prep my meals? I can’t use stove. No microwave. Can’t wash dishes. The dining room is a collection of everything that doesn’t fit in the kitchen. We have kids and in-laws with us making the usable space even smaller plus a mess of sawdust and tools littering the floor and patio. You feel my stress yet??? Oh yeah, this also meant ordering food and grabbing fast meals for picky eaters. So. What happened?
Well, let me first explain how my life changed when I worked on my all or nothing mentality and stopped letting fitness and food consume me. One day, during that time of the month, I asked myself, “What would happen if actually ate what I REALLY wanted?” PMS was always a stressful time for me, as most dieters would agree, when cravings increase, energy decreases and your view of your body is typically anything but positive. It was a time where I feared I would “blow my plan” or “fall off the wagon.” Well, if you don’t have a set plan or a wagon to fall off of, can you really screw up??? No!!! This seems like such a novel idea, but if you take nothing else away from this blog, remember this: STOP MAKING A WAGON TO STAY ON. See, after that PMS and reading Intuitive Eating, I ditched the wagons. I ditched the idea of starting over tomorrow. I stopped creating rules around my eating and my workouts. I stopped punishing myself with workouts and “earning” certain foods. I worked to stop labeling foods as good and bad and therefore saying, “I did well” or not. Instead, I started to actually check in with myself. If I really wanted a turkey and cheese sandwich on a bagel (omg, right?) I ate it. I even enjoyed some chips with it. Then guess what happened… I was done. I didn’t think about the food I really wanted while I ate my “planned prepped meal.” I started to try to listen to myself. I learned how certain foods made me feel, good or not so good, made me feel, then I made my voices from feeling, not from knowledge, fear or “shoulds.” And this my friends, is where I found the freedom I had been longing for.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the fear of listening to yourself and judging yourself when for years many of us have been doing what others tell us- trainers, social media, commercials. We have stopped listening to ourselves and FEELING. I found that when I ate my sandwich for lunch, I could carry on my day, focused on tasks not food, and I was more productive and less consumed. When I ate meals that were balanced and nourishing, I had energy and WANTED to workout. And for workouts? When I stopped obsessing over numbers of calories burned, minutes worked out, and miles run, I found what I enjoyed. I found that sometimes I want to kick my butt in 15 minutes of an intense, challenging workout and other times I want to walk in the park with my fiancé for an hour. But it didn’t depend on punishing myself for food I ate, making room for future food, or following my rules as to what was “enough.” I found my other reasons to workout and I found my happiness regarding exercise again. I became more pleasurable to be around because I stopped trying to control everything and I even started to like myself better.
So, how did this shift in mentality help me through this weekend? Well, first, starting Friday when we had to pick up the cabinets, I realized how awesome it is to be strong. I have been able to move houses 4 times with Dave, just him and I. Pack up, load and unload boxes upon boxes, beds, dressers and couches. I lifted cabinets with him, demolished tile and old cabinets, and moved a bed for his parents who stayed overnight. It really is an awesome feeling to know you can do this shit and not rely on others. Strong is awesome.
Friday night I didn’t get to go for a walk on a gorgeous night like I love to do, but I didn’t get cranky over it. We had to get dinner out and Dave suggested pizza, MY FAVE. But, I actually didn’t want it. We had a lot of work to do and I wanted to feel good and I was actually craving some veggies, so we got a giant salad with whatever I wanted on it from chipotle, then went back to work. It was a healthy choice but the difference is that in the past, I would have either pigged out because I love pizza or I would have said NO to pizza out of fear of gaining weight. Neither one are a healthy choice and it isn’t because of the pizza, it’s because of the mentality! See where I’m going with this? Ask yourself WHY you are making some of the food choices you do.
Saturday started off with the gym. Dave and I did a short walk and then I did glute bootcamp with my ladies. I got my turkey on a bagel at 10:30am because that’s what I really wanted and got to work. We ordered subs for lunch. Worked some more. I wasn’t needed to help for a while so I did some work then took my podcast for a walk. So I was still able to take time to feel good. Sunday morning? I went to go get breakfast for everyone. I got tea and went for a fantastic walk listening to a lesson on forgiveness on a gorgeous morning. I came back and didn’t want to eat something that would make me feel sluggish so I skipped the Tim Hortons and went for an orange because I wasn’t that hungry. Now, after writing this blog, I’m ready for a meal. Guess what I want? Turkey on a bagel.
And that’s life these days. Doing whatever activity makes me feel good as opposed to doing a certain amount to control the appearance of my body. When it comes to food, I eat what I FEEL like. That is different than saying “I EAT WHATEVER I WANT.” Which is true to an extent, but most of the time, I am considering how my food makes me feel. That way, if I choose not to eat something, it is a genuine choice, not a fearful one. Today, I make my choices out of self-care, not fear. And what a difference it has made in my life and happiness. I want you to realize that nowhere in this blog did I mention my weight. My weight GIVES me feelings but it is NOT a feeling. It’s different. I choose to feel good and my weight has followed to wherever I feel good.
The land of all or nothing was the most stressful place I have ever been. Where I am now is a daily practice which has never felt better. If you are tired of obsessing but scared about what would happen if you released control over your body’s appearance, please contact me. I promise you won’t become a lazy ass who doesn’t workout and stuffs their face with pizza and ice cream all day. I trust you, do you???