For as long as I can remember I haven’t been happy with my weight. I don’t think I’ve ever been remarkably overweight, or overweight at all… I’ve always been within the “healthy” BMI category (granted, towards the higher end of it… but still within it) but I was never happy. I’ve never had a flat stomach, or thighs that don’t jiggle and my shape has always been a little awkward… not typically “curvy” and not typically “slim” so I tried everything I could to change the way I looked.
I have been on and off a remarkable amount of fad diets from about 12/13 years old and I honestly do not recommend it. I’ve completely given up carbs, gone on juice cleanses, weighed my food, (drastically) restricted my calorie intake, skipped meals… honestly I could go on and on. However, while a few of them did make a difference initially, they were temporary, short term solutions and often just left me feeling hungry and a little sad. I’m not entirely happy with my body at the moment, but in my attempt to be more positive in 2017, I’m not letting it get to me in the same way that it usually does.
I’ve been thinking about my whole food journey a lot recently and I’ve realised that it isn’t dieting that’s been the issue, it’s been my mentality towards it. Every time I’ve dieted my intention has been to lose considerable weight and, because of what I’m like, that’s always put me in a dark place mentally... Which as you can imagine never ends well. So this year I’m approaching eating in a very different way. In 2017, I plan to eat clean and exercise more with the primary goal being to stay healthy. I may lose weight along the way (I probably will lose weight along the way), but that’s not what I’m going to focus on. Yes, I do want to be in better shape, but I want to be in better shape to improve my health, not appearance.
Instead of restricting calories, I’m focusing on eating three healthy meals a day (breakfast is still a struggle… but I’m building my way up to that), consisting of at least one piece of fruit or veg. Instead of avoiding snacks altogether, I’m focusing on healthy snacks, like fruit, (healthy) cereal bars, and the occasional square of dark chocolate. I used to be obsessed with the amount of calories whatever I bought had, and paid no attention to the salts, sugars, fats and so forth. Just because a food is “low calorie” it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good for you, so now I’m paying more attention to everything on the label, working on putting better things into my body instead of things that will have the least calorific affect on me.
So far, (I mean it’s only been a month) it’s been so much better for me mentally. I’ve gone back to enjoying cooking and experimenting with recipes (I may start doing healthy recipe posts) and with this new mentality cheat days don’t make me feel like a bad person. I can go out and eat junk food with my friends every once in a while without the internalised guilt of feeling like I’ve ruined everything. No, I’m not entirely comfortable with the way I look, but it doesn’t feel as big a deal anymore because I know that I’m gradually getting fitter. Dieting doesn’t have to be about starving yourself and going to bed hungry… you can eat good, tasty food without feeling like you’re disappointing yourself, and I’m starting to learn that now.
This was quite a personal update, feel free to share your food mentality stories with me below!
Lots of love,