From my late teens, I have struggled with body issues inflicting pain with food as a punishment, emotional crutch or reward system.
When feeling overwhelmed, stressed or in the grips of anxiety episodes I reach for “my fix”. These days they are getting less prominent so I don’t wake up with a “sugar hangover”. I am gaining more in control, but on the bad days when the mind monkeys run the show I wipe the slate clean and start again.
At my largest, I was a dress size 22 before slimming down to a dress size 12. I thought I had hit the jackpot. However, the “go hard or go home” gym mindset took it’s toll as I was spending between 8 to 12 hours a week at the gym, undereating or if I overate punishing my body with a vigorous workout to burn off the calories. This phase lasted for about 9 months. With finances being tight I stopped going to the gym and thought I would be able to keep what I perceived as “my perfect figure”. It started great with home workouts and nutrition being on point. Fast forward two years and with little or no exercise, overeating, my achievements had been undone. What was I thinking!!?? By throwing money at the problem and not dealing with the underlying problems. I knew in my heart that the undereating and overtraining method I was using was not going to last. This lesson taught me to work from the inside out.
I do not encourage, or advocate people to use such extreme methods. Personally, I would ask the individual what changes could they implement using a safe, consistent approach and overall making a lifestyle change. We all want X and there are plenty of safe methods to try. If you chose to work with a trainer or coach ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and experience to help you achieve your goals.
After using a number of different eating plans I have found that the macronutrients/flexible dieting approach works best for me. I eat mainly a variety of nutritionally dense foods whilst still enjoying my favourite foods. Everything in moderation.
What is macro counting or flexible dieting? It is where a person has their personal calorie allowance and this is broken down into the main macronutrients being carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Dependent on the persons vital statistics their height, current weight, goals whether it is weight loss, building muscle or maintenance they are given a percentage converted to grams.
A lot of people seem to have the perception that macro or flexible dieters (better known) eat a lot of junk food. This system is based on you hitting your macros eating a variety of nutritionally-dense foods and then anything left in the “bank” can be spent on anything you like so for me it would a homemade protein brownie or a bar of chocolate.
To create sustainable changes, I knew I needed to expand my knowledge and enrolled in a nutritional course which I am currently studying. My goal is to heal myself, share my story and help others to do the same.
Join me next month when I share my tips for taking care of yourself throughout the festive season.