I haven't worked out in a month. If you told me this a year ago I probably would have had a mental breakdown. Immediately feeling insecure and guilty for not pushing myself to the gym everyday. Between being sick, getting my period and the Holidays, getting to the gym hasn't been the easiest. Besides my twenty minute walk to and from work everyday I literally haven't done a thing. And yet, wanna know the funniest part about this? I lost five pounds. I used to workout almost every day and still didn't feel great in my body. Almost like the workouts I was doing was putting my body into some sort of shock where it would retain water and make me appear more bloated. Now here I am, not having worked out in a month, and appear as lean as I always wanted.
Now this post could go multiple directions but I am going to stay to the straight and narrow. Yes, I will admit, I used to (and still probably have a bit) of an eating disorder. Although to be honest I feel every human does in some way or the other. Food can be either our crutch or worst enemy. What started out as a health interest to make my complexion better quickly turned sour. I cut out all sorts of foods from my diet and made myself miserable both physically as well as mentally. I mean, I cut out all sugar. Like ALL sugar....I wouldn't even eat fruit. Never feeling good enough. I would tell myself that I was exploring my options. I AM GETTING HEALTHIER! Yet what I wasn't acknowledging was that I wasn't actually feeling healthy. I was sad.
Then I took a nutrition course in college which turned things around for me. I should probably mention that prior to taking this course I hadn't gotten my period in over seven months. I was so restrictive that my menstrual cycle went into hiding. At the end of this college course you had to create a daily food journal and tally up where your diet could use a little more or less love. My scores were all over the charts but my main depletion was carbs. My body didn't even have enough energy to form one the most natural cycles for a woman's body. Hence the reason my period been on hiatus for almost a year. I began eating more whole grains and within two weeks my red-headed-sister-friend came back.
After this, things were good for a while and then I took a dip again. What was once an innocent checking of my weight turned into a vindictive pattern of weighing myself at almost every meal and then based off that, gauging what I "could" eat. I began counting calories (which I never had before) and quickly slid down that slide once more.
Luckily I began to watch this one woman's YouTube videos and was able to change my mindset to a healthier one. Giving myself permission to indulge and nourish my body as needed. Now why am I telling you all of this? To give a back story.
Most would jump and shout at the thought of losing weight when they haven't gone to the gym. This was sort of true for me. Part of me loved the idea. "Wow, I look amazing and I haven't even stepped foot in the gym in weeks!" Then another part of me spoke up. The part of me that spoke up during all those years of finding myself. "You aren't seriously going to rely on a walk to workout are you? The gym is the only proper way to get in shape. Get your a#$ to the gym now, stop being lazy." Then I would begin to feel sick. The guilt of not pushing myself to great lengths would set in and I would feel like I was going to cry. The fear of not doing/being enough.
Cut to a week later and you know what I realized? Maybe this is what is best for MY body. Out of years of doing strenuous cardio and HIIT classes daily because someone told me it would sculpt my dream body; only to then at times feeling like I was going to pass out from being so winded and exhausted....maybe THIS is actually what my body needs. If you couldn't tell already, I am can be a bit of a high strung person. ;) This meaning that my cortisol is already through the roof and my metabolism is quite quick. SO maybe rather than putting more stress on my body it just needs a more relaxed engagement. Don't get me wrong doing a HIIT class can be great. But I don't need to do one everyday for 45 minutes! Instead, I am now going to look for something more fun and calming to love my body, like taking up more yoga or participating in a Zumba class. After all, that is all working out should be right? Loving your body? Being grateful for all the movement it allows you. Not punishing it.
With the New Year upon us I wanted to share this new mindset of mine for 2020. You don't need to kill yourself everyday to feel healthy, sexy and fit. Do whatever makes you feel good and screw anyone that tells you differently. This is YOUR body. Be nice to it. After all, it is the only home you every truly have.
Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go