An Honest Conversation about Food
A fitness coach is always eating veggies with chicken, fruits and protein shakes. They are NEVER allowed to have a pizza, cookie, grain of rice or even smell an apple pie.
I am sure that is something we’ve all that was true. We can not even imagine that a personal trainer would eat something that is “bad”. I use quotations because labeling food as bad and good is already troublesome. Well this is how I felt at the very beginning of my fitness journey.
I believed that if I wanted to be a successful coach, I always needed to eat perfectly. I couldn’t let anyone see me eat a piece of cookie, or even smell one. I had to eat only eat sweet potato, brown rice, and quinoa because they were seen as the “good” carbs. I also believed that I had to be working out all day, everyday and only talk about fitness to my clients and anyone I met.
Ha! That lasted a whole minute. Obviously this lifestyle that I wanted to portray was not attainable. All that it caused me to do was to binge. I would be super strict on my diet while I was prepping for a competition and then after the competition was over I couldn’t stop eating everything and anything. So the way that I would fix this was to start to prepare for another competition. It was the only way I knew I would be able to control myself and stop binging. I thought I loved competing but I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I only thought I loved it because I loved how it would discipline me and while I was prepping I was lean. I knew that if I wanted to be successful I had to compete, be lean, and be an extraordinary example to everyone. I was not allowing myself to show any flaws.
This mental torture I had going for myself, only made my relationship with food worse. My sweet tooth cravings where intense and I found myself sitting for hours in front of a computer screen scrolling through Pinterest and pinning everything single dessert that caught my eye. How could I preach to someone about having a healthy relationship with food when I couldn’t even help myself.
I can’t really tell you when the exact moment was that I began to actually have a healthy relationship with food but I can say that it was a process. A lot of ups and downs, wins and fails, and learning. I learned through textbooks, other coaches and from my own experiences. Once I started using flexible diet into my vocabulary and day to day life, that's when I began my relationship. When they first told me about flexible dieting or If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) I had no idea what I was doing. This whole 80/20 thing was pretty crazy to me. I would either eat oreos all day or just have tilapia and asparagus. It took me a while to understand that it's not a free for all, eat whatever you want diet. Once I stopped viewing it as a diet and instead a way of living, that's when I succeeded and can now say I have a healthy relationship with food. I now know what it's like to maintain a healthy lifestyle without having to binge.
I won’t say I am perfect now either. I do have my occasional moments, especially on vacation and even weekends, where I may have a little too much of something or maybe “try” to many things. But I have learned that food will still be there tomorrow. I used to have a cheat meal and not be able to get back on track until about 2-3 days after. I would still crave the junk food and sneak in some here and there. That is not the case anymore. I now have a cheat meal or I prefer to say “free meal” or refeed and get back on track the very next meal.
What I’d like to say is that if I was able to do it so can you. I know everything your feeling and how difficult it is to have a healthy relationship with food but it could be done. I am proof. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick but once you do get there it is so wonderful. It feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
Do you have a healthy relationship with food? I’d love to know in the comments below.