On Friday of last week, I reached my limit and felt the need to let out some of the frustrations that have been building up in my mind over the past few weeks (and years honestly).
I recently posted about calories and how they don't matter as much as we give them credit for. I've also touched on how eating less and exercising more, as well as avoiding fat in the diet aren't great for our health. In short, I've tried to spread the word about a holistic, balanced mindset when it comes to health.
However, that being said, I'm only one person trying to spread this message. The prevailing conventional wisdom we all know as "true" is literally ingrained in our minds. We don't even think twice when someone tells us they are going to start eating 1200 calories, cutting back on fat, and running at least an hour a day. We glorify this way of living.
But let's take a step back and ask the real question - does any of this ACTUALLY work???
Take a look around, and I think you'll come to the answer for yourself pretty quickly.
Has trying to eat as little as possible to BE as small as possible actually made you happier or healthier?
Has trying to literally run your ass off every day made you happier or healthier?
Has depriving your body of the energy (calories) and nutrients it needs through a 1200-1500 calorie per day diet made you happier or healthier?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
Society has imprinted these truths upon us from every angle - magazines, ads, food labels. Thousands of books have been written on the topic, all aiming to help us get thinner, thereby happier.
But I don't preach that way because I know it doesn't work in the long term. Yeah, it might work to lose a few pounds, but let me ask you this. Did you either gain that weight back with some extra or hit a plateau pretty quickly?
Under-nourishing our bodies will never, ever work. Running our bodies to the ground will never, even make us healthier.
We were meant to thrive and enjoy life, not spend every waking moment worried about how many grams of fat we are eating, the total number of calories we ate at the end of the day, or the number on the scale.
Life is about so much more than that.
And honestly, thinking, stressing, and fretting about those things all the time makes the problem WORSE due to the cortisol response it solicits.
Many people think that I don't know what it's like to struggle with my weight or health. If they only knew what my health journey has been like the past 10+ years. There's so much more to the story that I haven't shared.
I've been overweight, underweight, and have settled somewhere in between. I was the epitome of health by today's standards - thin, eating tons of grains, basically no fat or red meat, and exercising all the time.
But I was also sick, pale, tired, irritable, and hormonally IMbalanced. Let's be real - I was a hot mess, BUT I was thin, so everything was alright, right??
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Being thin doesn't equate to happiness or health. You might tell yourself the lie that it will make you happy, but take it from someone who's been there (and I lived in that space for about 8 years) - it's one big fat lie.
We need to start working WITH our bodies instead of against them.
The fight only makes everything worse, trust me on that. No body (and I mean our literal bodies) can win when we are fighting this war to be as little as possible.
Instead, we need to take the time to get to know our bodies. Listen to them. They know exactly what we need at any given time. Most of us just never slow down enough to LISTEN. Our bodies are so smart. They sense when we are trying to starve them of calories and nutrients, so they hold onto to everything they have for dear life to keep you ALIVE.
Once you learn to listen to your body, it's time to take action. Eat enough real, whole food. Sleep. Reduce stress. Smile. Laugh. Sleep (did I say that already??). Get some sunshine. Relax. Breathe.
It's not easy. We all have good and bad days. What matters most is that you take each day in stride, loving, trusting, and supporting your body on this journey.
And know this - you are never alone in your struggles.