(This piece has been on my mind lately and I thought it would be nice to get it off my chest.)
I’m going to be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding in a little under two weeks.
The old me would have been stressing over my diet and exercise regime at this point. I most likely would have attempted to follow a week-long slim down plan that barely hit 1,200 calories per day while also attempting to workout at the gym at least once or twice per day. Out of those workouts, one would have definitely been a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout on an empty stomach in the AM – because that’s what people say to do.
You might be wondering what I’ve been up to this time around.
Well, I’m in the beginning stages of my marathon training program. My week includes 4 runs, currently between 1-3 miles. I also have been going on walks, stretching and incorporating strength training. The difference is, I am doing what feels good for my body each day.
I am also not following a diet. The past few months, I have learned to hate that word and everything it encompasses. I have been learning to eat intuitively and listen to what my body wants and needs every time I feel hungry. Yes, I have had desserts – but I am also mostly eating food that fuels me and makes me feel good.
Why am I taking the complete opposite approach?
Every single time in the past that I have attempted any type of diet and heavy-duty exercise plan before an event, it has backfired on me. I end up running out of fuel to feed my body – I don’t know about you, but I can’t survive off minimal calories while training excessively. The food that I was eating on my meal plan lacked taste. Most times, I was just eating my food to eat, even though I didn’t really want it. (When is it ever okay to shove food down your throat?) When I had met my caloric goal for the day, I still found myself hungry and resorted to snacking, thus backfiring on everything I had worked for. The strenuous exercising wasn’t fun in the least bit. I dreaded working out and eventually had to stop. Basically, it just didn’t work for me. This caused me even more stress than I was already dealing with.
I decided this time around, there was no use in killing myself over an event. Who cares if I’m not at my goal weight? My weight shouldn’t be something I want or need to obsess about. The only thing that I am concerned about is:
- The positive relationship with the food I’m eating
- The genuinely happy feeling I get from moving my body
- The process of developing a positive body image
Those things, above all, are qualities that I want to follow every day from now on.