[Image via Pinterest]
Being in the fitness industry for the last ten years has been an interesting journey, of stereotypes in particular…
One thing I have become increasingly aware of as I grow more in to myself and my work as a woman within this booming industry, is the fact that I don’t, and never have, fit in to the “fitspo” gym junkie model that so many marketing strategists and social media platforms have plugged me as over the years!
I don’t post photo’s of my washboard abs, in fact on top of my strong core, I possess a little layer of soft tummy fat (and also have cellulite!!) nor do I eat chicken and broccoli for breakfast, or drink pre-workout shakes!! If you see me out at a cafe any given day of the week, you may just see me tucking in to bread or enjoying a chocolate croissant for breakfast!
I care very much about nutrition, but rigidity isn’t my thing… I am a recovering perfectionist, so getting finicky about my food is a slippery slope that personally takes me further away from being well!
I care more about what mental state and inner dialogue is being had by my clients when they eat, than what they are actually consuming, because I do believe that more often than not, a negative relationship to our food is the cause of anxiety, bloating (anyone else bloat when they are stressed or anxious about what they are eating?!), and weight gain! Instead we need to do a reality check and consider if what we are trying to achieve aesthetically is in fact healthy, sustainable, and most of all, motivated from a place of self love and not self hatred!
If changing our diet is coming from a place of control, and as a means to gain external attention and validation, we have got it all wrong!!
When I love myself no matter how many extra kg my bum and tummy may have exceeded past my idea of what I think is sexy and lovable to those around me, I begin to naturally eat well, I treat myself with respect, and the motivation to exercise comes easily.
Weighing what I eat and restricting calories is simply not what helps me to evolve as a more healthful human. Instead it takes me to an obsessive and rigid place that only leads to me being harder on myself, and I am walking away from self-deprecation these days, and letting go of anything that leads to it.
Anyone that can truly maintain a healthy relationship with their food whilst monitoring what goes in so meticulously, I salute you… I have never been able to count calories whilst holding down a healthy, balanced relationship to my food… how about you?
And let me remind you that calories do not equate to good nutrition!!
When I was in high school and suffering a mild dose of teenage body dysmorphia, I used to eat corn thins for breakfast, a handful of almonds and a couple of dates for lunch, and hummus and veggies for dinner (which = 1200cal)… and let me tell you I was not healthy! I was chronically constipated, had low iron and was constantly bruising – this resulted in amenorrhea (the absence of my period) for a year!
My advice is this…
~ Get to know what your food triggers are if you are an emotional eater… is it when you are tired, bored, overwhelmed? and learn how to manage those emotions. For example – I eat when I am anxious, so instead I try to find what is making me anxious and minimise my exposure to that trigger, and find other ways to calm myself, like meditating.
~ Work out any food sensitivities that may be leading to cravings, bloating & fluid retention.
~ Strengthen your intuition by asking your body before eating – “does my body need this today?” you will be surprised by what changes day to day, your body knows, trust it!
~ Learn to love the body parts you find difficult to, coz you’re stuck with them for life! Growing up, mine were my particularly prominent bum and nose!
~ Write down a list of all the awesome aspects about yourself – both physically and emotionally… read this list – every day until you believe it!!!
I am highly sensitive and suffer bouts of anxiety and insomnia which means I need to listen carefully to what my body needs at different times. Ensuring I eat foods that support this is of most importance to my health, far exceeding what size jeans I want to fit in to…
If you are chasing instagramable abs and want accountability on following a 1200 cal diet, I am simply not the gal for you (but I do have some good people I am happy to connect you with!)
If you are looking to develop a deeper relationship to your body and want to let go of self deprecating comparisons and beliefs, want a healthy sex drive, clear skin and a clear mind, with a strong emphasis on physical exercise as a tool for getting you there, then I am your girl!