I have been avidly “dieting” and exercising for vanity for my entire adult life, and then some (starting in my early teens) always under the pretext of being healthy, not realizing that those two things are not conducive to health.
I ate between 1,200 and 1,500 calories everyday, while working out intensely for an hour or more on top of my already fairly active life. I tried to force myself into a larger and larger deficit whenever it stopped working, eating less and working out more, despite feeling like a sack of crap, not sleeping, zero energy, bad mood etc. I kept on keeping on thinking I would magically adapt and the pounds would melt away. Until it stopped working completely, then I kept going still…
Well we all know what the definition of insanity is right? So I don’t need to go down that rabbit hole then?…
Any who, first I found IF, which was the first stepping stone on my way to becoming an intuitive eater, but of course I still had the restrictive mindset, so I traded my calorie counting for hour counting, and stopped working out all together because “you don’t need to workout to lose fat!” as the IF community loves to boast.
After a few months of being on the “new program high” I started to decline again, felt bingie, restricted and obsessive around food, and I started too feel weak, unmotivated and was experiencing worsened hormone imbalance and IBS symptoms.
Once I began shifting my outlook to that of nourishing my body, and working out for strength not vanity I started to feel better. My skin is improving, my energy is up and my mood is regulating, but didn’t realize how much had changed until the last few weeks.
Through all my years of working out, I never reached the higher level of strength I was looking for, I could barely do more than 5 pushups in a row on my knees, regardless of what kind of workout program I attempted, nothing changes. My joints ached, and I was sore from day 1, until I stopped the program and “Fell off the wagon”.
All I changed was how much nourishing food I ate, and I exercised for functionality and strength instead of fat loss.
I upped the quality of the exercise AND the quantity of the food, the complete opposite of what the so-called “health” industry leads us all to believe. The results of eating a shit-ton of food can be seen in my most recent PRs…
Pushups: “Dieting” = 5 on knees / “Eating a shit-ton” = 20 on toes
Crunches: “Dieting” = 20 / “Eating a shit-ton” = 55
Pull-ups/Chin-ups: “Dieting” = Forget it! / “Eating a shit-ton” = 15 partially assisted ea.
The list goes on…
Let alone how much more awesomeness it has added to my daily life, mental clarity, energy, mood, you name it, feeding my body what it’s been craving all these years gave it to me!
I thought I could live off protein smoothies if I took a multivitamin, then I thought I could live off crap food if I only ate it for 5 hours a day. I am finally starting to realize the answer I have been searching for, is the same one my body had been trying to scream at me for over a decade. Eat. More. Food! In return for my new found awareness my body is rewarding me with the strength, resilience and energy I have been striving for!