I used to spend countless hours tracking the calories that I ate versus the calories that I burned. I used to spend two hours on an elliptical to burn off every last one and I used to not eat bread (I know, it was just as awful as it sounds). In college, I would go out drinking and then force myself to eliminate the alcohol. I would say it was to prevent a hangover, but part of my drunk slop-tart of a self knew that I did not want all of those calories in my body and that I had to get rid of them. Some days when I knew I was going out partying, I would barely eat at all because I knew I would drown in the calories of cheap beer and SoCo-lime shots.
My life used to revolve around the numbers. The calories in versus the calories burned or eliminated. I was addicted to it; it was like a game for me. How many shitty red cups full of beer can be burned off in a 4 mile run? Not enough trust me.
I have never been one for extremes, or so I thought. But looking back now, I was an extremely hot mess. Over the past 4 years I have tried diets, tried a variety of different workout regimens and struggled with trying to love myself inside and out. There are still days when my mind automatically calculates the calories that I have consumed and I have to talk myself out of a mini numerical-based panic attack.
Even though I cringe when I look back at the unhealthy patterns that ruled my life, I am not regretful of those years. It was one big fat (or relatively thin) learning experience. It took me a long time to gain so much insight and control of my health and my life that I consider these past experiences my greatest teachers and I am forever grateful for my resilient body and the path that has led me to find a healthy lifestyle that works for me: no calorie counters and no keg beer (for the most part).
Although I dabbled with vegetarianism, veganism, no carb, low carb, fat free, sugar free, dairy free paleo and who knows what else; restrictions just don’t work for me. I would feel deprived and anxious and that right there is a recipe for failure. What does work for me is balance and what works even more is owning how I treat my body and what I want to put in it. I don’t have to go sugar free to fit in with health gurus or go paleo because my super hip cross-fit friend does it. Everyone seems to be going vegan lately but I just can’t because my mouth waters when my boyfriend says he is grilling ribeyes. And cheese? Lets not go there.
What I do is this: I take care of myself. I am in tune with what my body wants and needs to function optimally. I generally don’t poison myself with processed foods or foods that I cannot read the labels on but if I want a slice of pizza, I go for it. I eat a lot of healthy foods because they make me feel good inside and out. If I eat crappy foods one day, the next day I want to eat healthier because it makes me feel better and it gives me more energy. I eat consciously now and with awareness of how what I put into my body makes me feel. I take supplements and vitamins that give me energy to kick ass each day and I don’t have to stress about feeling fat, counting calories or exactly how many steps I took on a Stairmaster.
Of course I try to get some physical activity in each day. Sometimes I go to a yoga class, do a fitness DVD or go for a run; I do whatever my body is up for and whatever exercise sounds refreshing at the time. Exercise makes me feel good physically and mentally and it releases endorphins, so its practically impossible not to feel good after!
Finally on to the good stuff: the champagne. Some days a glass or three of champagne also feels good. I even enjoy the act of holding the fancy champagne glass while wearing a hoodie on the couch and watching Sons of Anarchy. I recommend everyone indulge in their guilty pleasure, whethe
r it’s champagne, cheesecake or a big juicy burger. Life is too short to follow every diet fad, restrict yourself of life’s simple pleasures or keep up with the Joneses of the health world. Find your balance, take care of yourself and stay in tune with what your temple desires.
Everyday is an ‘effin celebration, cheers!
If you want more info on the supplements I take or how I balance my love of food and fun with health and fitness, click here. I'll tell ya everything!