Man, it has been a busy past few weeks!
I’ve been spending a lot of time studying for my personal training certification which has kept me from the blog for a bit.
I should be done with that soon and I’m super excited and nervous.
I have a few posts I want to write soon but today I want to focus on something very personal to me.
Somehow I lost sight of how to just eat. I used to know how, so why can’t I now. Well I will tell you.
I’ve been noticing a trend around the blogosphere lately about intuitive eating. And I’m glad it’s being addressed because it’s been something I’ve been working on doing for sometime now.
Ever since I really got into health and fitness a few years ago I have followed a few “rules” in how I should be eating to fuel my body properly.
Some examples are:
- Count every calorie (as well as every gram of fat/carb, etc!) (Luckily I finally kicked that habit and I love it!!)
- Measure/ Weigh everything!
- Eat every 2-4 hours to keep your energy levels high/metabolism revved
- Eat fruit only pre/post workout
How could I not follow these rules? They are in practically every health and fitness magazine I’ve ever read!
Well guess what I’m sick of this! And I will tell you why.
Let me just first say that I think each of these on there own can be useful, especially when you are first getting into healthy eating, building muscle, lose weight, etc. And at one point they were all helpful to me in one way or another but they no longer serve me. They only control me and I’m over it! Sadly, I think being consumed by these rules is all too common in the health and fitness world.
Let me explain how these rules have taken over and why I’m quitting them.
I will skip over Calorie counting since I have already addressed that here🙂 I will say though, it’s gotten so much easier now! I never even think about how many calories I’m eating anymore and it’s so freeing!
Measuring Everything: This has been helpful to me especially when I first quit counting calories. It made me feel better to know that I was still eating the “right” portion size and eating enough but not too much! But guess what?! Turns out this is highly annoying. Plus it makes for too many extra dishes, all those measuring cups and spoons, haha. Also for some reason if i had put the right amount of food on my plate I would feel like I would have to eat it all even when I wasn’t hungry for it all because I had measured out the right amount for what I thought my body needed. I didn’t want to starve my hard earned muscles!! But you really shouldn’t keep eating when you are full, it just gives you a tummy ache. Other times I would still be hungry after eating but would not want to get more food because I had the “right” portion size. Obviously though it wasn’t the correct amount because my body was telling me, “hey I’m still hungry!” Our bodies are so smart! They know what they need. We just need to listen!!
For the past few days I’ve been working on this and it’s been great so far. It hasn’t necassarily been easy but it has been empowering to listen to my body instead of blocking out the signals it gives me.
Eating every 2-4 hours: This is probably the toughest one for me to break and the one I hate the most. Even though many studies say you should be eating every few hours to keep metabolism revved and energy levels up, many studies say that you shouldn’t do this. It’s not necassarily a good thing to be constantly digesting food! Coming from someone who has a lot of problems with digestion, I’m sure breaking this rule would be helpful to me. Sometimes it’s a good thing to let our bodies rest if we aren’t hungry every few hours. If you are, then of course EAT!! But don’t force yourself just because the clock says it’s time to eat. Sometimes I’m not hungry every few hours and sometimes I’m hungry ALL DAY!! But I ignore the hunger cues because my mind and the clock tell me it’s not time to eat yet. ( I’m so sorry body). Plus starving my body, just so I can eat at the right time is slowing down my metabolism anyway, the exact thing I want to avoid! I’ve had this bad habit for so long, it’s hard to break it.
Another reason I need to quit this is because my eating schedule runs my day! Instead of just eating when I get hungry, I practically plan my day around my meals! No fun! It can and has kept me from going out and doing things with friends because I don’t want to miss my meal time. I plan out when I will workout so that it goes in line with eating every few hours. And it is frustrating!! I mean really what will happen if I wait a little longer to eat ? Are my muscles just going to whither away? Nope, actually nothing will happen. What if I eat breakfast at 7am and have a snack at 8am because I was hungry again? Well, then my body will be satisfied and energized because I gave it what it asked for.
I’ve tried this over the weekend and enjoyed it and felt happy and energized the whole weekend. It’s harder to do during the week because sometimes I’m at work and I have to eat at a certain time if I’m going to eat at all. But that doesn’t mean I have to clear my plate if I’m full or not eat more if I need it.
Of course I’m trying to be smart about it. I have certain fitness goals and I know I need to fuel my body properly around my workouts especially. But after that I need to remember that the clock doesn’t control me or my stomach!
Eating fruit only Pre/Post Workout: This one is a tough one because so many people say “oh fruit is so high in sugar/carbs it should only be consumed around your workouts when your body can soak up all the energy quickly. And don’t even think about eating fruit at night! That will make you fat!” blah blah blah. And I suppose there is some truth to this….if you are training for a fitness competition. But currently I’m not. Would I like to? Maybe someday:) But todayI want to eat whole delicious foods that my body craves, when my body craves it. And I’m sorry, but an apple at night will not make you fat! It’s a whole, nutritious food and we should eat them up!
So for this one, I started a few weeks ago adding more fruit into my diet and not just around my workouts and guess what I love it!! My body loves fruit! Apples, pears, bananas, and berries, yum!! I feel really healthy and energized when I am eating more fruit instead of more protein for example. I have noticed less stomachaches and a flatter stomach from eating more fruit as well! A win win. I’m definetley not perfect at this one. I still have thoughts in my head that say, no more fruit you have had enough carbs/sugars for the day! But If i’m craving a piece of fruit, shouldn’t I eat it? yes, yes I should. Plus I don’t eat added sugars on a regular basis anyway. I quit (added, processed) sugar a long time ago and haven’t looked back, so I’m pretty sure my body can handle the natural sugar in fruit any time of day!
Anyway, so those are the things I’m working on now. Being a more intuitive eater. Enjoying my food more. Eating what I want, when I want. (And that includes ordering what I’m really craving when eating out, not just ordering what he healthiest option is!) Reaching for some almonds/carrots/a bowl of yogurt and eating how ever much I grab or scoop out instead of measuring it out.
Food and time will no longer control me.
I know my husband, family, friends, and God will help me overcome these bad habits.
phew. That was a lot. But I need to get this out of my mind! So thanks for reading if you made it through!
I will be back soon with some new recipes. Including my favorite breakfasts as of late:)
Do you follow any food or eating rules?