My food and fitness philosophy

Since starting my journey to self love, and living a more authentic life my mind has changed so much for the better and I wanted to share my outlook on how I eat and move my body.

When I look back on the last 10 years, I see that two of my biggest stressors were diet and exercise. I remember trying to give myself an eating disorder in high school because I thought it was the only way I would be skinny. I remember trying to only eat low calorie foods, diet pop and veggie sticks. I remember so many girls commenting on how much weight I was losing. It was short lived.  I remember when I followed a bodybuilding diet and worked out 2 hours a day when I was in my early twenties because I wanted to look a certain way (what I perceived to be healthy: strong but thin). Now reflecting on all of the above, I see how disordered my thoughts were at different stages in my life.

After a lot of reflection the past two months I’ve discovered new healthy thoughts and beliefs around how I eat and move.

When it comes to food:

  • I don’t diet, or count calories. I eat what I feel called to eat, what I crave the most. It might be steel cut oats with a banana cut into it and a spoon of PB, and other times that might mean a doughnut. Sometimes dinner means fried chicken, and sometimes it’s a vegetarian buddha bowl. I guarantee people who follow me on Instagram think all I do is eat out all the time with the many delicious food pics I post, but that’s not the case. The “healthier” choices I make end up being boring photos to post haha. Eating out is HELLA expensive and we ain’t wealthy like that. I am constantly eating the same leftovers for lunch/dinner 4 days in a row, I just don’t post about it.
  • Don’t project your shit on me. I’ve had a few people in my life say things that I know deep down are affecting them in regards to food, but they project it on me. I also have a couple of friends who have had people project their insecurities on them too. It’s happened a few times that I can remember starting from when I was young, to more recently. It’s been important to me to have boundaries with people and I am not afraid to call people out on their bullshit. An example could be a family member or your spouse commenting that the food you are about to eat it as something they view as unhealthy OR too healthy. I’m like Ex-Squeeze me, says who, you? It’s like you are damned if you eat a vegetable or choose to eat pizza. Just because you are avoiding something, doesn’t mean I need to. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, call them on it and set those boundaries. It might make for a difficult talk but it’s worth it.
  • I don’t over do it anymore when it comes to portions. Since learning to cultivate a better relationship with food, I listen to my body’s cues on when it is starting to get full. I feel so much closer to my body now, like it’s my friend and not my enemy. I’m able to connect more with myself when I listen to how I am feeling when I eat.
  • I take my time. I really have to slow down when I eat. The importance of tasting my food and fully enjoying it is so important to me now. Eating slower has brought me better digestion as well, so double yay for this.
  • I sometimes have to ask myself why I am eating something. Since I know myself more and know that I have used food to cope with stress, I need to know why I am eating something. Asking myself am I eating this because I want to, or because my unhealthy thoughts are telling me I HAVE to?
  • I throw a lot of food away (or pack it up for Louie if that’s an option). The portion sizes at most places are ridiculous and more food than I ever need in my body at one time. I am a pro at either tossing food, or asking to pack it up so that I can offer it to Louie later. I know it sounds wasteful and terrible to throw away food, but I also know how terrible it feels to overeat/stuff myself because I listen to that childhood thought of having to clear everything off my plate. Seriously, when I have kid(s) that is never something I will say to them because it can cause so many issues around food. That’s another story so I will stop there.

When it comes to moving my body/fitness/exercise:

  • I don’t exercise a certain way if it ain’t bringing me joy. I don’t know how many times over the years I have told people I hate the gym but I know it’s a lot. I think it’s from overdoing it years ago by following a body building plan. I have a love/hate relationship with working out in a gym. A couple of years ago I was all about going to yoga once a week. I love taking spin classes because I feel like a badass when I do them, but they’re pricey as hell so I haven’t purchased any more classes. Right now I am digging quick 25-30 minute workouts that mostly consist of body weight exercises, and a couple dumbells. 
    • Funny story: I remember when Louie and I would go to the gym together a handful of years ago, I would tag along because I felt I had to, to spend more time with him and because he likes going to the gym I felt I should enjoy it too. Eventually I found out he didn’t like when I came because he hates talking to people at the gym (even his gf at the time ha ha) and he just wants to be alone, and I hated it because I didn’t even want to be at the gym. If you and your partner don’t have a common interest in a particular way to move, find something you enjoy doing, even if it’s alone! We all go through the ebb and flow of what movements brings us joy, and that is totally okay,I just ask that you stop doing stuff you don’t actually like and find something that brings you joy.
  • I run because I love to run, and am a better person because of it. As a person with little to no athletic abilities, I didn’t think I would ever be a runner, but I am a runner and I am proud to call myself one! I discovered more about myself through running. Running gave me a better relationship with my body because I came to realize how strong I am mentally and physically. I ran half marathon a few weeks ago and busted my ass training for it. I knew I was passionate about it when I kept going, even after injuring myself, taking the required time off and then doing all the physiotherapy work to make sure I healed properly.
  • I don’t guilt myself into working out. I haven’t ran in 3 weeks, since my half and I give no fucks. I know I will start again soon because I am passionate about running and the weather is starting to warm up. I am taking this resting period to enjoy all the free time I now have for myself because committing to 3 training days a week got to be overwhelming at times.
  • I try new things. I get bored of routines easily and I have a bunch of classes in mind that I want to try this year. There is an aerial fitness class I have been eyeing, some new spin studios to try out, and I want to try barre. I have learned I like trying different classes, even if they end up not being my thing. I get excited about them, and have a few friends who are always up for trying them out with me which I appreciate.

 I am sure my list will evolve as I do, but that is basically how I am living my best life right now in some major areas that previously stressed me out.
I just realized I kinda ditched Gratituesday for a little bit and  so I wanted to share one thing I am grateful for today, and that is my animals, Lexi and Sasha. They are so damn cuddly and needy and I love them for it, unless it’s Sasha eating my hair in the early morning because he’s hungry for food. The best thing about Sasha is that he knows when I am feeling down, and he stays extra close to me on those days.

Tell me, what have you discovered about your eating/moving philosophy? Also, any early risers that read my blog? I want to become a better morning person. Working out after work is not my think (I don’t like busy gyms) and would love to start working out before work a couple times a week. Send me your tips, please!

 

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4 things therapy taught me

Tonight was my last therapy session. My therapist wished me well, gave me a hug and I walked away from his office. A few minutes later I started crying as I walked towards where Lou was going to pick me up from. I cried because I am damn proud of myself for going to therapy and forever changing my life for the better.

My therapist and I both feel that I’m at a place where I no longer need to attend sessions. I felt it two weeks ago at my last appointment, that I was nearing the end of needing therapy, our session was shorter and I felt like I probably had one last session, so I booked two weeks out instead of the regular once/week. Today was even shorter, it was more of a check in to see how I was doing and how I felt my food issues were going, and also how the stressful family member issue was going.

The family member issue resolved itself last week when they moved out, so all is back to normal in my home and I am obviously so happy the stress is gone.

I let him know I felt 100% in control around food, and I hadn’t binged since our first session. I naturally have eaten more intuitively and pay so much more attention to how I am feeling while I am eating. I stop when my body tells me to, or if I just don’t really think that what I’m eating is tasty. I can honestly say I know my relationship with food is changed for the better, it will be something I deal with for the rest of my life, but after learning so much about myself and how I deal with my feelings around food I know I’ve got this.

Anyways, I wanted to share something I have been thinking about for last 6+ weeks, and that’s what therapy has taught me.

1. It’s okay not to have all the answers.

I’ve known I had major issues with my relationship with food for the last couple of years but I never thought I needed help to address it. I thought I would figure it out all on my own, boy was I mistaken! Seeking help was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It allowed me to talk about things I never felt comfortable saying to anyone.

2. I don’t need to be the parent.

Before therapy, I spent a lot of time telling other people what to do and it’s fucking exhausting.

Whether it was asking my partner to clean up after himself or clean something the way I wanted it to be cleaned, or telling a family member all the shit they were doing wrong in our house.

I remember when I touched on this stuff with Brian, he said something I will never forget: “Imagine all the free time you will have when you stop parenting other people”. It blew my mind. I was stressing out about other people and what they were doing, when I should/could have just focused on myself. It’s not my business the way my partner chooses to clean, because as long as it gets done then who cares if it’s different from how I would choose to do it. Who cares if someone asked me for help or advice and then chooses to ignore it, it’s their life not mine so why should I stress myself out over something not in my control.

In the last few weeks I have really thought more about when I feel like I may react to something in a negative way and instead of nagging or parenting someone, I’m starting to pause first and usually the want to parent goes away.

3. I’m the director of my life.

I was letting the unhealthy thoughts I sometimes have control my actions around food. Before therapy, I never once fought back or thought I could do things differently. Therapy led me to discover new skills, ideas and ways of thinking about my relationship with food. My life has improved a lot in the last 6+ weeks since I have been digging deep and working on myself.

4. Be authentic.

I have been on a journey since last year, a journey to being my most authentic self. Going to therapy was a huge part of my journey to fixing my relationship with food. When I look back on the way I was interacting with food I can see that I had been feeling lost, like I wasn’t myself. I was constantly thinking that I was not living my truth. I found myself thinking “who wants to go through their whole lives hating themselves because of their poor relationship with food?”. I don’t remember what exactly happened the day I called my employer’s EAP (employee assistance program) line, but I knew I was sick of living the way I was and I knew I had to do something about it.

Life lately and Gratituesday

Hello!

It’s been a while, and I haven’t felt too motivated to write recently. I randomly will have all these great ideas for blog posts I should write,  but the ideas end up forgotten about by the time the day is over so I just bought a small journal to write my ideas down in, and hopefully that keeps me on the ball more.

To catch up on what I’ve been doing lately, I will give you a brief rundown:

-I’ve went to therapy late last week and it was pretty good, things are winding down with Brian as I feel I’ve gotten a good grip on the big stuff we have been talking about. Instead of booking with him weekly, I am starting to book every 2-3 weeks.

-I ran a half marathon that I have been training for 3 months for, last Sunday. It was long, and tough but I felt pretty great during the whole thing. My body didn’t start hurting until the last 4 km were left. I made sure to prepare my mind in the days before the run, talking over a few scenarios and my fears I had. I really think that helped quiet my mind and I didn’t doubt myself once during the run. I decided to talk the rest of last week off as rest and recovery, and then Alberta happened and it’s been freezing this week so I am off until the free Love2Run 5k walk/run at all Running Room locations this upcoming Saturday, luckily it will warm up by then. I am doing it solo as I couldn’t convince anyone to come run with me.

-I’ve been feeling a bit off balance and overwhelmed lately in other areas of my life, the main stressors are work, and family. Work has been non-stop go go go, which means my days are flying by, but it also means I don’t have enough time in the day to get everything on my to-do list done. This feeling should start easing up by next week I am hoping. The family issue is that we have a member of my family staying with us, and that person has  stayed a bit too long and is wearing on my nerves and not respecting boundaries. Luckily, they are moving out by the middle of this month. I’m sure they can’t wait for their own space because I know I can’t wait to have the rest of my space back.

-I have continued a lucky streak of winning giveaways and contests off social media. My close friends are convinced I have a horseshoe up my ass. One friend suggested I keep track of what I win, so I think I will keep a spreadsheet from now on. I don’t know what it is, but i have won an obscene amount of stuff in the last 2 years, 2016 was exceptional for this, and this new year has me seeing my BIGGEST win yet. I WON a freaking TREADMILL (and some other cool stuff, like a year’s supply of smartwater!!) from http://www.spiffykerms.com, which is a blog I’ve been reading for the last few years at least. I was having a really shitty day until i got the email from Nancy saying that I won (our dog, Lexi, has been sick this last week, and that was the first day which meant our house was basically covered in her shit and it was not fun to clean up). Anyways, you should check out Nancy’s blog, she writes about beauty, fitness, and travel. She is hilarious and super sweet and loves coffee as much as I do. Nancy is Canadian, she is originally from Newfoundland, and has been living in California with her husband, Scott and their cute dog, Alfie.

I wanted to introduce something I heard about, which I am going to try my best implementing as a regular thing on my blog, it’s called Gratituesday. Basically, every Tuesday, I am going to post what I am feeling gratitude for. On my journey to being my most authentic self, I have been focusing on what I have and what is abundant in my life, rather than what I don’t have.

Today, I feel gratitude for:

  • my amazing friends, they have listened to me vent about my irritating family issue, even when they have their own big stressors in their lives right now.
  • my body, as it allows me a lot of freedom. anytime I feel like I am complaining about my level of fitness I try and remember that I am so blessed that I have the ability to walk and run and do a lot of physical activities, I try and remember that a lot of people are not as blessed as those who are able-bodied.
  • my spouse, he is the yin to my yang. when i’m down, he brings me up (it works both ways as I’ve been known to be sickly positive when he finds himself in a negative headspace). he believes in me, more than i believe in myself sometimes and I am just so gracious for this. he is my best friend and I love to laugh off the stress with him.

Please share with me, tell me at least one thing you are feeling gratitude for.