For the last few of years, I have immersed myself in the health and fitness world. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool and it has allowed me to be constantly surrounded by inspiring, strong, fearless women who motivate me to be better every day. I feel so fortunate to not only be able to learn and grow from these individuals, but to share my own journey with them and connect with others when I am in need of support or guidance. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and of course other blogs and podcasts have made this so easy, and have literally connected me with incredible people all over the world. There’s nothing more comforting than surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals.
Nutrition and fitness are my passion. Learning about and practicing both ignites something in me. It is when I feel the most like myself (does that make sense?). And there is nothing I love more than sharing this passion with others.
This interest has sparked conversations with many women in my life, some of who have become clients, and some who are just looking to chat or grab my opinion on a particular topic. This is often when the reality of mainstream media sinks in. I am dumbfounded when I learn that women are still doing an hour on the treadmill a day while consuming 1000 calories--and not getting the results they’re looking for.
Are you kidding me? Is this still going on? Sometimes I have to step outside of my social media bubble to remember that so many women continue to be lead astray by mainstream media. And it’s not even their fault. “She got her pre-baby body back in 2 weeks! See how she did it,” “Drop 10 pounds in 10 days,” “4 moves that are guaranteed to help you lose those last 5 pounds.” Messages like these surround us daily. But the creators of these messages have an agenda. And it’s not to help you develop a lasting, positive relationship with food. Nor is it to encourage life-long habits that will help you sustain a healthy body fat percentage.
I've been there. Eating well, living balanced, following simple rules that I know to be truth. Then, an event gets added to my calendar. I, of course, want to look my best for said event. Suddenly, all of my knowledge of nutrition goes out the window in favour of that low-carb, low-calorie bullshit inspired by main stream media. What is that?? I know how to eat and yet I allow panic to settle in and I fall victim to it.
The fact is that we all want a quick fix. And sometimes a low-carb or low-calorie diet can be just that--near instantaneous gratification. But the fact of the matter is, there is no quick fix. We cannot be sustained by chicken breast alone, nor can be spend two hours at the gym every day for the rest of our lives. It isn't a realistic way to live. So why bother? You lose a few pounds at best, and as soon as you begin to reintroduce more food or carbohydrates back into your diet, you immediately go back to square one (or worse). Why not find a lifestyle? A way of eating and exercise that slowly leads you to your goals, and supports habits that you can continue utilizing forever. It's cliché for a reason.
Excessive dieting and exercise may lead to weight loss in the short term, but both can become extremely stressful on the body. This stress leads to the overproduction of certain hormones. Soon, hormone receptors start to down-regulate. Suddenly, due to this hormonal imbalance, intense cravings appear, hunger is difficult to keep at bay, and energy levels are low. This is not the picture of health.
So, what if you’ve already reached this place, with symptoms brought on by dieting and intense training sessions? How do you come back from it? Begin by slowly reintroducing carbohydrates, post-workout, eat healthy fats with your meals, continue to train, but at a level that is sustainable and doesn’t put the body under levels of intense stress, and get plenty of sleep.
It is no secret that we are our hardest critics. Be kind to yourself. You only get one body and it needs to last you. Health is so much more than what we look like on the exterior. Take care of your body inside and out and it will repay you in the long run.
Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!