Sunday, March 1, 2015

I don't diet. I deficit.

I don't know about you but I have spent "almost" most of my life on a diet. You see I have that thing that a lot of women have called "if I am breathing then I must hate my body and diet". The mentality that my body was to be praised if it lost weight started at about the age of 12. I didn't even know my body needed to be smaller until I started receiving all the praises and accolades. The crazy thing about shrinking your body is people sure notice and boy do they want to tell you about it.
This was really just the beginning of the end for me and my body... torture ensued.

Diets from that moment forward (and in order):

*weight watchers
*not eating
*cigarette diet
* coffee diet
* diet coke diet
* slim fast diet
* take a crap load of supplements diet
* weight watchers
* way low calorie diet
* do not eat things you can't pronounce diet
*clean eating diet
*all raw foods diet
* smoothie diet
* weight watchers
* slim fast diet

I don't think I am missing any of my diet phases but there have been so many who really knows.   So what did all this dieting get me... the perfect body with the perfect body fat percentage. Nope. What it did for me was :
* the same 70 lbs.  lost and found over and over and over and over and over again.
*It got me a diagnosis of anorexia.
*It got tons of hair falling out and clogging up my shower drain.
*It got my menstrual cycle down to 24 hours.
*It got my hormones ALL messed up.
*It also made me an elitist douche bag who thought she was better than those around me eating "bad" food. All of those things sucked and made me hate life but  the worst thing dieting did for me was strain my relationships.

When people want to go to dinner and all you can do is panic, freak and cry because they chose a restaurant with carbs... well, lets just say that isn't a positive thing for a marriage. I was always taught that dieting meant you had self control, health, and a great body. I have never found dieting to cause rainbows, unicorns or tiny baby pandas.

But what did bring rainbows, unicorns and tiny baby pandas was the day that I  stopped looking at health and weight loss as magical and started looking at it from science and reality. There is this crazy word called "deficit".
So... now I deficit.

Did you know that if you want to lose weight you don't have to go on some crazy diet that you hate. You can eat a few hundred calories less than you burn and go into a small deficit. You can actually go into any size deficit that you want. I just choose the small one because... I HATE large deficits.
I also choose the small one because I am no longer in this race with my body to see how fast I can lose all my fat.

I have decided that diets are not the answer. I have decided that diets actually only slow down the process to real change... so I will just sit over here and deficit.


Friday, January 30, 2015

What if we followed the example of our tiny monsters

I have been watching women for years attempt to find balance between their fitness, nutrition and life. The thing that I personally loved doing (and I find other women do too) is hating myself. We don't call it "hating myself" but that is totally what it is. If I was watching my daughter live a life in a perpetual cycle of :

Wow I'm fat
hate myself
lose weight
can't maintain this
hate myself

what would I think about this... I would think "What the crap is wrong with her! Why can she not see how amazing she is!"
My monsters
What if... What if I decided to treat myself the way I would treat my daughters. What if I decided to love myself into health instead of hate myself into "health".

My kids can destroy a bedroom. They run downstairs and continue on with life like they didn't just let a tornado lose in their room. I  of course say' "Hey now monster go clean that mess up" ... they of course respond with "I can't!" You see the idea of that little body going and organizing and picking up every toy they own is just too overwhelming. Their reaction is normal, it makes sense because a lot of times when people get overwhelmed they melt down. I could make my little people totally insane by telling them over and over "go clean it."  That would get us no where... it would get us both coo coo for cocoa puffs.
The thing I have figured out after 5 kids is that they need ways to attack it piece by piece. When little monsters release tornadoes in their room  and  they say "I can't clean it mom" I actually believe them. I now respond with things like "go pick up all the clothes". The crazy thing is they come back and say "DONE! What next". My next step is to get up all the little things of torture out of the floor, "OK little monster go pick up all the Legos!" The crazy thing is they go do it AND they are in good spirits about it. They are very proud of their accomplishment. (See how we accomplished the same end goal with love and happiness NOT insanity and madness)
I have learned through my kids that sometimes we can't see how to attack the larger picture and we need it broken down into bite size pieces. What if instead of our same cycle of hate-diet-torture that we seem to love. What if instead of  assigning ourselves the perfect diet or the perfect gym schedule... what if we simply put it into bite size pieces.
What would happen to the crazy roller coaster of ours if instead of saying:
 "I am going to go from eating what I want and not working out to eating only whole foods and working out five days a week".
 What if we replace that all or nothing thinking with something more livable.
 "I am going from eating what I want and not working out to I will workout 2 days a week and try to add a vegetable everyday to my food."
What if we stopped the crazy cycle that has always failed us and just took bite size pieces towards health. What would happen if we decided to love ourselves slowly into good habits that would last a lifetime instead of making our health journey a series of diet cycles, expired gym memberships and self hate.