2015 started with a full head of hair. My life was consumed with crossfit, running ½ marathons, and eating paleo. I was miserable. I felt like I was doing everything right. The crossfit community was filled with women who rocked 6 pack abs and put in the same amount of work as me. Yet my body felt like a pile of fluff. I hated eating paleo. I thought shifting focus from calories to eating some caveman style fatty foods would make my food guilt issues way better, but all it did was make them a bazillion times worse. I developed a fear or carbs, wheat, gluten, dairy, legumes, soy, processed foods, low fat foods, restaurant foods, sugar, sandwiches, oats…the list goes on and on. What if I went to a restaurant and the only options contained gluten?!?!?!? THE HORROR! My body is not even the tiniest bit celiac. There was no medical reason for me to act like eating gluten was the same as eating asbestos. On top of that, my body was completely wrecked from lifting too heavy and running too much. Every day I was in extreme pain, but kept pushing through because I had my eye on the prize. I mean if I ate like the Instagram crossfitters and worked out like the Instagram crossfitters, I should look like the Instagram crossfitters?! Right?? WRONG.
Finally, I realized I was being ridiculous, and a life of being scared of sandwiches was no longer a life I wanted. After some careful Instagram fitspo research, I decided to do the polar opposite of paleo and start macro counting. I saw pictures of women with perfect bodies who were eating cookies, pop tarts, pizza, oreos, and loaded froyo!! What could go wrong?! If it fit my macros, I could eat it and I would have a bangin bod in no time! I reached out to an IG influencer for a plan. She set me up with workouts and macros to follow. My first red flag should have been the day my WARMUP was 100 lunges. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot. As you may have guessed, my body did not change and I was the heaviest I’ve been in my entire life. I guess daily pop tarts and insane 2 hour/day lifting plans with no cardio weren’t going to give me the body of my dreams.
Now a days I say SCREW ALL OF THAT. I’ve made a conscious decision to STOP associating guilt with food. If I want it, I eat it. I know the foods my body responds well to and I stick with that. I eat gluten, dairy, sugar, carbs, lean meats, occasional red meat, any veggie I want (legumes included!), fast food, and home cooked food. I stopped forcing down foods that gross me out because the internet told me to. I stopped avoiding foods because the internet told me not to eat it. I’ve stopped doing workouts that make me unhappy. I used to leave crossfit in tears because I didn’t PR. I used to come home pissed about a run because I wasn’t fast enough. I’ve realized that WORKOUTS SHOULD NOT MAKE ME CRY!!!! Life is hard enough as it is! Am I right?! Now I go to the gym and LOVE IT! My BFF gives me workout programs that kick my butt without killing me. I feel happy and bad ass even though most of my workouts include weights that are less than 30 lbs. There ain’t nothing wrong with some tiny weights! Since living this way I’ve found that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with my body. Sure, I’d be happier with hair too, BUT I no longer dread non-workout clothes and the dressing room and I have reconciled our friendship.
I want to make this super clear…I’m not saying crossfit, paleo, endurance running, or macro counting is bad. I am saying that if the foods you eat or the workouts you do make you miserable, then maybe you should consider doing something that makes you happy! The internet is a cesspool of people telling you their way is the best way and any other way is wrong AF. I’m here to tell you that the best way is the way that works for you! There is no wrong way. If it works for you, then it works and that is all that matters! If you’re a keto guido, rock on! If you’re living your best vegan life, yas queen! If you slow walk on the treadmill, keep killin it! If you’ve never followed a fad diet and never will, heck yeah! If you PR the shit out of every crossfit workout, high five to you and your sweat angel! Just go out there and do you! If Instagram tells you that’s not good enough, then delete that person and keep it moving! Every person’s body is so different and responds so differently. Find the thing that is the right fit for you, and your body will show its thanks back! xoxoxo