Over the last months or so I have done five things:
- I decided that I'm fat. I know that 'technically' I have fat, but I feel fat. I have enough fat on places like my stomach that make me feel bad about myself. So bad that I've labeled myself 'fat'.
- I started following a bunch of Instagram 'health' accounts which all say a bunch of confusing things that contradict each other and use a bunch of different rules about eating healthy but I follow anyway to feel like I'm doing something right.
- I started trying to eat healthier. I never ate badly so to speak, but I decided that something is only healthy if there's a fruit or vegetable involved. I considered going vegan, but I also decided I love cheese too much.
- I tried to work out more. My job requires me to be on my feet the entirety of my nine hour shifts but that didn't feel like enough. I started doing cardio once a week and I felt jealous of my friends who had the confidence to go to the gym in the first place, let alone use any of the gym machinery. I also got jealous of those who looked good in Gymshark gym clothing - major body confidence crusher.
- I got a calorie counter app. I had it for three days and it was awesome and I stayed on target and it helped me feel like I was doing something good. After those three days the app told me my free trial was up and I'd have to pay for it. I deleted the app.
Despite all of this, in the last month I have also:
- I decided that it doesn't matter if I'm 'fat' or 'thin' or anything in between for that matter. I realised I'm at a good weight for my age and I do not have to lose weight to fit an image of myself that SOCIETY has crafted as 'perfect'. My boyfriend already loves my body, and so do I on most days, so I decided to stop worrying about it.
- I stopped following a bunch of 'healthy' Instagram people and concentrated on following one that made me feel good about myself. They didn't encourage eating air for breakfast, wearing a waist trainer, or buying slimming pills or anything crazy. They encourage me to eat what I want, while maintaining a 80%/20% balance of my food intake. 80% beneficial foods for my body, 20% beneficial foods for my heart (because everyone is allowed chocolate cake every now and then!). I also decided that everyone is different, and I should focus on what works for ME.
- I decided to stick to the 80%/20% rule that I have seen instead of thinking that I can only eat something if I cover it in something like spinach. I decided to forget about the words 'good' and 'bad' and enjoy the foods I like without feeling guilty. I make sure I eat my 5-a-day etc, but I don't feel upset if I decide to eat something 'bad'.
- I enjoy my cardio, and realised I don't have to do what everyone else is doing to achieve results for me. What one guy is doing at the gym is not the same thing I'll need to do for my body. I started working out when and where I can and realised that I shouldn't feel jealous of anyone and I certainly shouldn't worry if I have to skip a work out or decide to rest instead of working out. Physical health is important, but mental health and your mindset is more important.
- I stopped counting my calories obsessively and started just taking it in consideration. Portion sizes and the calories that come with it are different to every single person, no matter what the packaging says. The portion size for The Rock is not going to be anywhere near the portion size I have - standing at 5'2 with barely any muscle. The idea I have now is that I'll take care of my calories, but it's okay if they go astray a little.
In no way am I an expert in anything health related, but if you got all the way to the end of this article I just wanted to share my wisdom with you. My personal experience may be similar to your own situation, or it may be completely different. I just hope this has helped at least one person. Now go, and enjoy whatever food you've been craving while reading this!