Bakery, Barbells and Bargains I own a bakery, and I like to lift weights and shop

October 31, 2017

Fitness, Food and Self Acceptance

Filed under: Life in General — shuss @ 3:28 pm

A little over a year ago, I walked into my local CrossFit box for my first Foundations class. Walking in the door was the hardest part, the short workout left me sore and I was hungrier than I had been in a long time.  The intense workout made me feel amazing, I was hooked.

Starting a scheduled workout program is one of the best things I have ever done for myself physically or mentally. I have struggled with food and accepting myself for years. I was a fairly normal sized but picky eater as a kid, and I can remember being worried I was too fat at just six years old. Looking back at photos, I was not a fat kid, maybe on the chunkier side now and then, but the 90’s were all about being lean.  As I hit my early teen years, I started to stretch out more in height and was a good average size.

In high school I dropped some weight fast without even trying and became about a size four for the first time ever. Compliments everywhere from everyone on how great I looked and I loved it, no one had ever complimented my weight before then.  I loved when people would comment on how “tiny” I was and how I had the “perfect figure.” Unfortunately, what people did not know was I hardly ever ate anything. I didn’t really stop eating intentionally to loose weight, but because I was just too busy during lunchtime in high school to take a break and actually have lunch.  I was also too shy to eat around boys, so silly but it is common with young girls.

This continued into college until about halfway through my second year.  I remained slim, didn’t eat enough and I was walking more now that I lived on a college campus.  About half way through college, I became interested in eating healthy and working out.  I kept a little book to log all my calories for the day and spent at least two hours a day at the gym.  I lived on campus and spaced out my classes to where I did the most walking possible around campus and I walked to my job on the far end of campus.  I steadily gained some weight through school but I was much healthier than I had ever been.  I graduated at a healthy weight.

I mostly stayed my “graduation weight” for several years, gaining  and losing some here and there.  About two years before my daughter was born, I got really paranoid about food and got so into healthy eating that it was obsessive and unhealthy.  I counted calories like crazy, not only calories but fat grams, trans fat grams, sugar, carbs, protein, sodium, ect.  Even on my “cheat days” there were foods I was actually terrified to eat.  Certain restaurants were off limits and I would look up the nutritional information before going out so I could log my calories ahead of time.  Before going to a party I would have a veggie smoothie to fill up so I wouldn’t eat too much party food.  Grocery trips took me extra time because I read all the ingredients of everything I purchased. I constantly searched for health information, often googling phrases like “most heart healthy foods” or “top foods to prevent cancer.”  I keep a list of “the world’s most healthy foods” in my calorie book and made sure I ate at least five items off that list per day.  If it were midnight and I had not worked out, I would still hop on the treadmill for at least an hour.  At work on my lunch break, I would do a workout video.  I saw my doctor and a nutritionist because I did not think I was losing weight fast enough.  My nutritionist told me I ate healthier than her and didn’t really have any advice for me….I failed to tell her how obsessed I was or she probably would have had more to say.

Finally, one day about two years ago I ran across an article written by a nutritionist about how there are no bad foods and you should never feel guilty for eating.  I wish I had a link to it because it helped me SO MUCH but I read it years ago.  Basically, it said to eat good 90% of the time and to just not worry about counting calories, listen to your body instead.  It also talked about how everyone is built different and not all people will be skinny, and that is okay.

I finally let go of my obsession.

I stopped counting calories.

I stopped lecturing myself when I ate cookies.

I listened to my body.

I didn’t lose weight but my relationship with food was improved.

Last summer, I had some hard times in my life come to a head.  I had some past hurts I just could not get passed.  My daddy had also passed away the previous December and I never really stopped to grieve his loss.  Basically, everything all hit me at once and I just did not feel good mentally or physically.  I had been using my treadmill when I could find the time to get to it but it just wasn’t working for me anymore, the walking alone for long periods of time was giving me too much time to overthink things.  So I made two key changes in my life.  Our family found a new church where I really reconnected with my faith.  I signed up to join CrossFit and gave my body a new challenge.  The new more intense workouts gave me a great endorphin boost and I did loose some weight……actually I lost around whopping 5 pounds but I dropped two sizes.  I feel a lot better and I am working to loose more (my weight is stubborn) but what I have gained is so beneficial.

Me with a barbell, drawn by my little girl

I gained confidence.

I gained strength.

I gained knowledge on how exercise works.

I gained more time with my hubby who had already been going.

I gained new friends.

The self acceptance at the CrossFit I attend is so refreshing.  Do our coaches push us to challenge ourselves?  Oh yes!  Do they encourage us to try hard and work towards our goals?  Yes!  Will they give nutrition advice?  Yep!  Will they give us advice if we are having a hard time meeting our goals?  You bet!  Will they celebrate when you reach a goal?  Oh goodness yes!

Do they tell us we need to be skinny?  Nope!  Do they shame you when you gain some weight or fail to loose it?  Nope!

My first day in class, our instructor told us he was not promising we would all have six-pack abs, because God made us all different.  That has really stuck with me and this is what I love the most about the gym and our coaches.  Some people that never work out are thin, some that work out all the time carry some extra fat.  God made you who you are and his design is perfect.  Focus on creating healthy habits and let the weight loss be a side effect.  So if you are struggling with weight. I encourage you to find a fitness program that you enjoy and a gym/trainer that will lift you up.  Talk to a nutritionist to make sure you are fueling yourself well.  Remember that your health is way more important that your size.  And finally, love who you are and remember you are worth love no matter your size.

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