I stopped training to lose weight, and start training for me… and heres why.
After my first year of university i had put on weight, and after trying and failing on multiple diets and shakes and detoxes i decided to take the summer as a perfect opportunity to eat better,move more and bust the pounds -and i did. After years of yo-yo dieting through my teens i finally started to see the weight fall off and that pushed me to keep going, my second year of university was spend with people telling me how good i looked and during a sports trip to Spain i received multiple compliments on my lean physique and how much weight i had lost, understandably this makes you feel great, but do you know what doesn’t make you feel great; not going out with your friends as you know there won’t be anything you can eat, missing the night out because alcohol is empty calories and you can’t be ‘ruining’ all the progress, counting every calorie in every meal to make sure nothing goes a gram over!
Yes, I looked great, I was super lean,all my clothes fit perfectly and everything i bought looked good on- Id never experienced that before. But i.was.miserable. I look back now over all the things i missed but more then that i think back to how much food and workout out was the ONLY thing on my mind, I genuinely, hand on heart thought about nothing else.
I had decided that my self worth should be based on my waist line and not WHO i actually was. that was my choice, when someone said i looked good it made me feel good and thats all that mattered to me- I look back now and just feel sad that that was me.
So what changed? IT WASN’T SUSTAINABLE! Of course i couldn’t keep up that leanness and such a low calorie diet, cutting out EVERYTHING that was seen as ‘bad food.’ I stopped isolating myself and started to relax a bit, at first i felt guilty, i felt like i was letting myself go and after so many people had said how good i looked i didn’t want to be seen out after ‘letting myself go’ but then i realised, I was healthy, my lifestyle was balanced and my workout routine was spot on. I could like heavy and run far ( Completing a half marathon) So yes, my abs don’t pop anymore and my face is a little chubbier ( my cheeks especially ) but that doesn’t change my worth, Im still me, and more then that i actually go out for those work drinks, i have a take away with my flat mate and i go out for that glass of wine with my friends ( or the 6 glasses of wine)
So now ? Now i workout everyday,but i work out for how it makes me feel, sometimes i go on the cross trainer for 20 minutes then leave the gym, other times i do well over an hour on intense lifting and muscle building work. But i know do not go to work to look good, i go because it makes me feel good, and i don’t pressure myself or punish myself if i don’t make it. Fitness is a massive part of my day to day life, working out gives me serious focus at work and lets my relieve stress and also become mentally and physically stronger. I work now on my strength and also I work on being as healthy as possible.
Falling into the pit of obsessing over weight loss can be so easy to get into, but i had no life, my life was calories counting ,macro counting and not letting myself workout for less then 30 mins. This isn’t real life and i can tell you right now- you will regret all the times you missed and all the times you had a bad day after eating one piece of chocolate. i seriously regret guilt tripping myself into ruining a day because of something ‘bad’ i ate.
So if your training to look good to other people.. forget it, it won’t last and you won’t be happy, how do i know? because i did it… and i was F***ing miserable!
POST CHALLENGE: Go to the gym with no real plan just one training day this week… when you get in the gym see how you feel and train for that feeling! Feeling like not doing much? do a 15 min jog
want to try focusing on strength instead of the standard fat loss cardio? Go for it!
Don’t want to go to the gym? DONT! Go for a walk with you your friends and grab a coffee!