Here’s a throw away comment I’ve had to deal with most of my adult life….”It’s ok for you, you’ve never struggled with your weight and felt unfit”
Often these repetitive throw away comments can be the most thought provoking, and I hear them a lot at Zig Zag
I don’t like talking about my own fitness/nutrition/health issues. However, I think that this one may just help a bit…….
I’ve always loved sport. I was lucky enough to fall in love with it when I was young, and started fitness training in late my teens.
But one thing that I always did was, eating anything and everything I wanted.
In fact, because I was exercising and playing sports and teaching a heap loads of fitness classes, I wouldn’t even think about nutrition, didn’t understand it at all or even care about it. I’d down bagels, coke, sweets, pizza, chips , cakes, whatever, because I lived for food and I lived to train so that I could eat all that.
Enter my first dieting phase in my mid 20s.
I had just had Katie, my daughter and I was keen to balance being a Mummy and doing the job I loved. For the first time in my life, I needed to pay attention to my diet. And for this sweet-toothed new Mummy, it was really tough!
But I did what we all do when we first start any strict meal plan—I deprived myself and used a shedload of willpower to stay on it, lost a ton of weight and “finished” the diet. I hit my target. Looked great in my kit again and enjoyed the compliments. However, this started me down the yo-yo dieting path. Times when I white knuckled my way through a diet plan because I was doing an important presentation, and then times that I was eating EVERYTHING in sight!
All the while, I was being controlled by the volume of training I was forcing myself to do. My love for exercise turned sour and I was simply counting down the minutes on cardio and forcing myself to do more and more because I needed to a) get leaner and b) work off all the food I was enjoying.
This was a super unhealthy cycle to be in: exercise more to try to lose weight, but then the amount of exercise led to insatiable cravings and ravenous hunger so I’d eat so much more than I wanted to, only to have to head back to the gym to now do even more exercise to burn it all off. Which only perpetuated the cycle and even exacerbated it.
I turned into someone who was constantly trying to exercise off every calorie. In other words, I allowed my eating to dictate my training. If I overate, I’d have to over-exercise.
It was only 3 years ago that I decided there had to be another way and I started down that scary road of moderation. I started learning that it was possible to cut back on training and actually not gain weight. And the reason was …my hunger and cravings started to subside as I cut back on the training
It was precisely the thing I was the most scared of trying that ended up being the solution.
Now, I exercise about 4 days a week sometimes less, depending on the work load. All workouts are 30 minutes or less, plus walking as much as I can. For someone who used to do up to 1-2 hours of intense exercise 6 days a week for years, this is almost unbelievable. And the truth is that my weight has stayed the same,I look stronger than ever before, and more importantly I have my sanity, time and LIFE back!.
Exercise is great for “building a body” and enhancing mood and building muscle and strength and stamina and for a million important health benefits. BUT…. When compared to nutrition, exercise is a small dial-mover. It’s the fine control to nutrition’s gross control. It’s something that’s important but in terms of weight maintenance, it’s not the most important thing.
So, the bottom-line for us?
If you have days when you cannot train or simply don’t want to, then adjust your nutrition strategically.
You don’t have to be perfect (I always, ALWAYS want you to feel satisfied) but you do have to down-regulate the volume of food you take it. You have to. Matching your eating to your activity level helps you balance your metabolism.
Don’t rely on exercise to be the key to losing weight or even maintaining your weight. Your nutrition is key, so if you have days where you aren’t able to train (or even weeks!), don’t stress, just stay mindful of your nutrition.
How do you stay mindful when in the moment you just WANT whatever it is? Join me in #AntiFad #HappierHealth to get some FREE Coaching support on this. CLICK HERE to get access
I think some of us go the other way with this, too, don’t we? We think if we can’t exercise (because of circumstances or injury or time or whatever), why even bother with our nutrition? Why not just eat whatever, because it doesn’t matter anyway? NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. If anything, your nutrition matters more than anything, all the time, whether you are training or not! The thing that matters less is your exercise. Sure, tons of benefits and we should be doing it as much as we can, but it’s not nearly as impactful for results as what you put in your mouth.
So using the excuse of less exercise as a way to justify just throwing your mindful nutrition out the window is short-sighted, and will keep you struggling. If nothing else, pay attention to your nutrition; do your exercise when and how you can, and let your eating volume ebb and flow with your activity level.
Watch yourself. Do your best. Because that’s all you can ever do anyway. And every little bit counts!
Allison (laying it on the line) Harding
Here's that link to being more mindful again. See you there
Allison Harding,Fitness & Motivation Coach