If your life has been dictated by food and workout rules, you probably have a really strict idea about how you should look like, what you should eat, what foods you should avoid, what your fat percentage should be, how your daily routine should look like…
I used to be the same way. I was super strict with my food and workout habits for a good 5-7 years. Then later some of the rules changed and in general, I got little more loose about them, but I still had a quite clear vision about how I should train, look and eat.
Today, things have changed 180 degrees!
The other day, I took the above selfie at the gym and realized that I am so many things today that I always told myself I'm never going to be.
I do things that I thought I am never going to be able to do.
I accept and even like things about myself that I never thought I'd be able to accept and like. Here they are…
5 Things I Never Thought I Could Accept About Myself
- Being overweight. This is a major, major change for me and sometimes it's even hard for myself to realize how far I've come. As you know, I don't weigh myself now, but I know that I'm “overweight” if you decide based on the BMI chart. I know it because when I got my period back almost a year ago, my BMI was 24.5 and I know I have gained some more. For a someone whose BMI was 19.5 ten to five years ago, who used to weigh herself every single day and make her daily decisions based on that number, being overweight and being OKAY with it is a HUGE thing.
- Not running long distances. I used to be a running machine. I ran 6-7 days a week, 60-120 minutes per training, sometimes up to 3 hours… I did several marathons and half marathons. I started running less as I found CrossFit about 5 years ago, and then gradually decreased as I started doing just strength and HIIT workouts. Before I started my recovery from hyptohalamic amenorrhea, I was running maybe 3-4 times a month. I never thought I could accept this! Running used to be my thing. Everybody knew that nothing can come between me and running and that I do it every single day, rain or shine. Well, I'm not running anymore at all, other than a very, extremely rare 1-mile as a part of my long walk. How do I feel about it? Well, when I do run, I sometimes feel little bit sadness because it's much harder now than it was back in the day. But I do understand that running was largely what made my body extremely stressed out, so I'm okay with not running anymore. Running used to be very meditative for me, and I now get the same benefit from long walks.
- Have rolls, cellulite and dimples. I've had a tiny bit of cellulite on my butt almost always, although obviously, I had much less of it when I was working out hard. I never, never in my life thought that I can accept stomach rolls and even dimples on my belly and cellulite on the front of my thighs! It was definitely a hard pill to swallow at first when I started noticing these things. Now my belly is very soft, it has dimples, cellulite, it's bouncing when I'm jumping or running… But I am okay with it. I know that my body needs higher fat to be healthy. Thanks to this higher fat, I'm sleeping through the night, I have my period, and I feel better overall.
- Working out just 2-3 days a week. I used to work out 6-7 days a week, and even my rest days consisted of TONS of walking. Now I don't think that walking 10+ miles should be called a rest day anymore… I thought that I need to work out at least 6 day a week, or else I would lose my fitness, lose my strength, and gain weight. Guess what — all that really happened. But I accept it. It doesn't mean that I “gave up”. It was just the situation that I had to adjust to, and as a result of taking a long break from working out and coming back to just 2-3 workouts a week, I really am way weaker and heavier. But that's my current situation. I'm accepting and embracing it. Things might be different in the future and maybe I can come back to 3-4 workouts a week. But I put my health first thought and don't rush.
- Eating freely. I really eat what I like. Surprise — I don't like only chocolate, ice cream and other sweets. In fact, I'm getting less and less and less cravings for sugar these days, when I'm not being strict with my food at all. I don't limit anything, let alone weigh or measure anything! But it wasn't always like that. In the past, I was always depending on some external rules, whether they were Weight Watchers points, calories, Paleo diet rules or juice clense rules. I don't have rules for myself anymore, but I do have guidelines for myself. I KNOW that if I don't eat a lot of fat and protein (but FAT seems to be the #1 for me), I never feel quite satisfied and I get hungry quickly. But all that is based on my own observations, things that I've noticed work and don't work for my body. There are no external food rules, like you can't go over 21 WW points or you can't eat a chocolate bar that isn't organic. I've learned to really trust my body because who or what else would I trust? No one else lives in my body and feels the effects of different foods on my body.
Today, I'm looking back to my food and fitness history and I see clearly how many unnecessary rules I had regarding my weight, food and workouts. There was very little room for doing things based on my needs, wants and intuition…
I've done a lot of work to overcome these external pressures and I honestly feel so much happier now.
You can do it too. Your body has all the answers for you, but you're probably just too scared to listen because you're worried about what the external world (other people, social media, etc) will say. But at the end of the day, you don't live your life to get other people's approval, attention and validation. You need to be able to validate yourself and you have the full right to do so. Because your true value is inside of you, it's based on who you are, not what your dress size is or how “clean” you ate.
Update: I am now recovered from HA and would love to help you do the same!
You can also apply for 1:1 coaching with me!