The unexpected struggles behind dieting
Before I start, I just wanted to say I found it funny that three weeks into my diet my most recent search history stated, “If there are no carbs in Gin, then were do the calories come from?”
It was back in December when I decided I would diet early in the New Year. It isn’t unusual for someone to be planning ahead and thinking of ways they can improve upon the last year.
I recognize that for some people, hearing that someone who tends to lean away from restrictive strategies and aims to educate clients in the methods of “moderation” seems a bit strange. I decided going on a structured diet and fitness plan would be beneficial for several reasons:
1. A new challenge:
I have been comfortable in my methods of fitness for a while now and desired a challenge - particularly with food.
Over the past few years I have swapped my “all or nothing”, calorie counting mindset to that of mindfulness (I know, I know, I almost eye-rolled writing that myself LOL).
But this new regime required me to track calories and macronutrients with their corresponding workout and rest days. As expected, it was at times, tedious and uncomfortable for me but it pushed me beyond my comfort zone.
2. Reintroducing sacrifice:
Sacrifice is relative. While I was navigating away from the extremes and trying to find this grey area called, Moderation, there still needed to be a sacrifice to some extent. I couldn’t eat all the chocolate almonds I wanted. I needed to be more conscious of my choices when eating out and I needed to get my priorities straight.
I have been practicing moderation for a few years, so I realize I have been removed from the feeling of sacrifice for a while. Following another diet plan, which involved more structured fasting times and tracking the concrete protein, carb and fat intakes I knew would require more sacrifice on my part.
3. I wanted to change the appearance of my body:
I was going to be going on a vacation in the spring where I knew there was going to be a lot of pool time involved. Knowing this, I wanted to change the way my body appeared.
Now, it’s important to note that changing your body for vanity is okay. We think body change needs to be solely health related, and if it is based off of appearance, you’re vain. This isn’t true. Even if it is a byproduct, we have all embarked on a new fitness regime in the hopes of seeing some desirable physical changes.
I think it’s important to also note, that wanting to change my body isn’t coming from a place of unworthiness. Though it took a lot of self-work, how I feel about myself doesn’t change as my body changes.
I need to add the most important underlining motive:
Dieting helped me emphasize better with my clients.
As mentioned, I remember the feelings of sacrifice, but it has been a while since I felt the physical and emotional stress of making big changes.
When someone is starting out, beginning an exercise plan is stressful. Planning your food takes time and it can be overwhelming to try to stay consistent.
Though my sacrifices may be different than those of a client who is just starting out, the feelings are shared:
I was reintroduced to the feeling of explaining the details of your diet and your own reasoning.
I witnessed the subtle annoyance from others when they heard I wouldn’t be eating a particular items on the menu.
Though well intended, I was reminded that some people will try to keep you complacent through complimenting, “but you don’t need to do that –you’re already fit and healthy.”
I was facing the fork in the road, where I needed to miss social hangouts, break the diet or take the time to create an action plan so I would stay on track.
I was finding myself trying to manage other people’s concerns of my diet.
I noticed that even though we all ate what we wanted to, people knowing I was on a diet made them feel awkward eating in front of me. It’s like they didn’t want me to feel bad/deprived or they felt compelled to justify to me, why they were eating what was on their plate. I also found at times, I would project these same thoughts onto others.
By going this exercise and diet plan, it allowed me to get back in touch with the feelings I experienced years ago when I first started making changes in my body composition and health. Getting back in touch with these feelings is allowing me to meet clients where they are at and further support them in their own journeys.
I realized that this isn't our business, nor is it our job to justify our own health and fitness in the sake of satisfying another’s opinion--especially when we are not doing harm to ourselves. We don’t need to spend the time managing other people, when the whole point of this is about us; what we want for our health and body.
If you’re just starting a new routine, this is a reminder that it’s not your business to manage other’s concerns, feelings or thoughts about you—especially not with your own health and fitness.
Also, the answer to where are the calories in Gin are coming from—the alcohol itself.