First off, this is not meant to discourage you, instead I am hoping it makes you aware. I have always had body images issues and I want to help other people who battle the same demons. When I first began my fitness journey, I wish I would have had someone to support me. It would have been so helpful for someone to point out red flags and give advice, to answer my questions, because in the beginning, I was dumb to all of this. I had very little knowledge about health, nutrition, or fitness. I didn’t begin studying or researching it until a few months in.
What I would like to talk about specifically is calorie counting. When I first began my fitness journey, I wanted to lose about 15-20 pounds. Since I started I have lost 24 pounds and gained back 7 pounds of muscle. I never did hit my goal weight of 115 pounds, although, at my lowest, I came in at 116. So yay me, I almost did, but not quite. I fell in love with building muscle instead!
OBSESSED WITH CALORIE COUNTING
What set me up for success at first, was counting my calories and making sure that I was expending more than I took in. Enough to lose weight to be exact. However, this quickly became an obsession, ruled by restriction and fueling a downward spiral.
While this way was necessary for me to lose weight, I quickly became fixated on losing weight, even when I didn’t need to. It got so bad, that I would stress if my calories were above 1,000. I felt so restricted that I began binging and wanting to eat everything, fantasize about eating junk food, and cheat days became cheat weekends because my body felt malnourished, and starved.
It took a great deal of courage for me to delete that stupid calorie counting app from my phone. That’s when I knew it was bad.
So what now? Well, I don’t have restrictions. I don’t “fantasize” about food except on special occasions where I snuggle up with a book and Halo Top for me-time. I listen to my body and eat intuitively which I will discuss in more detail another time, whether it be a single cookie or grilled vegetables.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Find what works for you whether it’s calorie counting, listening to your body and/or fasting. Different people like different things, and different things work for different bodies. But pay close attention and don’t restrict yourself too much.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or bad about yourself, take a step back and reevaluate where you are and what you’re doing.
It’s very important that you are 100% honest with yourself. If you have a problem, be open to it so you can solve it. I had a problem and I knew it. I am currently in the process of fixing it. It takes time to readjust and relearn your body, it’s not something I can fix in 2 months.
What helps is being honest and being able to understand who you are, what your goals are and what you need to do to reach them. Find what works for you and do it the right way. If you need help with that I would love to offer what I have learned through my journey. Even if you don’t have questions and just want to talk about your successes and learnable moments I would love that too!
Faith Engen Ellis
Faith is a southern girl, born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her husband and fur-baby.
Faith is living a healthy lifestyle and her ultimate passion is to inspire others to do the same.
She decided to change the way she was living 4 years ago, but she wasn’t expecting to actually fall in love with it!
Now she enjoys experimenting with different kinds of fitness and challenging her body to new heights whether it be pilates, plyometric training, or weight training, and she aims to inspire others to realize the strength within themselves as well.
Faith’s favorite product for pre-workout is the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy line. Her favorite flavor so far has been the peach lemonade, but next on her list is Mocha Cappuccino, yum! The use of natural caffeine sources is a real win for this product and it mixes easily, so there is no grainy texture.
For protein sources, she enjoys Oh Yeah! One Bars for a quick and filling snack on-the-go, of which she has many favorite flavors! Or Gaspari Precision Protein to mix up a shake. Her favorite recipe uses 1 scoop of the Cinnamon Cereal Crunch flavor, mixed with 1/2 a banana, 1/4 a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 cup of ice.
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