Being a Personal Trainer and involved in the fitness world my whole life, I feel there are some misconceptions about me. I think people think that weight, body image, diet, etc have never been an issue for me. This is about as accurate as the preconceived notions that working out everyday is “fun” for me.
What many people may not know about me is that have struggled with my weight, and have had body image issues since the age of 15. I went through the “phase” that many girls go through, dropping a drastic amount of weight in a short time. Eating all “non-fat” foods, and tracking my calorie intake. At its worst was consuming under 1000 calories a day, all while exercising/practicing up to 2 hours a day.
This didn’t last long, and I never got to a point where I looked “unhealthy” skinny. I actually looked and weighed average. At 5’4 I was 115 lbs. However, it was the fact that I had lost about 20 lbs in 6 months that was unhealthy. It was scary for my parents to watch, and luckily it never spun too far out of control.
Although, those who have been through that phase know that it never fully goes away. For me, I spent a majority of the next 15 years living with an unhealthy relationship with food. I was consumed with it. I thought about food all the time, however, only indulged in “healthy” food. (I’ve learned the Low-Fat/Non-Fat foods I was eating were just as bad as any other food.) I could never eat a Snickers Bar without a huge amount of guilt. I would always know the amount of calories I was consuming. I would go through phases when I would binge on food and sweets, and then follow it up with , “Monday starts my diet”. It was a yo-yo of ups and downs and not healthy.
However, there have been short periods when I have felt VERY healthy with my food relationship. This is when the weight seems to fall off. Not when I am doing my Monday fast, or documenting my calorie intake. That is unhealthy and I would rarely see lasting changes. Right now is one of those periods that I feel I have a very healthy relationship with food and how it relates to my body and its function. Food has taken on a whole new purpose for me. A calorie has taken on its actual definition. This is a good feeling.
I am currently training for Bimblers Bluff 50K Trail Race. This means a lot of running. One hour runs are now my “short runs”. There are times I am in the trails for 2 hours, this being the ONLY 2 hours I have open in the day. Therefore, I need to be spot on with my nutrition. I will confess I need to get better with this. I am never as prepared as I need to be, and actually need to take in more calories while training. This is because CALORIES = ENERGY. Their intended purpose. I am EATING to LIVE, NOT LIVING to EAT. I am eating whatever I want, as long as it will make me excel in my training. Pasta the night before I long run. Gu gels while on the trail. Electrolyte Mix with calories in it, NOT the Powerade Zero! Why, because I NEED calories! What a wonderful concept.
And guess what? I weigh less right now than I have in years. I am eating whatever I want and losing weight! This is reason #221 why I train for races. My life becomes healthy.