Summer has meant wait time between kids’ activities…today, I started thinking about sustainability in health and fitness.
Fitness became a passion during a very vulnerable time in my life. I had lost all sense of self because I became 100% Mom and wife and didn’t think about nurturing myself. I think back to why and what led to the decision of becoming a full-time Mom and it was not only a fortunate option that I fully embraced but also one that made sense since I didn’t think my job merited someone else taking care of the kids.
Having just turned 49 years old this year has meant more to others than me as it’s just a number and not something I think about when I exercise, teach and go about my daily life. I attribute my health to a lifestyle change (mental and physical) and believe that health and fitness is much more than pounds, appearance and results for sustainability. I know my why stems from my heart and is the reason for sustainability. To identifying our health and fitness whys’.
What do mindful eating and exercise look like?
The photos were taken within almost a one year period (July 2013 – present):
Left: bikini competition, July 2013, living on bars, shakes and some food but definitely not eating properly.
Middle: post 7 months bikini comp and living a more active social life that included eating/drinking more and exercising less, February 2014
Right: finding a balance between left and middle photos and getting back to a more regular exercise routine and eating more mindfully and properly: actual food and not skipping meals.
I have my own fitness and health objectives but I have had to reset my mindset and beliefs to align with a healthy sustainable lifestyle and it’s been difficult b/c what wasn’t healthy is a look that the media promotes.
I support re-set systems and jumpstart programs for just that: to help ease into new habits that are sustainable.
A close friend recently stated that I have an eating disorder. I was shocked to hear this as I had always associated an eating disorder with being diagnosed with either bulimia or anorexia both of which I’m familiar with the symptoms. I don’t purge and/or starve myself so therefore I do not have an eating disorder.
I started thinking more about it in general terms and what my friend said was an abnormal relationship with food. So I googled it and came across a few links one of which was http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org where I took a diagnostic test and this was my result:
“Your screening results are consistent with symptoms of an eating disorder. However, this screening is not a substitute for a complete clinical evaluation. It is recommended that you see a health professional immediately for a complete evaluation.”
I have an eating disorder. What?! I think about food, reflect on what I eat during the day, am aware of the approximate caloric and carbohydrate content and will adjust accordingly throughout the day or week to maintain what I consider an ideal weight for my height and frame but is my ideal healthy?
A week ago, I had my measurements taken and myself weighed at my fitness facility where metrics are used to monitor progress. I avoid the scale because I like to pride myself on how I feel rather than what I weigh to determine my lifestyle. I have gained weight and my body fat has increased in the past 9 months because my lifestyle has changed: eating and drinking more and exercising less. So while I wasn’t surprised by my results, I wasn’t thrilled so I am making adjustments.
I am posting two photos because my unhealthy me is the one that I know is more universally appealing than the healthier version of me today whom eats more balanced meals and proper food more regularly throughout the day as opposed to skipping and replacing meals with bars and shakes.
I could go on and on about this topic because I can’t recall the last time I met a woman who declared that she was happy with her body as is including myself. I think about my weight (consciously and subconsciously) as long as I’m not at my ideal (based on how I feel) and though it doesn’t impede and affect me on a daily basis nor is it obvious to the outside world, it’s a constant chatter in my head that I hope will one day subside, dissipate and eventually disappear.
I am guilty of falling prey to the media’s look of ideal health but I hope to inspire and encourage a healthy sustainable lifestyle that involves eating to enjoy and fuel and eating anything but in moderation: treats and all. To health!