You probably looked at the title of this article and thought…WTF?!
For me at least, as long as I’ve been old enough to care about what I looked like, I’ve always been on a mission to be thin. That is, until I discovered the difference between being THIN and being HEALTHY. Big difference. I’ve seen the ups and downs of weight loss (although, personally nothing all too dramatic) and I’ve looked in the mirror at my heaviest and at my lightest.
Was I necessarily a HAPPIER person at either of those weight extremes, well, no. Society pressures us to fit the standards of the people we see on TV and in magazines. If you really think about it, why in the world do we even care?
Those things are FICTIONAL, not real life. Sure, being thin may look good (to an extent) but being healthy looks and FEELS better. Weight loss doesn’t happen when you change your diet. It also doesn’t happen when you start exercising. It happens when you change your perspective and your mind.
Here are 3 reasons why being THIN won’t make you HAPPY.
If you go through the thousands of fitness accounts or the super attractive, toned up female accounts online, you’ll notice that (for the most part – and with the exception of the genetically perfect supermodels of the world) these people are on very strict and precise diets.
Some of the fitness accounts I see literally count, weigh and measure, EVERY MORSEL of food. Well, that’s great if you’re preparing for a bodybuilding competition or a bikini photoshoot (because who doesn’t have photo shoots planned out on the regular, right?!) but if you’re a regular person living your day-to-day life, what would be your reasoning behind not eating those extra 2 ounces of chicken?
LIVE YOUR LIFE, people. The difference between balance and obsession is that with balance, you are “aware” of what you’re consuming. “Obsessive” tendencies mean that you simply cannot enjoy food because you have a pre-conceived notion of how it will affect your body. News flash, a few extra fries after a week of nourishing your body properly, will not cause weight gain.
Obsessive eating is an eating disorder. Plain and simple.
Ok – so even if you are one of those people who obsess over portion size, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting adequate nutrition for your body. Small meals that lack the right macronutrients (proteins, GOOD fats, carbs) to fuel your body properly will actually HURT your metabolism in the long run.
Your body will adapt to barely receiving any nutrition so that when you do eat, it actually gets stored as fat and is kept until the next time you are depleted of nutrients and need energy. Slowing your metabolism will not only cause weight GAIN but it will also make you feel sluggish and exhausted. This is essentially because your whole body is running on nothing. You can’t start a car without gas, right? Same theory applies here. BUT, not only will you feel tired, your workouts will suffer and can be borderline dangerous. After all, you don’t want to overexert yourself without fuel in your system.
To put it bluntly, there’s much more to life than counting calories and getting 60 minutes of cardio every day. It’s perfectly OK to skip a workout here and there to spend time with your friends or family. It’s also OK to NOT order the plain grilled tilapia and steamed broccoli when out to dinner and opt for the fajitas when you are craving them!
Having your body look a certain way shouldn’t control how you live your life. Finding that balance between eating “mindfully” and “healthfully” while also incorporating some exercise in your day-to-day routine does take time! I will admit. Once you get your head in the right mindset, “being thin” becomes a lot sillier to think about trying to achieve.
Here are some tips that I’ve personally used along my fitness journey that have helped me achieve BALANCE:
1. Start out with scheduling your workouts in advance. This takes away the stress of worrying if you’ll get a workout in that day. You’ll know that at 7:00am (or whatever times/dates work for you) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you know where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing.
2. Don’t have too much junk food in the house: If it’s there, you’re going to eat it.
3. Wake up each day and recognize your progress or your setbacks. Then take a deep breath and understand you’ll do better going forward. Setbacks happen. We are human.
4. Think of food as fuel. You won’t put the lowest grade gasoline (here we go with the gas metaphors again) in a Ferrari. You want to put in good quality fuel. That’s exactly how you should treat your body. Understand that by eating Doritos or JUNK food every day, that’s what your body is using to provide you with energy. Crap food = crap fuel.
5. Also, understand that obsessing over a setback will get you nowhere. Accept it for what it is and move on.