This is a very different topic than I thought I would be writing about when I sat down to type tonight. Earlier today I spoke over the phone with my sister about how we eat, and we quickly found that there are certain ways that we cannot monitor our diets. I immediately wanted to share, in case others found themselves in the same boat.
We’ve all been there right? At some point or another we are worrying about how we look.
“I need to lose a few pounds.”
“I need to watch what I eat.”
“I don’t like this.”
“I don’t like that.”
( source )
Over the past few years, I’ve learned some very important things about myself when it comes to “measuring” my progress and fitness. I’ve learned that numbers are NOT a good way for me to try to monitor myself.
Let me take a second to explain what I mean by this.
Growing up, I was always very skinny. I didn’t have much fat, but I didn’t have any muscle either. I was under a hundred pounds at 16. Unhealthy. The thing is, even though I knew I was underweight, I panicked when I started going over 100lbs. When I got to 110, I started to watch what I ate. At 120, I just about had a freak attack.
I know. It’s not a healthy mindset at all. 120 is not an unhealthy weight at all! Not even close! I looked in the mirror after 120, expecting to see disaster, but I was SO surprised to find that I actually liked what I saw. At that point, I stopped weighing myself. I was proud that I was happy with my body, something I hadn’t felt once I started watching the numbers on the scale creep higher. Even today, I still never weight myself!
I thought that that was the end of my number problem. To my surprise, it snuck up on me again just this last spring of 2014.
My fiancee, Derek, started monitoring his food intake by using MyFitnessPal. It’s a great website: you can enter exactly what you ate, down to the brand and portion size, and it tells you in-depth what your macronutrient intake is, what your calorie intake is, and what your goal calorie intake should be.
For me, this was a recipe for disaster.
I should have known as soon as I saw that there was a “goal calorie intake” that I shouldn’t do it. I ate like normal, but as soon as I saw the calories creep closer to my goal, I stopped eating. It turned into a new goal: at the end of the day, my calorie intake should be below the goal.
How freaking stupid.
It took me all of about a week to stop that. I knew my diet was healthy, I didn’t really need to monitor my intake, and I had obviously proved that I can’t handle it.
So, how do I monitor my fitness now???
I loveeee taking before and after pictures. It is the easiest way to see change! I see myself in the mirror everyday, so over time it’s hard to see the little changes. That would be my piece of advice to those who struggle, either with being underweight or overweight: take photos of yourself!
I hope that you guys find this helpful. I know that everyone’s experience with weight is unique, but I am hopeful that by being honest with you about myself that we can all help each other. Love you all!