Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body


Mens sana in corpore sano - a sound mind in a sound body... a healthy mind in a healthy body...

My sister gave me this mug for my birthday and it couldn't of come at a better time. Lately I've become aware of just how much my body image and relationship with food consumes my day to day life. I literally spend my whole day thinking about food. I've always been a big foodie, but it feels like it's taking over my life. I spend every day counting calories, macros, obsessing over the numbers and planning what I'll eat over the next week. All of this in the name of being fit and healthy.

If I go over my calories or macros, I freak out and beat myself up about it, psychologically punishing myself. On the other hand, if I'm under my calorie count I use it as an excuse to eat more... well I wouldn't want to starve myself and lose muscle mass, would I? Then I regret it. And then there's the times I have a week or 2 of not eating a single "bad" food, but then have an overwhelming compulsion to eat chocolate. I don't just stop at 2 squares though - I eat the whole bar and then carry on eating anything I can find, shovelling it down my throat and stuffing myself to the point I feel sick. Then, of course, I hate myself for losing control and binging like some sort of crazy person discovering peanut butter for the first time. I look in the mirror at my bloated belly and tell myself I'm a terrible person for undoing all my hard work from the previous week. I've turned down dinners with friends to avoid ending up in this situation. I spent the week before my birthday stressing about where I'd be going for lunch, would there be a healthy option, what if somebody buys cake?! Not because I'd refuse to eat any of it, but because I'd over indulge and be back in the never ending cycle of binge and regret. Whats healthy about any of this? 

I'm only just beginning to realise how obsessive and disordered my eating habits actually are. I just want to go back to being able to eat food and enjoy it, because I happened to fancy it at that time, not because it's what I think I should be eating. While I 100% believe that keeping a food diary and tracking macros can work, if anything it's a useful tool for assessing your diet and seeing where you're going wrong, it clearly isn't working for me. If it's making you obsessive, irrational and self destructive, is it really worth it?

I've decided to take a step back and stop tracking my food. Hopefully I'll still manage to maintain a healthy, balanced diet but I won't be counting calories or macros. My fridge is stocked with healthy, nutritious foods that I like and I'll try to just eat whatever I fancy at the time, and not feel guilty about any of it. I won't schedule specific meals for specific days and I won't fall out with Gordon when he doesn't want to eat the same thing as me! This weeks shopping trip turned out to be pretty stressful... I started to panic slightly about not knowing what I'd be eating for lunch each day. Let's just say I'll probably be getting shares in John West pretty soon...

There's been moments this week that I've wanted to religiously type everything into myfitnesspal ("Have I had enough protein today?!") but I've managed to resist! It's still constantly on my mind though. I'm in the middle of planning a wedding and buying a house for God's sake - my mind should be occupied with these things rather than how many grams of carbs I've consumed! I am literally terrified that I'll be fat by next week, but surely my sanity comes first? 

Time to look at the bigger picture and enjoy life. Healthy mind, healthy body...
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