As much as I hate to say it, it’s true. You really can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve pretty much run the diet and exercise gamut.
At some point I flip-flopped from having a Do Not Eat list: “don’t eat ranch dressing, fried foods, desserts, carbs, etc.” attitude to the “why shouldn’t I eat whatever I want? Don’t mind if I do” 2.0 version. Both were bad in some ways, but the second has been significantly more destructive to my health.
It wasn’t a decision I made consciously, but one that happened overtime as I grew increasingly unhappy after grad school. I worked in an environment where encouragement never came without a caveat. It broke me down from a confident, optimistic and charismatic person into one who was merely surviving.
As a result, from 2009 to 2011, I gained nearly 30 lbs. At my healthiest in college (2007), I was about 40lbs lighter than I am currently. Those are hard numbers to swallow because I know they aren’t healthy.
Picture taken March 2007
I have a wonderful support system that loves me and thinks I’m beautiful no matter what, but lack of exercise and eating whatever I want doesn’t enable me to live life to the fullest. For the past 2.5 years, I have settled for mediocre at best.
There is a certain point at which weight stops being about vanity and starts being about taking care of your body, and right now, I’m at that point.
Once you’ve taken a step away from self-control, it becomes 10x harder to regain it, but I am determined! Since the Ragnar Race in January, I’ve been running, doing elliptical intervals, lifting weights, taking classes at the gym and generally pushing myself.
Staying active is invigorating, but toward the end of February I became discouraged. I felt like I wasn’t losing weight or making progress. I was encouraged to look back at pictures from NYE and realize that my legs have started changing shape already, but to make a real difference, I need to tackle both pieces of “diet and exercise,” not just go to the gym.
What I’ve realized is that I’ve been trying to out-exercise my bad diet!
Ultimately, I need to work on my food intake. I eat a healthy diet, but struggle to resist cravings and often destroy all those good choices in an evening “snack.” Peanut butter is a major culprit, so I’m cutting it out completely while I get into balance. It is time to stop enabling myself food-wise.
For example: Instead of keeping small amounts of my downfall foods in the house in case of a craving, I’m going to retrain my palate by responding to cravings with healthy options and focusing on will-power. Having self-control in my food intake is essential.
Goal: By the end of March, I want to lose 5 lbs. Losing 1-2lbs each week is a healthy goal (according to the experts), so by saying “No” to some of my downfall foods and continuing to exercise, I believe I’ll be able to reach it! Here I go 🙂