I used to think that I knew my body well. I thought I knew what sort of training I responded to best, what type of foods I needed to perform optimally and what kind of macros or food groups made me look & feel my best.
But looking back, I was so closed minded and straightforward with what I ate. My thoughts and rules around my meals and diet was so stringent that I never actually tried something that was out of my routine or immediate repertoire.
I often remember people would say they’re doing keto, high fat, low carb, whatever it may be and I would outright say “I don’t know how you do that, I need carbs to function otherwise I’d be a zombie with no energy”.
I really had no grounds to comment on because I had never tried anything different.
From the moment I got involved in the gym, seven years ago, every single meal I ate contained some form of complex carbohydrate; oats, kumara, brown rice or copious amounts of pumpkin because, that is what I was told I needed to attain my goals. That’s what the articles I read told me to. do That’s what nutritionists advised and that’s what the ‘pros’ did so I obligingly followed.
I didn’t know any better. I didn’t look any deeper or any further or believe that any other method would yield results.
If you’ve read my blog a bit you might remember when I gave up meat for 8 weeks (give or take) to see if it made any difference in the way I felt. What sparked that initiative was the fact that I was always feeling bloated, heavy, and downright bleh.
For the past 4 months I’ve really tried to focus on changing something because of this feeling. I was never hungry, forever felt like I was forcing food in my mouth because I knew I had to eat to maintain a healthy body and constantly felt ‘pudgy’. It wasn’t a body image issue at all, it was really a feeling from something I ate.
I tightened up what I ate a little, added some higher intensity workouts and made sure I simply moved more. Walked on my lunch breaks and actually focused on my workouts. I didn’t want to lose weight but I really felt ‘off’ and that I needed and wanted to change something to adjust how I felt.
But for the first 2 months nothing changed. I didn’t feel, look or weigh any differently. I know in the past these incremental changes would have had a slight effect on my body but nothing budged.
I was getting really frustrated. It became a bit of a balancing act between wanting to change something about my body and not slipping back into my old, rigid, destructive thought & eating patterns.
I got tested for celiac, gluten, lactose and egg intolerance’s and the results came back clear.
More recently, I sort of fell into a higher fat, lower carb way of eating. It really all started with my love affair of haloumi, Parmesan cheese and peanut butter and to balance the food I was putting in my mouth I started to reduce the carbohydrates I was eating.
Nothing else changed.
My training remained the same, I still go out on the weekends for food just as much, I’m still living a balanced, healthy, wholesome lifestyle and I still focus on how I feel rather than how I look but my gosh, do I feel different.
The bloating has practically gone. My heaviness and bleh-ness has subsided and I no longer get tired everyday. I have more energy for my workouts and more energetic all round.
I feel so much lighter and tighter. I lost about 2kg as a side effect – in no way have I been trying to lose weight but it’s juts kind of happened.
I need to be clear: I haven’t cut carbohydrates out & I don’t focus on not eating them. I just don’t force feed myself kumara or rice or whatever at every meal.
I’m really amazed that for so long I was so rigid & inflexible that I didn’t have the audacity to even try anything different.
This isn’t a diet and it’s not something I’m doing to ‘look’ a certain way.
Since I started to listen to and take care of my body I’m learning so much about it, in ways I never knew before. I’ve stopped stressing about it and just let it tell me what it wants & needs & obviously, craving cheese was a sure sign of that!
I know so much more about my body and myself than I did this time last year and I’m so excited to see how much I have learned in a years time. It really, truly is an amazing phenomenon.