I don’t have abs. I mean…I have the muscles. This is an assumption because I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen them. Why? Because I LOVE food. All kinds of food but mainly food that’s really decadently bad for you. I was eating food that looked like it belonged on a crazy Instagram food account before those accounts existed. To put things in perspective: there was a year in my life (it may or may not have been 2009) where I bought and ate a two pound donut at least once a week. Alone.
“How do you not weigh 300 lbs.?”
“You are so lucky you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight.”
“I worry about your health”
I get these almost every week on the Internet because not only do I love food, I love posting pictures of food. But here’s the thing that makes me uncomfortable when I get asked these questions: I’ve struggled with my weight since puberty started wrecking my life almost 20 years ago. Not struggle in the sense that I’ve been massively overweight but I was NEVER the skinny kid. Not curvy, just awkwardly fat in all the wrong places. I wasn’t athletic and I loved fast food, I’m not sure what I expected. Basically my metabolism and I have never been besties.
So how do I manage to eat delicious foods and keep my weight in check now? Do you want a list? Ok, fine:
- I rarely drink
- I workout 5-6 days a week (I run 5 miles a day 4-5x a week and do HIIT workouts 2-3x a week)
- I drink about a gallon of water a day. I’ll have a soda maybe 2-3 times a year.
- I eat healthy 80% of the time. This has been the biggest thing for me since I used to limit myself to cheat meals and cheat days. There are some weeks I’ll eat healthy 90-100% of the time and some weeks it’ll be closer to 60-70% but this gives me more wiggle room without feeling too guilty about it.
- I don’t keep junk food in the house. I’ll eat it all in one sitting. I’m serious. ALL OF IT.
- I love fast food but I only get it a few times a year.
- I don’t eat junk food I don’t REALLY want. I want all of the unhealthy food I eat to be REALLY FUCKING GOOD. I’m not wasting my time on crappy ice cream, I’m getting the good stuff. Sidebar: eating a “cheat meal” at a restaurant/somewhere with quality ingredients is always my choice over a fast food place filled with chemicals. I’ve eaten more than my weight in McDonald’s though so I’m not judging.
- I listen to my body. There are some days where it needs more food than others. I know my body can’t handle doing low carb/no carbs so I don’t even bother trying. I have bread in some form almost everyday and it all has gluten in it and I’m doing just fine thanks for asking.
- I try to stop eating when I’m full. I never feel obligated to finish a meal. I love leftovers and it usually takes me two sittings to get through a sandwich now. This can be easier said than done as I’m sure I could polish off a bag of Cheetos without a problem, but that’s also why I don’t buy Cheetos anymore.
- I take supplements! Not fat burners or weight loss supplements, but a cocktail of vitamins and nutrients. I’ll do a separate post on this because I am a huge believer in taking the right supplements and there are a bunch that I absolutely love. Bottom line is make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need and from a quality source.
- I focus on what foods will make my body feel good. What will give me energy. What will make me feel better instead of worse. Instead of thinking I need to eat this much protein and this much vegetables and so on, I just try to mainly eat foods that nourish me. This is what works best for me.
- I actually do gain weight sometimes. It happens. I love food and sometimes the food wins and I have to lock it down and eat extra healthy for a while.
See look how easy it is for me to eat whatever I want and not gain weight, wow I am so lucky.
The point is, it’s always easy to judge by what we see online and think someone else really has it made or is “lucky” when you don’t know all the work that goes into it. It took me YEARS to finally find balance and not obsess over food or exercise. I workout almost every day because I love it and it makes me feel good. I eat healthy foods because I feel gross and exhausted when I don’t.
When I was younger all I want was abs, now I just want my body to run like a well-oiled machine and to treat it well. I mean abs would be nice but it’s way down on the list of things that are important to me now.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY is if you find enough balance you can eat whatever you want (unless you have allergies, sorry), shift your focus to nourishing your body instead of depriving it, and just because you form a belief about someone just because of what you see them post on the Internet doesn’t make it true. Just because I don’t post the oatmeal or the eggs I eat everyday doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it. Or does it.
Sidebar: it’s probably not good form to ask people you don’t know about their health because there are a LOT (way more than you would ever believe) of people out there with eating disorders and other health issues that they might not want to talk about.