Let's jump in to some meaty goodness here! Today I'm reminding you that your thoughts and your actions do not have to constantly revolve around food and dieting.
This was such a major concern for me for so many years. Every day felt like an uphill battle because I was so afraid to gain weight and ruin progress. Sound familiar? So, every day I woke up thinking about what to eat, what not to eat, what time to eat, clueless about portions so I’d eat as little as possible to just stop feeling hungry, restricting and then usually binging by dinner or the weekend… and if it was a date night or a dinner date with friends I would literally get anxiety knowing that I would want to eat what everyone else was eating but knowing that I’d have to get a salad or soup or something and then it wouldn’t feel as fun and exciting. What an awful way to live, right?
We are not meant to live like that ladies! It’s time to start going on the offense when it comes to winning the battle that is in our minds regarding what thoughts should take up space in there.
OK so, I know You’ve heard the term You are What you Eat! There is actually some truth to that because if you eat healthy nutritious foods, you’re going to feel better than if you eat junk all the time. When you eat junk all the time, you feel pretty crappy, right?
But the problem with that statement, especially for those who have eating disorders or major self-esteem issues that are somehow tied to their weight… there’s this sense of almost diminishing yourself based on your food choices and for those who have self-esteem issues or are overly critical of yourself (former me included) that can make it seem like if you eat anything that society deems as bad, that makes you bad or shows that you lack self-control, or you lack self-respect for your body.
And that’s just not true in most cases.
Some people have a way of really demonizing food, putting a moral value on it as either being a good food or a bad food. There are health advocates out there who will chastise anyone who eats ANYTHING that doesn’t have optimal nutritional value and say you should NEVER eat this or that because it’s bad for you. But just to be clear, that is not my way. I believe in moderation and balance in everything and anyone who says my way is the only way to live a healthy life… that’s cultish. Sorry, not sorry. No one is all knowing and has every single thing right except God, so lemme eat my doughnut in peace. There’s only one way to Heaven but there’s different ways to eat less than optimal foods every now and then and still live a healthy lifestyle.
There are numerous diet programs and structures.. you got Keto, vegan, clean eating whole 30 meat only, … I mean there’s something for everybody. But in my humble opinion, restriction of anything only leads to a life of frustration and constantly mustering up will power to not eat that good looking doughnut. That’s’ not the kind of life I want to live.
We’ve got to shift our thinking of food away from good or bad to… is this food helping me reach my goals or is it moving me further away from them.. or keeping me stalled. That’s the way to think about food choices. Not if it makes you a bad person or a person who lacks self-control. We have to stop letting our choice of food characterize us. You’re not a pig or a slob for wanting to eat a doughnut. Your worth and value as a person is not identified by your eating habits. Let’s just be clear on that. You are MORE than what you eat. It doesn’t define your life or your character.
There are more important things in life than how much you exercise, what you put in your mouth, and how fit you look! In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul writes “while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it hold promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” So, there’s plenty of times where I didn’t heed to that word and I would prioritize my physical appearance over spiritual health. It’s something I still have to work on… to make time for prayer, making time for others, etc. Whereas before, I was constantly worrying about what I was eating and how much and when I could exercise to burn it off.. That’s not a life of fulfillment ladies. That’s not how it’s supposed to be and Paul tells us that. He’s not saying those things aren’t important and neither am I. They are or I wouldn’t be here as a coach. But you have to make sure that everything that is important in your life is balanced and that the things that will matter the most are being tended to more often.
I want you to think about those important things. Off the top of my head… family time, relationships, spiritual life, education. Those are all things that mean a lot to me. And if I neglect those things because I’m constantly obsessed with diet, exercise, and how I look, I’m going to miss out on a lot of stuff right? You don’t want to be consumed by these things. It’s a terrible feeling to be on a restrictive diet and your friends want to go get some sushi with you and your debating skipping out because you don’t want to “ruin” your progress. That’s ridiculous. And I’ve done that before. And that was ridiculous of me to skip out on good company and delicious sushi because I wasn’t supposed to eat that on my diet. A restrictive life revolving around food usually leads to binging, then guilt, then punishment, and then the cycle starts back over. Ladies, that is NOT the life God intended for us. Yes, discipline is good, but restricting to the point of feeling so consumed by your thoughts.. leads to binge eating and yo yo dieting. Not good!
Yes, food choices matter when you have goals to be healthy or need to lose fat. you have goals to reach right? It’s important to you or you wouldn’t be here listening to this podcast. Here’s how to think about it.. if your goal is fat loss, is buying a bag of Reeses and eating a pack each day moving you closer to your weight loss goal? Probably not. Does eating those Reeses make you a bad person? Absolutely not. Remember, we’re not thinking in terms of Im so bad for eating this. I should be ashamed. NO. We think hmm, maybe keeping a big bag of Reeses in the house isn’t conducive in helping me reach my fat loss goal so for now, I’m not going to buy them. Doesn’t mean that I can’t have them ever again, just means for now you know that it might be better for you to keep them out of the house and use alternative dessert recipes with lower calories that still fulfill that nagging sweet tooth. I love Reeses. But I know if I buy a bag, they’ll be gone very shortly. And that keeps me away from my goal of sustaining my weight right where I am. So I buy other stuff that satisfies that post dinner sweet tooth.. like Enlightened Ice Cream or Jello with fat free cool whip and sprinkles. See the difference in thinking?
We have to stop letting food control us, control our thoughts, emotions, and actions. there are other things that make you who you are and that give you life and joy.
I want you to Think about those things for a minute. What’s more important than the way your body looks right now?
Put them on sticky notes and keep them somewhere you’ll see them. So that when you start having negative thoughts or words about yourself or about your body or about your food choices, you can see, hmm, what’s more important that I can focus my energy on. Because beating yourself up does no one, not even you, ANY GOOD.
If you are constantly worried about body image, you’ve missed the boat on properly prioritizing what makes up your life. Yes, I want you to make time for meal prep and your workout. But I don’t want you to obsess over every little thing that goes in your mouth or constantly berate yourself because you haven’t reached a weight goal. You need balance in life. Life demands balance from us. Ok. Without it, we go overboard. We humans tend to go all in or all out (me included). But what comes of that is chaos and turmoil, especially in our mind.
So, I want to give you a quick tip on how to prioritize the important things in your life so you can understand and come to the realization that you are more than what you eat. Your being and existence revolves around way more than dieting or obsessing over calories.
Write down the things that you say are important for you to commit your time and energy to. Then I want you to review your actions recently and see if your actions match your values. If they don’t, there is an issue there. Awareness is key. Once you are aware of your thoughts, actions, and habits, you can then move forward with making a change.
This message is more for those who are constantly thinking about food going from restriction to binge eating, punishing yourself for eating pizza by doing cardio for 2 hours.. that is unhealthy and your mind is not in the right place because thoughts of food, guilt, and shame are taking up all the space in there. Your weight loss goals are not going to be met in two weeks OK.
It takes time, it takes consistency. And it’s that consistency that is going to help you reach your goals. Not the 100% restriction from foods that make your tastebuds dance. SO just like one good meal is not going to rid you of fat, one so called bad meal is not going to make you GAIN fat. That’s really important to understand. It’s science. You cannot gain fat off of one meal.
So if you are off track with a meal… I woulnd’t even call it off track, but if you eat something that you didn’t intend to eat, no worries! Get back on track the next day and you’re golden! This is the mindset that I want you to have regarding food choices. Not obsessing over calories to the point where you are miserable. Your loved ones, your friends, your education.. all those things need some of your energy but if you’re giving it all to the obsession you have with being thin, you’re neglecting the very things that give you true joy right? And here’s the thing… if you restrict constantly and you are living a miserable life trying to get that ideal body, I promise you, you’re going to burn out. You’re going to burn out sooner or later and at that point you will be binging, which means you will gain fat, and likely more than you had in the beginning. That’s why restriction doesn’t work. Look , we’re not perfect. I think ya’ll know that. So what makes you think that you could make perfect choices all the time regarding food? You can’t.. you WILL BURN OUT! And then you’ll be in a worse position than before. And that’s why I train my clients with a flexible eating style, where they do fuel up with nutritious foods most of the day and then if they have calories left, girl eat some cake or ice cream or Reeses.
So all that to say that you are more than what you eat. You are a daughter, a wife, a mother, a girlfriend, a best friend, a child of God etc. Those are the things that deserve the majority of your time, your effort, and your energy. Not food intake every minute of the day.
So, take time to write down the things that are important to you and consciously prioritize your time accordingly. Prioritize the time you spend thinking about certain things. Everytime you start to get anxious or overwhelmed with food, think about what I said in this episode today. Is it worth your peace and joy? I’d much rather you think about having a great night out with friends for some pizza and enjoying their company and the tasty food rather than spending time worrying about how you’re going to hit your macros that one night. I’m not saying go out for pizza several times a week and expect to hit a fat loss goal, but find balance in how you approach your eating habits. Set goals for eating, make a plan, and do your best to stick to it. But don’t obsess and don’t let your mind berate you for licking cake batter off a spoon. We’re going for long term healthy habits.
So I do have a free resource for you on how to prioritize your day effectively so that you can make up your mind and determine not to obsess over food and really give your time and energy to the things that matter the most to you. To get this free resource just go to bridges2barbells.com/resources and click on tips for prioritizing and start taking control of your days. It takes action and you’ve gotta step up and take control of your thoughts and actions every single day.
So, I hope you guys feel empowered to make wise decisions with your time and priorities starting today, starting right now. If this message helped you in any way, please leave me a review and let me know what you took away from it.
As always, I'm here for you. Contact me anytime on this site or through Instagram @ Bridges2Barbells.
Talk to you all next week!