Getting ‘fit’ was something that just seemed to become my goal overnight. One morning last August, I woke up so frustrated with how I looked and how I felt, that I decided to give the ‘Keto Diet’ a go in a desperate bid to lose weight before Creamfields.
For those of you that don’t know, the ‘Keto Diet’ is low carb, high fat which by nature would introduce a calorie deficit to any average joe but they’ll have you believe that your weight loss is due to the lack of carbs only and eventually, you’ll start to believe that carbs are the food of the devil and you’ll vow never to touch one again. Anyway, after a week or two, I’d dropped a few pounds and I wasn’t nearly as bloated.. don’t let this fool you, it’s all water weight.
This worked well for a few weeks until I realised just how much I love Dominos and my glorious porridge bowls that were banned when doing Keto. Then I decided to start counting calories.. this is where things started to go downhill.
For a few months, counting calories was fine.. I was feeling toned, I was losing fat steadily and I was getting stronger in the gym. Oh yeah, I started going to the gym at 5am every day before work. Who even am I? After a while though, it wasn’t quite enough… I wanted to see results faster, I wanted to feel skinnier and this slowly spiralled into an obsession.
I started tracking my macros along with my calories. How much protein was in what I was eating? Was the cheese I loved so dearly on top of my lasagne pushing me over my fat allowance for the day? My beloved porridge bowls suddenly became too high carb and I ate way more chicken at dinner than I was comfortable doing. Just to hit these random numbers I ‘d calculated after reading article upon article online. Again, this worked but there are never any pros without a few cons… family and friends started to get annoyed hearing my endless knowledge about the nutritional breakdown of every item on the menu, and the fact that I needed to scan every single item of food into My Fitness Pal or weigh the broccoli out to the gram before I could enjoy my meal.
I couldn’t see anything wrong with this approach to begin with, it was what all the fitness models and Bikini Pros were doing on Instagram – obviously it got results so why wouldn’t I be doing it? Slowly but surely though, I started to despise my food. I didn’t enjoy eating out anymore, I ate purely because my food diary said I could not whether I was hungry or not, I started avoiding date night with Laura and would prefer to eat at home where I knew the nutritional information for my dinner. It was a bone of contention between us many a time.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago… Laura suggested we go out for dinner after work one afternoon and the usual panic settled in. She quickly followed up with ‘Dishoom? Or we can go home if you don’t fancy it? :)’ I was desperate to go to Dishoom but I couldn’t fit into my macros ever so it was a write off from the start. This was the turning point, I was getting frustrated by not enjoying food anymore so I quickly replied ‘yes’ and got the menu up to take a butchers before we got there. For the first time in a long time, I was very rapidly getting more and more excited about the meal.
That meal out was the best I’d had in weeks and since then I’ve stopped tracking everything but my protein intake which has had it’s ups and downs.. I’m getting used to what foods make me feel a certain way again, learning to eat when I’m hungry and not just because I’d planned to have something and starting to enjoy food. I’m buzzed to get up tomorrow and make a porridge bowl. The weight gain from eating what I want, when I want is playing on my mind quite a lot but at the same time, I’ve made huge jumps in all the main lifts at the gym which I was struggling to do before so it’s not all bad news.
I know it’s not something us girls talk about but the pressure put on us to look a certain way is hard to avoid and I know it’s something that many of my friends have struggled with previously so if you do read this, I hope it’s helped put you at ease that you aren’t the only one struggling along with your relationship with food.