One of my fitness friends and I were talking about my bodybuilding days, and they mentioned they were glad to see me back into fitness and motivating others. However, one thing they pointed out was I did not talk about a big part of fitness and getting into shape which was food. My friend is still a bodybuilder, but I consider myself a former bodybuilder, and anyone will tell you that exercise is 30 % and the diet is 70 % to reach optimal results. If I am being completely honest, one of the main reasons I stopped bodybuilding is because my relationship with food was disciplined, but at the same time was toxic.
Calorie counting, macros, 4 oz of this, and measuring one cup of this was my life during bodybuilding. It actually worked and during that time I was very lean, but on days I wasn’t as disciplined about my meal plan, I would feel guilty. I would find myself doing an extra hour of cardio, obsessively stepping on the scale, or asking my coach to take my body fat. In the picture below, my bodybuilding coach said I needed to lose 10 lbs before taking the stage again. My relationship with food had become toxic, and my obsession with body fat and the scale was extreme. I was burnt out.
I distinctly remember the day I decided I was going to no longer compete anymore. It was the day of my friend’s birthday brunch, and I remember convincing myself to attend but to only drink water because the time of the brunch was not aligned with my meal plan. As I drove to brunch, I had the epiphany that the hobby of bodybuilding I once loved had caused me to feel guilt and sham about the desire to eat and even socialize. I remember texting my coach that I was not doing the upcoming show, and walked into the restaurant with the plan to eat and enjoy the company of friends. At the birthday brunch, I felt a sense of freedom and honestly felt like this obsession with my weight and body fat was gone.
I really do not want to feel that way about food and weight as I did with bodybuilding which is why I for the longest time did not have a scale in my house and also have not made food the part of my fitness journey. However, food is 70 % of the solution for healthy living, but I will focus on food in a healthy way. I have a scale, but I very rarely even step on it, so weight is not a focus of mine. My focus will be making good food choices and eliminating things I know I shouldn’t eat or drink like Kinder Buenos or ginger ale- my favorites!
Here is what I plan to do:
1. Coffee with unsweetened almond milk only. I will miss you caramel almond creamer!
2. Water, water, water. I love ginger ale and orange juice. Hunger is often confused with thirst, so will really up my water intake.
3. No carbs after 4 pm. For dinner I will only do salad/veggie and protein.
4. Allow myself one day a week to eat a dessert like a piece of cake or candy bar. I believe self deprivation in my experience becomes toxic because I tend to be extreme when I give into cravings and do something crazy like eat 3 chocolate bars.
5. Cook which I already love, but allow myself one dine out a week.
6. No dairy as it causes me a lot of bloating and breaks my skin out.
7. More seafood and red meat per my blood type calls for me to not eat chicken/turkey. Check out eat right for your blood type.
8. I will only have alcohol with my dine out meal.
I am not doing this to look like a bodybuilder again, but rather I want to see more results from my workouts. I will keep you all posted more with the food piece, so be sure to tune into my Instagram. I challenge you to consider what modifications you would like to make to your food choices, and share below. It could be something as simple as drinking more water or less Starbucks. Share below in the comments!