Foodwars

I had a sad all last week and didn’t feel like writing. Not all of, but some of my sad had to do with my relationship with food and my body image. I told my friend NotMary yesterday that I’ve gotten fat.

Let me explain.

The CrossFit world heavily emphasizes eating Paleo, so when I joined in June 2012 I did my research and made healthy proteins, tons of veggies, healthy fats, fruits and nuts my new way of life. Along with the food changes, I worked out crazy hard. Muscles developed quickly on my scrawny arms and I felt great about how I looked for a month or two. Then I started dating a fellow CrossFitter who, plainly put, was obsessed. He was fanatical about CrossFit and Paleo and with very rudely judging anyone who wasn’t Paleo/CrossFit and with talking about himself and admiring his own six-pack.  Yeah, we broke up if you couldn’t tell by the snark, but I kept working and getting stronger. I was guzzling the Paleo Kool-Aid.

Then it felt like all of a sudden none of my clothes fit. I had a minor body image meltdown, but eventually came around to accepting that this was the deal – I work out, I get stronger, my body is going to change. The number on the scale shouldn’t matter. So I bought bigger/stretchy jeans that actually fit my newly larger (and quite righteous) ass. And I thought I was over this whole weight/body insecurity. After all, Pinterest is filled with these bad boys:

version

dumbbells

A few months later, I’m realizing that I’m not over it. I have a work trip coming up next week and it struck me that shit, I bet none of my dress pants fit now. (I work from home, so I haven’t had a need to wear them in a year!) I tried them on. They don’t fit. Like, not even a little bit. And there I was, back in the throes of mini-meltdown because the reflection in the mirror shows stretched fabric and buttons that won’t fasten by a long shot, which leads to thinking, oh holy shit my coworkers haven’t seen me in a year and I’m going to go there and they’re all going to say that I GOT FAT WHEN I MOVED TO ATLANTA OMG I AM HIDEOUS WHY CAN’T I JUST WEAR YOGA PANTS. Welcome to my brain. And maybe my hormones.

yogapants

Ryan understands me.

*Luckily I have two dresses that look great on me. Work attire crisis averted.

Yes, some of my freakout was me being slightly ridiculous – I am aware that I can no longer compare my body NOW to the clothes that fit THEN. But if I’m honest? I still hate the creep of the number on the scale. I understand that I shouldn’t care what it says because I’ve come so far from the nearly anorexic, chain-smoking, completely out of shape woman that I was. I get that a great deal of my fear of being overweight/borderline body dysmorphic is that 1. I used to be heavy and 2. I’m genetically predisposed to a slow metabolism and refuse to succumb to it. But I know what I see, and I know how I feel. I don’t feel like I’m the best version of me. What I feel is heavy. And it’s all about how I’m eating.scale

I’ll be great with Paleo for awhile and then I’ll crash again, and then I’ll go strict Paleo again… and the cycle repeats. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of stepping on the scale in the morning and cursing it. I’m tired of looking at myself in the mirror and taking a mental baseball bat to my own confidence. I’m tired of not loving myself in my new body.

This diet thing is driving me bonkers. Number 1, it shouldn’t BE a diet. It should be a lifestyle. And for me? I don’t think Paleo is a sustainable one. I don’t think I should fall prey to a guilt-and-shame-spiral if I want to eat oatmeal. Or greek yogurt. Or *gasp* ICE CREAM. Deprivation from things I like is not working for me. I love food. But I feel that trying to be strict Paleo is morphing my relationship with food into an unhealthy mindset. Screw that nonsense.

So, I’m done with Paleo for a while. I’ve had some conversations with a veteran CrossFitter friend we’ll call Bertie and I was floored to find that she does not entirely eat Paleo. Courtney did a great post about her philosophy, which inspired me to write all this out. It’s time to listen to how my body feels and try to figure out what works best for me.

The new and improved Peach plan:

  • Clean eating. Stick with the basics of eating good, healthy proteins and lots of veggies.
  • Add back in healthy carbs and small amounts of dairy. (THANK GOD, because I miss my greek yogurt!)
  • Treats – in moderation!
  • Smaller portions, more often.
  • Keep exercising. Duh. I typically do CrossFit 2-3x times a week, 1-2 runs, and yoga 1x a week.
  • Lose the extra Paleo/almond butter flubtub.
  • Lean back out.
  • Keep getting stronger.
  • Feel and look amazing by my birthday in April.

We all have issues with our own bodies. If you say you don’t, your pants are on fire. Whatever cards we were dealt, we all have to learn to accept what we don’t have control over. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work hard to improve upon what we are able. Big picture? I am A-OK. I am blessed to have the life I’m living. It’s been 8 months since I began this journey towards getting healthy and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. Everything I’m going through right now is a part of learning what works best for me. But it makes no sense to continue the self-bashing on a system that so obviously does not work for me. Instead, I am making a pact with myself to take a different approach with food and to love myself more.

So here I go, still on the same journey towards being the best version of myself. This time, on my terms.

Foodwars

22 Responses

  1. This?^^^^Is exactly how you take the reins of your own life. You dictate the direction, not anyone or any other paradigm. Brilliantly stated. <3 Bertie.

    Bertie January 21, 2013 at 9:41 am #
    • I appreciate that, and I’m grateful to you! Thank you for the shoulder during all my moments of struggle. <3 you too, Bertie. xo

      50peach January 21, 2013 at 9:49 am #
  2. Friend, I’m proud of you. Body stuff is hard. I’m big into the fat acceptance movement to fight my own demons and to be an ally to a world of women who may never feel or be told they belong. I struggle to love myself every day. I struggle to wonder how to approach all of this with Emma to minimize the damage this world is going to do to her body image. Tough stuff, man. You’ve learned a bunch of shit and now you’re taking the best of what works for you. High fives, friend. xoxo

    shannon January 21, 2013 at 10:20 am #
    • High fives back, Shannon. Thank you for getting it. And I know that with your amazing attitude, you will be that ally and you will lead Emma by your fine example. xox

      50peach January 21, 2013 at 9:37 pm #
  3. Great post! I had frozen yogurt last night AND ice cream the night before, oh hell to the Paleo gods. I follow the lifestyle because it helps with my insomnia and depression, BUT I ate pizza on Christmas Eve, nachos on Monday. I still live and enjoy! Find what works for YOU and makes YOU happy, because it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does if you aren’t not happy!

    Jules (@mymomsawhackjob) January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am #
    • Hey Jules? You kick ass. Thanks.

      50peach January 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm #
  4. Preach!

    I had a convo with a friend about a similar topic. I had to pause a few beats when I finally stumbled on some truth right out of my own mouth, “I love food. Writing about it, making it, eating it. But I am *tired* of being so *suspicious* of it.”

    MyJRNY January 22, 2013 at 10:29 pm #
    • Amen, my friend. AMEN. Thanks for reading my hot messness meltdown. :)

      50peach January 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm #
  5. this NOTMARY chick sounds dope.

    NOTMARY January 23, 2013 at 11:33 am #
    • she kinda is. A lot.

      50peach January 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm #
  6. This is such a healthy post, Peach. Getting it all out there. You feel how you feel. My feeling is that anything that’s not sustainable is not a healthy way to eat. Result is more binging for the forbidden items. I like your new plan – go rock it!

    Stacie @ Snaps and Bits January 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm #
    • Thank you Stacie! Pssst. Guess what? The new plan is working! 😀

      50peach January 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm #
  7. I love this….. and dress pants are horrible things ANYWAY. Yay for a cute dress, some rocking heels, and a fresh approach! I have decided that staying generally active and eating a variety of foods is the only way I can keep myself from obsessing about stuff…

    Daffodil Campbell January 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm #
    • DC – heart you. And dress pants are evil. Finding them long enough and the right fit for me were hard enough when I had no booty or thigh muscles. Now? Phhht. I give up. Let’s go dress shopping!

      50peach January 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm #
  8. Good news: You wouldn’t want to wear dress pants from a year ago anyway. The styles change too fast. I put on a pair the other day for a business trip, and I looked like the flying nun. NEW PANTS are always a good answer. Just not the pants-on-fire kind. :)

    When I Blink January 31, 2013 at 9:10 am #
    • bwahahaflyingnun! It’s true! I have a pair of super-wide leg pants that still fit (kinda), but the trend now is all pencil-skinny-crop nonsense that makes me look like Olive Oyl. Lovely. 😐

      50peach February 11, 2013 at 9:12 am #
  9. Good for you for recognizing that you need to take a step back from how you were eating and making changes that work for you. It sounds like you are doing great.

    Michelle Longo February 9, 2013 at 7:36 am #
    • Gurrrrl, it’s been life changing. Until the hormones kicked in and now I’m all, “what? I can eat 1/2 a pound of peanut butter m&ms because, MODERATION.” Ooops. Damn PMS.

      50peach February 11, 2013 at 9:14 am #
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