I have shifted gears a little since I started this blog. In a technical sense, I am no longer a personal trainer, although I still will train people on the side. I no longer believe in diets (more on that later), and I don’t think you need to be “skinny” to be healthy.
Although my job isn’t personal training, I still believe that exercise is good for you and everyone should do it in some form. What I don’t believe in is punishing yourself with exercise. For example, if you eat a heavy calorie meal and then you torture yourself at the gym to burn off those calories, I don’t think that is healthy. You should exercise because it is good for your body and your mental health.
You have seen me write blogs more than once about diets I’ve been on and how I want to be skinny. I no longer believe in that. I’m going to say something that I’m sure many people will disagree with, but diets don’t work. Of course, they work in the short term you lose weight and your super happy, but then you stop that diet and boom you gain that weight back plus more! I’ll say it again, diets don’t work. Now, what I believe in is intuitive eating. You should eat when you feel hungry and you should stop when you are full. You should eat things that make your body feel good. You should not restrict entire groups of food (unless you have an allergy or medical issue) because it will only make you crave that food and binge on it later. When you give your body the foods it wants you no longer start to crave foods and binge on them. You eat want you want and you move on. If this interests you, there are two really good books that I recommend that will give you more information on this. Anti-diet by Christy Harrison – she also has a podcast called Food Psych that is really good! Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch. Both of these books will give you all the information you need on intuitive eating and why it is better for your physical and mental health.
Along with that, I no longer think that you need to be a certain weight or have a specific BMI to be healthy. I now believe in health at every size or HAES. You can’t just look at a person and tell if they are healthy or not, first of all it’s none of your business and second of all you know nothing about that person and their lifestyle. Again, read the two books I recommended for more information on this.
So why the shift? Well, as most of you know, I go to therapy once a week and body image and my weight are a HUGE topic of discussion most weeks. I regularly am upset with how I look and the way my body is. My therapist had me dig into this a little and we came to a few conclusions. First, food and dieting have always been a big thing for me. I started my first diet in middle school. Second, I equate weight with my worth and being loved. Third, society tells us we have to be thin to be beautiful.
What I have learned is that dieting for me leads to disordered eating. I wrote a blog awhile back about how I was once vegan and when describing this lifestyle to my therapist she goes, “Anna, you had an eating disorder.” I had an all or nothing mentality and I restricted myself from food groups and from calories. Most days I was cranky because I was hungry and a lot of times I was tired despite what I may have send then and I was always on the verge of passing out from lack of calories.
From now on, my blogs will still focus on being healthy, mind, body, and soul, but the focus will be slightly different. I will post exercises that make me feel good, I will post recipes that make my body feel good, and I will continue to write about my mental health journey. I hope you all continue to read!