It’s Tuesday and that means that our social media feeds will be filled with transformations. I know I’ll be sharing mine. You’ll get the clear visual for many of the transformations, but a few will also make note of mental growth or strength gains that aren’t completely visible.
Especially lately, I’ve been trying to look at the bigger picture. As far goal setting, I’ve never had that issue, what’s the big goals and what are the small ones to get there. But as far as looking at my current state and being satisfied or happy with it, that takes a little more effort. It’s the perfectionist in me that wants to control things, which is why I keep analyzing and setting new goals. Evaluating where the bar was and determining if I can go a little higher, but trying to be reasonable with myself this time around.
This time around part of the current goals are about living life and enjoying things I had been preventing myself from enjoying either out of fear that it would hinder progress, making excuses about time or the fear of doing something on my own. I do a lot on my own, but I also find a lot of things that I will say “I don’t want to do this without someone with me.” I don’t really know if a partner in crime will make the experience better or not, but that’s what I’ve told myself.
There are so many factors that go into being healthy – not just weightloss, but actually living a healthier lifestyle. It’s not about choosing a salad over a burger because I really hope that you can fit both somehow into your day, but balancing your macro-nutrients – whether you choose to count them individually or through calorie tracking.
I don’t like labeling food “good” or “bad” because mentally, you start thinking “if I eat the bad food, I must be a bad person and if I’m a bad person then I might as well keep going.” I won’t lie when I saw this talked about in Sunny Sea Gold’s book, my jaw hit the floor because aside from my therapist and I talking about this, I’ve never heard anyone say it like that. We’re not bad people because we like cupcakes or doughnuts or too many bananas with peanut butter, but it goes back to moderation. Having one or two of something can be satisfying, so what will having a dozen solve? I think a a transformation that we forget about is how we make decisions and act on our impulses.
A few of my clients and I have been talking about this. Not only can you not compare yourself to the people you see on social media, but you can’t compare yourself now to the person you were 5 or 10 years ago. Hell even last year. You can sit there and beat yourself up over how much you should be able to lift because you could do it when you were in college, but a lot has happened between now and being on the field. You are a different person with a different life, schedule, family, etc. There are a lot of variables you aren’t giving yourself credit for.
The reverse, you can get upset with yourself for wanting to cave into a craving or whatever you want to call it, but growth is that you stepped back and didn’t cave – you looked at the situation and you talked with yourself. You asked yourself what is really going on here and you decided to make a better choice. So yes, you can be mad at yourself for having the desire – the thought, but shouldn’t your action be celebrated because it might be a different action than you would’ve taken months ago. Shouldn’t that kind of growth be remembered when you’re struggling?
Being healthy is being able to look at the scale and your tape measure and understand that sometimes they won’t agree, but that one isn’t more important than the other. You’ll see a TON of people say trust the process and what I think they mean is give yourself time. Don’t rush something that you want to be lasting.
I see a lot of people post photos and stating “I’m not looking to step on stage” – I won’t lie, I follow more non-competitors than I do competitors (both strength and body competitors). When I see someone getting healthier and changing their lifestyle the last thing I think about is if they want to wear an tiny bikini like me. While it seems like there’s a huge population who do body competitions, we’re actually a HUGE minority, but since we have no issue sharing our journey it gives the illusion that this is something that people do – that everybody does. #FALSE You don’t need to tell me your why, but it is cool to see the internal motivation and meet people that are like me, or at least connect and follow people like me. I need to be better about this too – providing an explanation of what you’re doing and why – not always necessary. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or your why, someone will always say something positive and negative about it. There will always be someone who misunderstands – and that’s completely fine. I know, I get pissy about some of the comments too, but I also delete and move on from others as well.
Physical transformation – yes. It’s slight or drastic. Strength transformation – again, pretty easy to measure. But the mental transformation of being able to step back and say I am making better choices than I was and I will continue to try – that’s all you can ask of someone, especially when they’re getting their feet wet. Looking at all factors and being mindful that some week’s there will be more time and others will feel like you flew by the seat of your pants.
The purpose of all of this? Like I said I’ve been having a few conversations with my clients about the evolution of them, the evolution of their eating and their decision making processes. This is coming back to eating. Last night in between dinner and dessert, I ripped open a brand new box of cinnamon bun Oreos – aside from birthday cake, these are my favorite. Two is a serving and I had three. They were excellent and I was hungry. I had three with my tea and got some work done. Did they fit my macros – eh close enough. I’ve been loosely tracking and I’ve talked about that. I’m just hanging out and being mindful most of the time. Cristina five or six years ago would’ve easily looked at the package and taken a whole sleeve. She would’ve sat at her computer and worked on finals with Law and Order SVU in the background. Once she finished she may have gone back to the box for a few more.
A binge is whatever makes you feel like you went overboard. I’ve never thought about binging in that way before, but when I read that the other day it made sense. Because my old normal day of eating would be twice what I consider my binge now. It’s a lot of food in a short period of time that makes you sick or uncomfortable, but that’s relative. If you feel terrible after a few cookies and feel like you went overboard – then you did. There’s a million shades of disordered eating, but if we compare physical transformations, why can’t we compare the mental and evolution of our eating and decision making process.
I’ve been talking about this with Alicia and JP – a lot, for a while. I finally feel like I’m in a good place mentally and physically do it.
OLD CRISTINA NORMAL DAY OF EATING
You think the YouTuber’s can throw back 10,000 calories in a day? I don’t think they realize the message that has. My old normal day of eating was a base of 4,500 calories. I remember specifically what I ate in college – I ate it all the time. I’ve researched the macro breakdown and the calories and it’s disheartening to think I had no issue putting away that kind of food or spending that kind of money. No disheartening because of the quantity and cost, but the side effect of the excess – feeling like garbage and always hungry no matter what I ate. Scraping the bottom of my purse for the Dollar Menu.
Tomorrow… well, today I’m planning tomorrow’s day of eating. I will document it all. Photos and videos throughout the day on Instagram and a post for the following day with my thoughts here on the blog.
I want you to see what my normal used to be when I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle. When my health wasn’t a priority and food was more than a tool to live. This will show you how drastic a change my current lifestyle is and why baby steps were crucial for me to get here. It’s not something that happened over night. I want you to think about how many changes you’ve made to get to where you are. Think of all of the steps you had to take.
The challenge: roughly 4,500 calories consuming similar foods I did my senior year of college (2010-2011).