WARNING! Content is empowering...
If you're feeling a little overwhelmed, lost or just defeated today because you over indulged on the weekend then this blog is for you and Honey, you're not alone! Sometimes the perception of health is very black and white. You ate a salad (good), you're healthy. You ate a Big Mac (bad), you're not. Much like how some people perceive success; you're either successful or you're not; there's no middle ground where you're like half successful. Working in this industry you can't avoid health and success being tied together in peoples wellness journey. I'm here to tell you it's all a load of rubbish and can get pretty dangerous to our mental health and wellbeing when we start to attach success or failure in such a divisive way to our food choices.
So let me bust some myths so we can all get back to kicking ass!
1. You ate 1/2 a block of Cadbury Roasted Hazelnut Chocolate while watching Yellowstone on Stan (hmmmm... seems like a very detailed description...okay fine, it was me!) and now you're feeling like you've fallen off the wagon, all progress is lost; might as well have some gummy bears and wine because you've already ruined your diet today; This weekend is a right off, who's up for Nachos; I'm so weak, I can't believe I let myself eat that much; BAD, BAD, BAD!
Here's the reality: you ate about 550 calories. There's no need to spiral. You are not going to hell, no are you unworthy of eating all day tomorrow, you're not even going to put on weight, promise! You would need to consistently eat around 500 extra calories per day, EVERYDAY for a week to gain a kilo and even then, it probably wouldn't be all fat. You need to consistently eat in excess for a prolonged period of time to gain actual fat! Your body is incredibly sophisticated (give it some credit), you will more than likely store the extra carbs as glycogen in your muscles and then you'll destroy your next workout (true story; new PB for me today 💪🏼). So, what do you do. LET IT GO! It's done (and it was thoroughly enjoyable and frickin delicious). You can't change it. You can't undo it. So what's the point on dwelling on it. You didn't fall off the wagon. There is no wagon, just life. You didn't fail. You're still alive which means you're winning! So, enjoy the indulgence while you're eating it, no guilt and then get straight back onto being the bad ass wellness warrior you are. Nourish your body at the next meal and let it go!
2. You had pasta last night (which is like so many carbs omg) and this morning when you weighed yourself you've put on weight!
Here's the reality: Putting on weight doesn't mean gaining fat! I can guarantee everyone who weighs themselves the day after a carb heavy meal will weigh more. They'll weigh more but they won't have gained fat (unless the pasta was swimming in a creamy sauce...and they've been eating it with garlic bread, every night with for a week!) It's all because of the way carbohydrates are stored in the body. Every protein molecule is stored with 1 water molecule. Same goes for fat. Ever wonder why you feel lean as heck after eating low carb for a week...spoiler alert! You've haven't lost 5 kilos of fat, you've mostly lost water weight! Sort of in the same way a fighter cuts to make weight before a fight only less extreme! Every carbohydrate molecule is store with 2 molecules of water which is why you might feel puffier after eating a carb heavy meal but it's also why you'll dominate your next workout!
3. You're exhausted but don't want to skip your workout because you might lose your gains, lose progress or gain weight 😳 Listen, if you've been putting in the hard yards, or been up all night with sick kids or maybe you're feeling a little under the weather yourself. REST! Ultimately, your body has one goal, survival. If it's telling you to rest, give it the respect it deserves by listening to it and rest. If you're training 5-6 days per week maybe try reducing your volume to 4 days for a while. A lot of athletes who have experienced burnout see an improvement in performance and body composition after reducing volume. If you're struggling with weight loss and have been hitting the cardio hardio, dialling it back and introducing some resistance training/pilates/yoga can help reduce the stress you're putting on your body, reducing cortisol levels (cortisol promotes the storage of belly fat) and allow your body to move out of the sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight). Sometimes less really is more! NOTE: if you're being lazy and you know it, this is not permission to ditch your workout. Have a shot of coffee, put on your big girl/boy pants and get it done!
The journey of health, wellness, weight loss is just that, a journey. Somewhere along the way we got it in our heads that it's a destination. Like, once we reach our goal weight, or size or 1RM bench press, we're done! We're successful. We're healthy. The End. Only it's not. You still wake up the next day and if you abandon all of the lifestyle choices that lead you to your goal then guess what.... you won't stay at that weight, size or level of fitness. No, it's a journey that ebbs and flows. Somedays you nail it and somedays you don't and that's HEALTHY! Striving for progress not perfection. Making better choices consistently overtime is success. Allowing yourself to indulge is a part of success. It's all about what you do next. So now that you know that you didn't fail and that you're actually a massive stinking success, get amongst it. I hope you have a fantastic week (and highly recommend you check out Yellowstone 😂)