April 17, 2018
I stopped updating my fitness blogs around the time too many people started reading it. Why? I didn’t want people to read my journey and try to emulate it. I didn’t want to misinform people who are at stage one to start at “stage seven” just because I was blogging about it. It took years for me to develop my core, perfect my form, build my endurance, increase my strength and improve my balance. Telling people to perform pistol squats when they couldn’t perform a regular lunge was irresponsible. Even though one of my favorite and most effective exercises is a dead-lift, considering 80% of Americans experience some type of lower back pain throughout their life, I couldn’t show that, without seemingly promoting people to do it and possibly injure themselves.
It took two decades for me to find peace with my personal diet – a diet that uniquely works for myself and no one else. After all, I have specific tastes and food intolerance. I love Mexican food and enjoy splurging on wine weekly. While I can eat green beans, if sautéed, it will painfully bloat me – that and baked eggplant, Brussels sprouts, beans, artificial sugars, too much real sugar and dairy. I believe you need to eat right for your personality type, which for me, can never be too restrictive.
As a recovering binge eater I learned to embrace imperfection. The last time I was on a highly restrictive diet I had an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. I either ate little, or ate it all. I either ate protein and veggies in public or chocolate, cake and ice cream in private. Nowadays I leave a little wiggle room for imperfection and follow an 80/20 rule.
Besides being a perfectionist, I’ve also realized I’m rebellious.
With all my travel and work I’ve been splurging on Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips and hitting the snooze button set at 5:45am. One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to wake early is because I go to sleep so late. After working and being with kids all day, I want to defiantly max out the hours I have at the end of each day!
Internally I feel so annoyed with nonstop commitments that I feel a sense of control in saying a rebellious no or yes, whether it is good for me or not. This goes back to restrictions, rules or anything that has red tape on it.
If there’s a ceiling, I want to shatter it.
If there is a rule, I want to break it.
If there is sealed bag of peanut m&ms, I want to open it.
This is where I am today.
While some are going crazy over keto, paleo and vegan diets, I’m enjoying bread and eating popcorn at the movies. While social media fitness influencers are looking lean, muscular and strong, I’m celebrating 30-min-hard-to-get-in-workouts and embracing a softer physique.
I know a lot about myself because I’ve learned a lot in the last 30 years. Since I first heard the word “diet” from popular sixth grade classmates, to attempting a low-carb Atkins diet at 20, to reading the “World Peace Diet” and becoming pescatarian for a year at 25, to listening to what bloated, irritated or constipated my gut in my mid-thirties…I’ve learned a lot about what my body and mind can and cannot do.
Choosing to become healthier in mind, body and spirit requires work, time, patience and reflection. It’s a continuous journey that can’t be copied, it must be created – after all, you are unique and therefore must learn what makes you incredibly special.
Listen to your body. Quiet your mind. Find your flow. Determine your own destiny. Don’t get distracted by what others are doing and do what is right for you.
Take my tips.
But do what is right for you.
this might be my favorite post you’ve ever written. simple, straight-forward, honest and raw. As a recovering anorexic, bulimic, exercise addict and perfectionist, i relate a lot to the need for control, rules and also the urge to rebel.
i wish i could meet you in person, where you are right now in your life, because you seem to be at peace with yourself and that’s where i hope to be some day<3
Thank you Janeen! I knew someone would relate. It’s a vicious cycle but you WILL overcome
Very well said, lovely mama!