To be honest, I’m writing this while eating Doritos and drinking a bottle of wine – yes, a bottle, but Nova Scotia is in a state of emergency and I’m not really allowed to work out so why not?
Anyway, a little backstory… I had surgery a couple of weeks ago on my right flank. Dr. Morris cut something out and even got a good chunk of my oblique muscle too. He let me watch the whole thing, it was pretty rad. I was then told I had to take 4-6weeks off lifting instead of the initial 2, post-surgery and I freaked out, but not as much as I thought I would. And this is why…
Growing up, I knew I was bigger than my friends, sometimes I even got confirmation from family members #rude. So, naturally those things stuck with me as I aged #BodyDysmorphiaIsReal. My relationship with food used to be wild. I never had a disorder or anything, but my willpower was non-existent, and my sweet tooth was powerful. I thought eating less and being more active would get me to my ideal physique of being #skinny, and to be honest I was like that until summer 2017.
That summer, my friend Owen MacWilliams (a complete stud), was following the RP templates so I hopped on because anything Owen does, I do too because he is always right. Summer 2017 was busy AF, so I needed routine and consistency. It was my first time I had ever measured, weighed and prepped my food. On top of that, I promised myself that I would be consistent in the gym. Summer 2017 honestly changed my life #cliché.
I was now mainly eating for performance and aesthetics on the low. I was constantly full, and some days I didn’t even eat all the food I was supposed to. I felt great every day, my lifts were going amazing, my sweet-tooth went away and my body composition was changing. You’re probably thinking, well duh Joy, eat clean, move a lot, feel good, look good. It sounds so easy, but until you actually know exactly what you’re putting into your body it’s just a guessing game. Like, I used to eat clean, though minimal and then binge on something dumb at night. While counting, I learned how to fuel my body depending on the day and that changed so many things for me that I didn’t even realize until recently.
I got rid of the anxiety of eating and not lifting. Strange, simple, but so serious.
Since summer 2017, I have been eating basically the same foods and meals – quantities differ depending on my workout volume, but basically the same each day. I have I only tracked once with the goal to lose weight and that was for 6ish weeks prior to Cuba and my weight actually stayed the exact same, K??? Typically, I now only use tracking my food as a way of regaining control for about 2 months after #HotGirlSummer and two months between March and June. But like I said at the start, I don’t say no to snacks – I just don’t go crazy anymore because I simply don’t feel the need to.
What I am trying to say is that I really think its beneficial for everyone to track their meals for at least 6 weeks. I don’t know when or why, but something in my brain just clicked. (Especially last May, but that’s a more personal journal entry) Tracking changed my perspective on food and working out. It helped me come to terms with eating to fuel my body and not my taste buds (although my meals are fire). It is slowly improving my body-confidence by significantly diminishing the dumb body dysmorphia I had struggled with.
I still have a couple more weeks of no lifting, but I’m okay with that. I miss it like crazy, but I am using this time to focus on research, running and mobility. Truly riveting stuff. Plus the gyms are closed to it's not like I could be touching a heavy barbell anytime soon.
Obviously, tracking your food is not for everyone. If you don’t have a decent foundation now, then maybe start with eating whole clean foods. But if you were like me and thought not working out will make you obese, it won’t. I promise. In the end, the way you look is a bi-factor of what you put in your body and how much you move.