An article circulating through Facebook caught my attention today and got me thinking. It was about food addiction, which I believe is a very real thing. It was a great article which brought a lot of thoughts into my head, leading me into at least 5 different angles and paths for my mind to wander on.
I was stuck on what the article said about food addiction, that there is no cure except to cut out addictive foods 100% forever. Well doesn’t that seem obvious? Having stubbled for years with a serious eating disorder, this is the best and worst thing to hear. The best to my controlling side, which likes to be all in, super strict and “win” the battle (which in turn made me anorexic/bulimic) and the worst to the “normal” side of me that wanted to be okay with food and not have a relationship with it that stressed me out. Having to completely get rid of something can be such a great thing, but also can carry some evils with it. I wanted to envision my life happy and carefree, which involves having a few M&M’s without fear of going crazy, having a pig out session and not trying to puke it back up or exercising three hours per day and not eating many calories.
I thought I would expand on this topic, but I think I’ll save it for another day. It’s deep, depressing and not my favorite memories to revisit.
On the flip side of this conversation, there IS hope for people who struggle with body image issues, eating disorders, food addiction, exercise addition, etc.
I am happy to say that I can now eat some candy, chips, pizza, etc. and not beat myself up about it. I can also get myself to eat “strict” (Whole30, paleo, etc.) without getting back into my old habits of becoming so controlling that I become addicted to feeling lean, skinny and hungry.
This may sound corny, but if I had not started CrossFit, I don’t think I would have recovered the way I did.
When I started CrossFit, of course I wanted the physical benefits of it. Just look at the elite girls! Who wouldn’t want lean legs, a toned stomach, nice shoulders, etc. These girls are sexy!
These sexy girls also did something I wanted. Pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstands, out lifting the guys, running faster than runners…
I started to focus so much on getting better at CrossFit that it took my mind off of how I looked. I knew that chaining the way you look takes a long time to really happen (even when starving yourself). I started to see weekly gains in my workouts, getting stronger and faster with each workout.
After about a month in, I realized I had been so consumed with CrossFit workouts, watching CrossFit videos, reading the CrossFit Journal, etc. that I had lost some focus on being so strict with food and working out to be “skinny”. I started to feel that my workouts didn’t go well when I didn’t eat much or good quality foods. I ate enough to satisfy myself and continued training. After a few weeks, when I looked in the mirror I saw changes happening, without even trying.
This made me think about my performance in the gym. The fitter I was getting, the better my body looked. Why focus so much on food, when it’s the workouts that do the work? What a great feeling that was. I felt freed from the stress of food.
Being so consumed in the CrossFit world, I started to become aware that the top athletes are VERY conscious of what the put in their bodies. I found out most of these girls eat like guys… Lots of food. No wonder I looked like I had no muscle compared to those girls. They weren’t big, but definitely had some muscle on them and not much fat. Why do I still have some fat and not much muscle?
Why are the top athletes performing at the top and looking the way they do?
Food. Zone, paleo, paleo-zone, Whole30.
CrossFit + clean food = sexy as hell and fit as ****.
Knowing what I put in my mouth directly correlates to my performance in the gym has been my lifesaver. When I focus on performance, I am indirectly also placing importance on how my body “looks”. When you eat to perform and train consistently, the body does what it was intended to; become lean, strong and sexy.
I am not trying to sound boastful and say I am sexy, BUT I am proud of my body and what it has become. I may still have some jiggles here and there, but it is a reminder to me that I no longer obsess over those jiggles or the food that put it there.
I am healthier, leaner, stronger, faster, happier, and more confident than ever… Without obsessing over food.
So when you see me train without my shirt on and you don’t see a clean 6-pack, don’t judge.
I am proud of this body that I have earned and worked very hard for. I am proudest of what this body can do.
My body image doesn’t matter anymore, and I couldn’t be happier.