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How did we go from a way of eating to a punishment to look a certain way?
Look up the word “diet” in any online dictionary. You will find almost every entry using some form of variation on losing weight or reducing caloric intake. What happened to the original meaning? A way of living or habitually taken food and drink.
We have shamed ourselves into “losing weight” to meet some random criteria that changes all the time. What happened to being healthy? Size 2 does not equal healthy. Size 14 does not equal unhealthy.
In the 1980s, in order to accommodate people’s vanity and ever expanding girth, the U.S. Department of Commerce got rid of the uniform sizing system and instead allowed for more ego stroking sizes. As a result of this, today, a size 8 would have been roughly equivalent to a size 16-18 in the 1950s, obviously though this varies a shocking amount from brand to brand.(1)
Healthy starts on the inside and radiates out. It all starts and ends with what we are putting into our bodies.
When you think about the word “diet” do you automatically think of deprivation or the healthy nutrient dense foods you are eating?
If you are thinking of deprivation, you are going to be stuck in a cycle of vanity sizing, possibly unhealthy insides, guilt for falling off the wagon and not feeling worthy.
Is someone else’s standards worth all of that?
Maybe it is time to worry about your own standards and feeling your best.
Here are a few tips:
DON’T LOOK AT SIZES!!!
I can’t stress this one enough. I am amazed every day when I see women and men in clothes that do not fit them because that is the “right size”. Please read highlighted text above. When I go clothes shopping, I can go from a size 2 to an 8. It all depends on where I am shopping, the cut of the clothes and even the material can make a difference. It can take a lot of trial and error but finding the right fit for your current body shape will do your self-esteem wonders.
Think nutrition not deprivation
The more good things you put into your body, the better you will feel. It is all about balance. I am not saying you can never have “junk food”, but it should be an occasional treat, not a way of life.
Even healthy nutrient dense foods need to be balanced throughout the day. I am sure you have heard the terms macro and micro nutrients. These are the building blocks for a healthy inside. They can affect everything from weight gain/loss, how your skin looks, how well you sleep to how often you go to the bathroom. I will get in depth on macros and micros in a future post.
When you think of a caloric deficit it does not mean starve yourself. The term caloric deficit simply means to consume less calories than you expend. When you nutritionally starve yourself you actually end up using energy from lean muscle since there isn’t enough energy coming from your food sources.
If you do some form of physical activity throughout the day you will need more energy (calories) to perform without burning off lean muscle. What you eat is processed by the body and converted into usable energy. Some is expended through physical activity while some is used to feed our organs and bodily functions.
If you sit at a desk the majority of your week, you will need less energy (calories). This does not mean less food!!! This means better quality nutrients to feed the body without turning into fat stores.
Eat good food, keep moving and dress for your current body.
Let me know what topics you would like me cover in the comments. A general topic or if you would like to give a a fun challenge, send me the title of the post you want to read about.
Until next time,