“Recover harder than you play.” I don’t know if I made that up or if I heard it somewhere, but it’s how I live now. It’s ok to be active if you’re eating, sleeping, and staring into space enough to support it. But you can’t be in constant beast mode or perpetual motion, especially on too little food.
“The F*ck It Diet” by Caroline Dooner is very in line with Tabitha Farrar’s blunt and funny tone on YouTube. We have all these issues caused by restricting our food, or telling ourselves we should, or feeling bad when we don’t. The solution is to stop restricting our food and start trusting our body to know what it needs. It is NOT to keep searching for new, sneakier, “evidence-based” ways to eat as little as possible. It’s been a very entertaining and refreshing read.
I realized today that I’ve crossed over to the dark side. There are people who say that pursuing a weight loss goal is never ok. I used to be extremely threatened by them and think they were nuts. Now, I get it. You want to be healthier? More confident? Stronger? Happier? Feel awesome? GREAT! Totally go for it! I support you! You want to restrict your food to make the number on the scale go down? That’s bug meets windshield, every time. My opinion, of course, but I’ve met a lot of windshields. There is a difference between self-care, listening to your body, noticing how your choices make you feel, and sticking to a damn plan (probably that someone else came up with), regardless of what it does to you. A “follow the rules” approach can’t work long term. There is always fallout. You’ll always need a break from it. In fact, that’s how you know you’re doing something dumb and unsustainable. You start daydreaming about doing the opposite of what you “should” do. If that happens, put your bug helmet on because the windshield is coming. Life is better when your values and behaviors are in alignment.
In alignment: You value health, pleasure, social connection, and crazy energy for your morning workout. You go out to eat with friends, enjoy a variety of food, stop eating in a comfortable place, and get to bed early so you're well-rested for your training session.
Out of alignment: You value a scale weight, discipline, and leanness. You turn down an invitation to have dinner with friends in order to eat what you always eat, but you’re hungry and you resent it. Afterward, you binge for hours, sleep horribly, and your morning workout sucks.
The answer to feeling “off track” is not more rules or more self-control. It isn't feeling guilty, blaming yourself, or starting over tomorrow. It’s getting clear on what you really value, a new track if you will, one that you’re so happy to stay on you can’t imagine any other way.