For the last year, I focused on my own health and fitness while helping others do the same. But true to my personality, I ended up spending MORE time prioritizing the goals of others and the growth of my coaching business that I forgot to fill my own cup first. It was like my old habits found a way of sneaking up on me again and reminding me that, oh wait, we’re a lot harder to get rid of than you thought.
And that’s the power of habit. Both good and bad.
Sometimes, knowledge and action are two entirely different things. That’s when it’s really important to understand what drives YOU and your behaviors, because emotional and psychological factors play more into our actions than we care to admit.
And I have always, always been an emotional eater. To procrastinate, to celebrate, to satisfy, to forget…the reasons I’ve turned to food in the past are numerous. But it always failed me. It never provided me with that one thing I was seeking.
Truth be told, my inability to get cozy with “intuitive eating” or whatever you want to call it has always made me feel like a bit of a failure as an RD. Because when you’re being guided by impulse, you’re so far out of “intuitive” that it’s a little difficult to just be expected to eat whatever and whenever you want. At least that’s been the case for me.
I often wondered what I was missing. If perhaps I fell asleep in class the day they taught us to be “mindful of our plates” and “joyful with our food”.
But what I’ve finally realized is that I’m not missing anything.
It’s simply a system that doesn’t work for me.
It’s why things fell apart when I suddenly found myself working 70+ hour weeks right out of college. It’s why things fell apart when I decided to pursue an MBA while working full-time. And it’s why things fell apart again when my business started booming much faster than I had anticipated.
Personally, I’ve had the most success when I’ve tracked my intake.
Not for the purpose of restriction but for the purpose of awareness.
For the purpose of thinking about food and how it’s serving me. “Intentional” eating, if you will.
A few months ago, I decided to get back into it with a focus on clean eating and tracking all my meals on MyFitnessPal. I set my daily protein, fat and carbohydrate targets and dare I say actually had FUN planning my meals while knowing I still had the flexibility of switching things up if a work lunch showed up on my calendar without feeling like I failed my plan. All I had to do was adjust the rest of my day accordingly.
Around the same time, I saw a huge influx of posts about mindful eating, body positivity and the potential for meal plans to trigger eating disorders. And I started to wonder if perhaps I was doing it all wrong.
So I stopped tracking, and found myself back at square one.
What I realized is that I was being distracted by what OTHER PEOPLE BELIEVED. And the only thing that should have mattered is what KATIE believed. Sure, one path might work for some but it doesn’t mean a different path is wrong. It’s just that — a different path — to achieve a desired outcome.
There is no failure or weakness in wanting…or NEEDING a plan to be successful.
Through this, I’m able to show others they don’t have to restrict calories to see results. That when someone comes to me saying they’ve been trying to eat only 1200-1400 calories per day while training hard and they’re MISERABLE, I can guide them in a more sustainable, more enjoyable direction. One that means they don’t have to be on a diet, they can be on a lifestyle.
Sure there’s tracking and there’s measuring, and I get it. That may not be for you.
But if it is, let’s chat.
I’ll be sharing more about my personal goals, resources I’m loving and freebies in an ongoing blog series. For now, my food log is an open record and you can find me on MyFitnessPal at katieann68.
Let’s connect, share resources and see how I can help support you on your journey, starting with my FREE 5-Day Nutrition Jumpstart which runs Monday July 10-Friday July 15. Inside, we’ll keep each other accountable to daily tracking and I’ll share some of my top tips for getting started. There will be opportunities for those of you seeking next-level, customized support too. Simply comment below or contact me if you want in!
We can do this…together! 🙂