The road to finding your health can be difficult to navigate.
In one direction you have the diet industry throwing an overwhelming amount of information at you, tempting you to try the latest and greatest thing. It’s an industry that makes millions off your diet failures. You’re constantly restricting yourself, falling off the wagon, and restarting, never seeing results and never enjoying life. It’s a piece of our culture that really needs to take a hike.
In the other direction, you have the body positive, intuitive eating people telling you to just eat what your body craves and love yourself in whatever form you’re in. The intuitive eating direction can also be difficult to navigate if you’re unsure how to go about it properly. Sometimes this can be seen as allowing yourself to eat whatever you want, which for some people is how we start gaining weight in the first place.
There is a middle road, a road in which you can learn about what is best for your body. How much food you should be eating, what a healthy weight or body size looks like, and how to maintain this for a long-term change are not easy things to figure out but will ultimately result in the healthiest version of you.
The first stop down this road? Schedule yourself for a body composition with the In-Body scanner at Bond Nutrition. While I don’t believe in scales and numbers (I go by how my clothes fit), it’s a good idea to get an idea of what your body composition looks like. In-Body tells you how much of your body is fat, water and muscle more accurately than most body composition tests and the results can give you a good base for what changes could be made to find your optimal health. When I talk about optimal health, I don’t just mean trying to lose weight and be skinny. We should know by now that healthy comes in all shapes and sizes and is truly individual. As women, a lot more comes into play with our bodies than weight and size such as ensuring we’re preventing osteoporosis as we age.
The folks at Bond are so great to work with and so knowledgeable. They go through all the numbers from your In-Body scan so you understand the numbers and can then offer some advice on next steps and how to accomplish your new goals. Generally, it comes down to diet and knowing what kinds and how much food to eat. This could mean working with a registered nutritionist/dietician to learn what your portion sizes should look like and what foods are best for you. This could also mean playing around with macro counting to get a better idea of what a typical day of food should look like. At no point does it have to mean restricting yourself. My belief is that when armed with the knowledge of what works for us individually, we’ll be able to move more towards that intuitive eating path where maybe we don’t need to put as much thought into what we’re consuming because it’s become natural to us and we fall into our optimal health.
So, which road do you choose?
I used to follow a strict diet, carefully planning my meals and only allowing myself treats on cheat days. I can say with confidence I was at my leanest during that time in my life but I was constantly thinking about food and what I should or shouldn’t eat. It wasn’t a healthy mindset and truthfully I wasn’t any happier at that weight then I am carrying an extra 20 pounds.
I’ve now been on my own journey to find that intuitive eating path. There’s been some ups and downs for sure, but it is so much better to enjoy life with a few extra pounds than to miss out on living because you’re restricting yourself too much. I don’t believe in numbers and avoid scales for comparison. I’m armed with the knowledge of how much muscle I should aim to build from my In-Body scan and have goals to clean up my diet without restricting myself. I eat fairly healthy but don’t really think about the extra junk that I consume on a daily basis. I know that with a little more thought (do I really want to eat those chips or am I just reaching for them because they’re on the break room table at work) maybe I can find that balance and ability to eat a little more mindfully and find my optimal health.
And hopefully, we can band together to kick the diet culture and just live our healthiest lives in whatever shape it comes in.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary body scan in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.