I crave Ice Cream! As a matter of fact, I probably crave Ice Cream or some chocolatey, peanut buttery, marshmellowy concoction on a daily basis. Throw in there the occasional desire to smash a Giant Burger and plate of Fries, washed down with a tall Long Island Iced Tea, and you could say I am down right HUMAN.
Guess what? If you met me 7 years ago, you would have found me on a Monday night indulging on that Ice Cream. (My friend Angela and I had a “girls night” every Monday and we started it off at the local Ice Cream spot- and lets say we were not ordering the “skinny cow” option).
If you met me 5 years ago, you would have been sitting next to me at “Sidelines Bar and Grill” downing my 5th or 6th drink, and polishing off a plate of chips and “Mojo Dip.” That was before grabbing a bag of Combos to eat when I got home. Did I mention that this occurred not once a week, but probably 3-4x a week?
Along with my bad habits outside of the home, I never really had much food in the house, rarely ate a vegetable outside of an iceburge salad or a green bean. I thought “healthy” meant you used Kashi Brands and had “low fat” options. My stove didn’t get used, and my meals never went much over the 400 cal mark.
So why am I telling you this?
Because every day as a Trainer I run into all different scenarios of what people are fighting against in their weight loss/fitness goals. They range from, struggling with avoiding that glass of wine at the end of their crazy, stress-filled day, to having the temptation of eating out with friends at work, to not wanting to give up the Friday Pizza Nights that are “so easy after a long work week.”
Some feel that it’s “impossible” to give up all those bad things, and they “wont be able to have fun” anymore. They wont “fit in” with their friends. They are just “too busy” to fix food.
They look at this “fit girl” that is their Trainer, who competes in Figure shows, eats eggs for breakfast and Whey with a spoon, and assume I am just some freak who never lets loose with friends, never has a drink on the weekends, never eats a piece of cake at a party or never eats out. They assume I must have ALWAYS been an athlete, always enjoyed working out, and was always “in shape”.
Important facts to consider:
A: I never played a team sport after the 6th Grade. I was LAZY- walking sucked! Watched a LOT of TV and Movies.
B: I spent weekends going to my dads, polishing off 3 containers of ices cream, toaster strudel for breakfasts, Ramen noodles for lunch, ordering “Blooming Onions” from Chili’s as my dinners, and having competitions to see who could eat the most Taco Bell Soft tacos.
C: I started my fitness/weight loss journey while still at home, where they eat McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell weekly, Pizza, Ice Cream, Packaged crap etc to this day.
D: I Get busy, and some days would much rather run through a drive thru window, or get a yummy pizza delivered to my door than fix a meal at 9:30pm.
E: When I started working out, 10 minutes on an Elliptical was a victory.
What I want you to understand is that even us trainers, and Figure competitors have a “food history” of some sort. Not all of us have an athletic/active/healthy background. We all have some of the same desires, and the same hurdles to overcome. The difference between you and me is not that I am some Super Human that never wants “tasty treats” or never wants to be lazy. The difference is I have set goals for myself, and I know that those things will not get me to my goals. I know that to be healthy on the inside, as well as the outside, I need to take that extra effort and do the necessary things to achieve that.
It all doesn’t happen at once either! It took years of trying to “outwork” a bad diet and lifestyle before it clicked that I needed to be serious about my food choices and lifestyle decisions. I had to experiment with veggies. I had to slowly introduce new foods into my diet. It took months on end of no slips and no “cheats”. I started to learn that I Truly enjoyed SO many things I used to turn my nose up to: brussel sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, sea food. I had to learn to cook, and pack meals.
My typical nights at the bar had to be cut WAY back, and then slowly I learned I really was not missing much, and actually felt WAY better day to day when I was not sluggish from the night before! ( I still would go out, I just wouldn’t drink every time) And those birthday parties featuring sloppy joes and chips, I kept on living if I don’t eat that along with the others. AMAZING… the world didn’t end because I said “no thank you, I ate already.”
It is a process. You do have to fight old temptations, and you will have slip ups and set backs. Hell, Sunday I had to meet friends at El Camino and I am pretty sure I accepted and won the challenge of “who can eat the most chips and dip” at our table.
The goal is not to “miss out” on life. The goal is to set yourself up so you CAN enjoy life. You can feel good about yourself, feel good in your body, and know that when you eat well 90% of the time, that 10% wont set you back. The key is to getting to that 90%. And unfortunately sometimes it takes a little sacrifice to get there. However, I wouldn’t trade those months of sacrificing for Show Preps for anything, because it got me to where I am today. A lean, mean fighting machine…. Who can have a beer on the weekends, and a life so full of “fun” that I can’t fit it all in!