This time last year, if you were to look at my diet, most would think it was unremarkable. I tracked all my calories and macros, catered each and everything I consumed to fit my macros, and I rarely ever had a cheat meal. When I speak about a cheat meal, I mean I would eat one or two pieces of dark chocolate and felt guilty enough of that. Additionally, I was really good at never going out for meals. I always would cook at home, then meet my friends after. My weight was regulated, my energy was high, and my fitness was on point.
But, I was unhealthy. How, you might ask? I was more on the lines of an eating disorder. I cared so much about what I ate that I avoided things in life that would actually be significantly more enjoyable…eating tasty food included. I skipped social outings, didn’t drink so I wouldn’t binge, and constantly was thinking about my next meal.
So how did I overcome this? I thought for the longest time that there was no issue and that I was overwhelmingly healthy, and my lifestyle and habits would never change, which I was in fact okay with. It wasn’t until I spent more and more time with my boyfriend, where he showed me that it is okay to eat some junk food, and it won’t make a difference on my body, my health or my life. He started getting me to go out for more meals, have ice cream after a pizza, and even have a nice dessert every night.
Did I gain weight? NOPE! Did I become unhealthy? NOPE! Quite opposite, actually! Shockingly, when you eat well 80% of the time, the other 20% can actually boost a hormone called Leptin in your body, which helps regulate energy balance by curbing your appetite. This can help regulate the adipose tissue in your body and actually allow you to feel satisfied while burning some stored energy.
Also, I actually enjoy food and socialising with activities based around food. For example, my flatmates and I go out for Pizza every Monday night now (1 pound pizza’s at a restaurant right around the corner from ours…how could one say no?). I don’t feel guilty for it, and I have many other great cheat meals through the week.
This being said…enjoy life, enjoy food, and BALANCE yourself! If it wasn’t for my boyfriend introducing me to a healthier lifestyle by adding unhealthy food into my life, I don’t even want to know where my eating habits would have taken me.
Oh…and I’m much more confident in my own skin now, than I was a year ago. If you’re going through a similar thing, it’s called Orthorexia, which you can read more about here. And if so, I’d love to hear about your experiences and talk about it. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay fit xx