Sometimes in the world of fitness, weight loss, and nutrition, even the best of us can feel confused about what to eat to get the results we want.
The fitness industry is a trillion dollar industry. Marketers are working hard to make you believe that their product will give you better health, burn fat, give you more energy, glowing skin, reverse aging and so on.
I am now 38 and I find that the older I get the more my dietary needs change. In addition, I have become wiser when it comes to marketers schemes to take my money.
Age and time has also taught me that weight loss isn’t something you should sacrifice your health over…. And yes, a too much of a narrow-minded focus on losing body fat can leave you with nutritional deficiencies, a hormonal imbalance, deteriorating teeth, and a number of other health problems you didn’t see coming.
Trust me I know, it happened to me when I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. I was in the top 5% of their patients who didn’t need educated about eating healthy organics, proper exercise, or the value of fitness in general, yet even though I was VERY educated on the proper foods and exercise and my body LOOKED like I was fit, the fact was that I had an abnormally high amount of nutritional deficiencies they had ever seen. On the outside I looked good, but on the inside I was falling apart, especially emotionally.
My hormones were wrecked (Im still trying to straighten them out), my metabolism was broke, my teeth were declining, and I had the most HORRIBLE PMS you ever saw.
That’s when I really learned that nutritional needs change as you get older and that doing everything you can to lose body fat without consideration for my overall health was a mistake.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in losing body fat and lose focus of your overall health.
I always wanted to look lean and fit since I was in high school. Fitness (and dance) have been a part of me for longer than I can remember. I have followed nearly every diet trend, tried every healthy “green drink” out there, studied GMOs and Monsanto in college, followed popular stars like Suzanne Somers, and tried some risky things to shred body fat that all the fitness competitors were doing. And after all that studying, I’m a bit overwhelmed! I’m over agonizing over body fat and pounds and I’m over reading contradictory material about how foods are bad for you …. And then they are good for you next year. I’m tired of the confusion and I bet you are too.
To be as lean as the women you see as top models in fitness magazines you must lead a somewhat unrealistic lifestyle, sacrifice a LOT, and put your body through a sliver of hell to get it to stay ultra-lean. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live that way.
I do want to be healthy and toned. I want to know my body is strong, flexible with very few (if any) visits to a doctor’s office/dentist. I also want to enjoy my food, have a good beer, go to a party, laugh, and have less stress ( a lot less stress!!)
A healthy diet is still an essential component. So is exercise. But you can’t exercise enough to compensate for a junk diet. The only people I know that are able to “out work” a bad diet are major triathlon athletes. I’m not that person. I’m just an everyday girl and I always plan to be that way.
So what am I going to do about it? And what can you do about it if you are on the same page?
Well, I believe the first step is to understand what your body needs. While we are all human, we are not identical blueprints. The needs we have in our 30’s are different than they were in our 20’s.
We all have different fitness levels, different abilities, different diet challenges, different budgets when it comes to grocery shopping, and some of us have been through pregnancy while others haven’t, etc.
We are not exact BLUEPRINTS of each other and therefore, the supplements we take and the food we eat will not be identical for health or fat loss.
For example, I recently read an article about a lady who had been trying to recover from joint and muscle pain and she found out the major problem was her allergy to lettuce! She forced herself to eat it because it was “healthy” even though she didn’t like it.
That story inspired me, here’s why =>> I have hypothyroidism and take Armour Thyroid for it. I truly believe I can get off the meds someday (call me crazy if you want). But here’s my point: I always hated eating eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. I just don’t like them. Come to find out, all those food inhibit thyroid function, making my condition worse! My body knew what it did and didn’t want before I was even diagnosed! I bet yours does too.
Now, my body likes sugary drinks too! So let’s not get too crazy here. But you caught my point, right?
What if each of our bodies know what it needs to heal and be healthy every day? Are we listening to our bodies? Or are we listening to the media too much? These are thoughts I have been contemplating recently.
I believe truly healthy eating is by listening to your own body’s needs FIRST, and what the next hottest media trend is saying afterward.
I feel that we all have an internal knowing inside ourselves (our intuition) so to speak. Call it what you want. I feel a part of you and a part of me knows what to eat, what would give us more energy, and what would make us feel more alive.
We don’t have to believe every piece of advertising and we don’t have to believe everything people write. We need to learn to believe in ourselves in a stronger and powerful way even when we go have fun on our dancing poles.
I feel I (we all) need to do this with food too.
You have intuition, take a chance and start using it! Follow you heart with your eating habits too : )
And when you start to feel too fat or out of place like every woman does, just remember that the end of the day – the only real person you have to answer to is yourself. You are the one responsible for loving you and setting up the guidelines within yourself for what is acceptable and not – don’t let the media decide for you. Make a plan to lose weight pole dancing (or doing whatever you love) from your heart and intuition, not from what the media says. Nobody knows you life like you do.
You can make a personal “blueprint” diet for you and your individual needs and it will be the last diet plan you will ever need for health or fat loss.
Trust me, following you own eating path to health may feel confusing and a bit lonely at first. It’s even happened to me. I have chosen to stay a heavier body weight than i used to be because I’m focusing on the health of my adrenals and thyroid. I want better energy levels and to me, that’s more important than fat loss.
Does that choice affect me? YOU BET! As a fitness teacher I feel a bit like a failure. As a writer and dancer, I remember how I once looked in those pole dancing booty shorts and have MAJOR fears about recording more videos for my fans at a heavier weight. The pressure to set an example and stay thin is enormous and no woman escapes it.
New choices are scary! And there isn’t one person who will make a new choice for the better and feel 100% comfortable and that’s ok! Do it anyway!
Do what’s right by you and your heart and do it now. The older we get and the more time passes the harder it gets to undo the damage of poor eating and exercise habits.
Bring the love and joy back to your food and get rid of the boredom in exercise to make new choices easier as well.
I hope this helps you – it’s not a lot about learning to pole dancing for fitness in the article but I feel that nutrition is important and I want everyone to have more energy and just plain feel BETTER as we age, not worse!
Please post you comments below 🙂 I would love to hear your thoughts on this article.