Guilty Eating & Why I Set Monthly Health Goals

In All, Nutrition by Jenna MaxwellLeave a Comment

People ask me all the time what I eat.

It used to make me feel really uncomfortable and guilty because I feel that, as a trainer, people expect me to have a perfect healthy diet. Well… ahem… the truth??? I don’t — at least not all of the time! What I do have is the ability to balance my food intake in a way that helps me to maintain my weight. Let me tell you how I figured out this strategy for myself and got to the weight I am today…

A while back, I used to have a borderline eating disorder. I was really scared that food would make me fat. Therefore, I ate very little and when I did eat I didn’t always make very healthy choices. Part of this unhealthy self-restriction routine involved feeling very guilty every time I ate things I loved like bagels, pasta, and sandwiches. So guilty that I would beat myself up about it and obsess, and then force myself to eat almost nothing the next day to make up for it. This was such a bad mental state to be in. Fortunately, a variety of things changed in my life to allow me to let go of that unhealthy control. Unfortunately, this resulted in me gaining 30 pounds. YUP….30lb more than I weigh now. How did I get there? A combination of letting go of my obsession with food restriction, university binge drinking and late-night poutine (jager bombs were trendy and are super high in calories), and a four month trip to South East Asia: a.k.a., buckets of high calorie drinks and Pad Thai almost every day!

Looking back on all of that now, I am thankful I had that experience because it means I can really relate to various stages of weight loss. It also means I learned how to lose weight and keep it off for myself in a way that was both healthy and sustainable. I tried various cleanses and diets and have now systemized the things I learned about my body and the way I felt on each system into a diet that is sustainable for me and my lifestyle.

I now eat carbs with no guilt (or very little) and I have a healthy system to balance my cheat days so that I can enjoy them when I do indulge. Food is something that we all use to reward ourselves and to bring people together in a social way. It is important to enjoy the food you eat and to allow yourself a treat/cheat every once in awhile, but it is also important to know where the balance lies for you. One thing I have found super helpful for my own weight maintenance is to designate particular months throughout the year as a time period to reset a habit or start new ones through little lifestyle challenges. This helps me look at dieting and healthy eating in a positive way and to embrace 30 days of a new habit. When you cut things out of your diet one at a time, you can observe how you feel (and look) as a result of that change in a very clear and focused way. This then allows you to decide what to reintroduce in moderation and what to cut out because you discover you feel better without it.

I want to invite you to enter 2017 with a positive mindset to be healthier and to join me on my 12 months of healthy life resolutions to see how your body responds to these small changes. I will be posting a blog post on each topic monthly to elaborate on why I have chosen each resolution and to show you the ongoing value in this challenge. Here is my list for you to ponder:

JennaMaye’s 2017 Healthy Life Resolutions

January Gluten/Wheat Free
February 28 Days Sober
March Sugar Free (even diet sugar)
April Turmeric Cocktail Mornings
May No Dairy
June Stretch and Floss
July 8oz H20x8x31
August 30 min of activity a day
September Eat breakfast
October 8 hours of sleep each night
November 30 day detox
December Eat until 70% full

I am looking forward to sharing this experience with you for the next 365!

Love,

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