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

JanuaryGluten/Wheat Free
February28 Days Sober
MarchSugar Free (even diet sugar)
AprilTurmeric Cocktail Mornings
MayNo Dairy
JuneStretch and Floss
July8oz H20x8x31
August30 min of activity a day
SeptemberEat breakfast
October8 hours of sleep each night
November30 day detox
DecemberEat until 70% full

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

Love,

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