As some of you might know, I am nearly done with my schooling for nutrition counseling... I just have a couple of more tests to finish. Today I conducted my first nutrition counseling interview with a dear personal training client of mine who has been asking me about nutrition for quite some time now. I will say, it was exhilarating....I truly loved the experience of getting to know this client in this way. As I was inquiring about what she typically eats each day, what parts of her life influence or contribute to her eating pattern, and what she would like to achieve ultimately as her end goal, I learned a thing or two about myself as well.
You see women, and by the way, (I was going to make her sex-anonymous until I decided that her being a woman is actually important), are trained to think from a very young age that we all should be the same straight and narrow, long legged Barbie with large breasts that the photo-shopped celebrities are in magazines. I'm not sure who decided this for us, but embracing your unique YOU is not part of this equation, sadly. I have friends who are gorgeous just as they are, and are all different shapes and sizes. It doesn't mean that I'm saying it's okay to be overweight, or not toned. I actually believe quite the opposite, but I too suffer from wishing my toned legs that most if not all people tell me daily that they wish they had, were those skinny Barbie legs. This could only occur MAYBE if I did not work out AT ALL and starved myself... HA. Not anymore, folks. It's crazy. Men do not have this same issue, that's for sure. They have no idea how difficult it is to be required to always look good. Not to say that they don't take pride in appearance, but it's a different standard for sure.
You see, my client is a gorgeous woman who fell exactly where she should in her body mass index as well as her waist circumference and yet she asked me if those measurements where for fat girls. ?? I understood. It's hard to accept that you are good the way that you are when you've been trained to starve most of your life to fit those certain jeans that work when you're 25, but now suddenly you're over 40 and those jeans don't fit, SO... you must be fat. I have encountered similar issues, but your body changes shape as you tone up, work out more, and stop starving. It does not mean that you are suddenly fat. I have also discovered that MEN LIKE THIS NEW YOU. Yes, it's true. When you only jiggle in the right places, that's far sexier than being skinny yet flabby. AND YOU ARE STILL SKINNY. You just have MUSCLE now too. I was not allowed to convey these thoughts to my client on our first counseling visit, but I will figure out a way to work them in later, for sure. :)
Confession: When I was a NYC dancer, my very dear friend and I would sometimes frequent the NEW Krispy Kream and get ONE doughnut. We would proceed to break it in half and then she would eat a half of her half, I would eat a half of my half and we would THROW THE OTHER QUARTERS OF DOUGHNUT AWAY. We could not even indulge in a doughnut. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying, EAT YOUR DOUGHNUTS, THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU. Ha. I'm just saying, a little indulgence once in awhile when you are basically an athlete who is physically fit and toned is OK.
The STARVATION MODE and food deprivation in general only makes you crave the things that you're not supposed to have more than you already do. It's not about a DIET. It's about a LIFESTYLE CHANGE that begins with you loving yourself, getting on an exercise program that works for you specifically, and figuring out which foods are right for your body. Bone broth, gluten free, dairy free, vegan...whatever it is, it's RIGHT FOR YOU.
The best thing I learned today? It's that a nutrition counselor is a great benefit, because they can help you through this process of elimination of foods for YOU. The best way of eating for MOST everyone is moderation and balance of proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits with the occasional indulgence because you HAVE TO LIVE. The European culture by and large is not as fat as the American culture because they eat normally without deprivation, and as balanced as possible. Most of them have wine everyday too. They don't say, "I can only eat a quarter of this doughnut" because they had a beautiful bowl of fruit and yogurt for breakfast SO they might not even need the doughnut in the first place. Oh yeah, and they have far less processed food then we do...it's ok to grow and pick your fruits and veggies. They also walk everywhere, by and large.
So, my whole point is THIS:
Make sure that you are getting enough protein, whole grains, vegetables and fruit...whether you are vegan or you eat meat or anything in between. BALANCE is key. Then make sure you at least walk the equivalent of 1 mile a day.
What did I learn about my client today? I learned that she eats what she thinks she SHOULD. She never really gets pleasure from her food so she ends up eating A LOT of stuff she SHOULDN'T eventually because WE ALL NEED PLEASURABLE FOOD.
BEST IDEA FOR EVERYONE?... GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET. I believe if you do, and you taste and pick fruits and veggies that you actually CAN taste, you will actually enjoy your food. It's a novel idea, but you CAN like what you eat AND you can learn to like foods that are healthy for you.
Have a good week!