Hi all! Hope you’re having a great week. These past couple of weeks I’ve had a lot of positive things happening & I am very excited about what the future holds. Not only are positive things happening in my life, but also in my mind. It’s that time again – #HONESTHOUR.
Going to bed last night, I laid down and thoughts were running through your head & I couldn’t shut them off. After hours of laying there, I finally fell asleep. I was up until about 1am thinking about a certain topic that lately has been popping up everywhere around me. I woke up with the same thoughts & my heart basically racing. When this happens to me, I don’t take it lightly.
I truly believe this is a sign that I need to share what I am feeling, which sometimes causes me anxiety because of being nervous as to how people will react. BUT then I think about the people I may be able to help with this. Which brings me to sitting in front of my computer typing away.
(Which if you know me, I’m not a huge writer – I like pictures ) but I feel this message has to be shared.
I was originally going to do a video but I honestly couldn’t wait any more to start getting these thoughts from my mind to my blog and I’d probably scare you with my bed head right now.
The topic that has been in my head so much lately is;
People restricting calories so low & doing endless amounts of workouts to see results.
This isn’t a new issue, but lately I’ve been witnessing this more & more. I just found out that someone that I know has been living off of 500 calories a day with a program they are on. They are allowed 100 calorie meals 5 times throughout the day. When they were working out the other day, they were lightheaded & had no energy – but were excited that they were seeing results.
Hearing this kept me up last night. I kept thinking about how there are these unwritten rules that we need to restrict our calories so low & do endless amounts of cardio to see results. Is this really how you’d want to live your life? 500 calories a day with working out on top of that in order to get the body you desire?
This isn’t everyone & I am in no way being rude towards this person, I am simply worried as hell for their health & well-being.
I am not one to vent usually about topics or voice an opinion – but when something comes along that keeps me up at night and makes my heart race, I feel like I need to say something for those who will listen.
Trust me, I am no stranger to restricting calories, doing endless workouts, & then binging one day a week on foods I restricted myself from.
I used to think that I was only “allowed” to eat healthy foods and then one day a week I would go buck wild on a bag of trailmix because I would restrict myself from eating it throughout the week and feel “better” about eating it just one day a week.
I also used to do endless amounts of cardio on top of a low calorie diet – I will NEVER forget the day that I had 1/4 cup of oatmeal and told my best friend in college that it was my “high-carb” day. Saying that now makes me cringe, and no wonder she yelled at me, but back a few years ago – I truly believed this and thought nothing was wrong with that.
Sometimes we do these things without even realizing what we are doing to ourselves not only physically, but mentally.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for eating healthy foods as part of your balanced meal intake and doing what works for YOU. Personally I have some food allergies so some food are off-limits so my stomach doesn’t cramp up. BUT a few weeks ago I caught myself going back into my old ways of restricting these deemed “unhealthy” foods as if they were going to attack me & add 20 lbs to my waist.
I took a step back from myself to
check myself before I wrecked myself.
If you’ve been following my story, I’ve talked before about how I used to fear fats, carbs, & only eat certain types of protein. My diet was so limited that no wonder I developed some intolerances to foods – I was eating them daily without much variation due to my fear of eating unhealthy and gaining weight.
The only true way that I’ve been able to get over these fears is to CHALLENGE myself to incorporate more of the foods I used to fear. I upped my fat intake, I upped my carb intake, & I branched out with proteins. I learned that I could eat a much greater variety of foods and not be afraid to enjoy foods I once deemed unhealthy.
For example, I used to literally restrict my raisin intake because I thought – carbs carbs carbs! Even typing that now I’m like, Kasey, really?
I posted here about how I finally plugged in my numbers to see how many calories I should be consuming – again, everyone is different! Find what works for YOU! But I found I was eating about 500 calories LOWER than what I should be based on my height, weight, age, & activity level.
Seeing that I should be eating around 2,300 calories a day scared me at first ….. coming from my old ways of thinking 1300 calories was a lot; being 1,000 calories more than that years later seemed crazy to me. BUT I challenged myself to do my research (THIS IS KEY) & read up on some credible sources like Dr. Layne Norton (I highly suggest watching some of his videos). He’s worked with clients who have dieted so low & have hurt their metabolism.
My main point with this is to hopefully help you realize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. I’ve been able to help myself without being obsessive about it. I’ve been able to enjoy foods that I once restricted because they were unhealthy in my mind.
I am not saying you need to obsessing over calories, but I’m glad I plugged in my numbers to see that I was doing more harm than good for myself.
I am sharing this because it’s been in my mind for the last couple of weeks. I don’t like seeing people hating their fitness/health journeys because they are over-thinking it & thinking restriction is the only way to go. Exercise should be fun & enjoyed along with cooking, baking, & enjoying foods.
I am not saying that you NEED to do anything like tracking every calorie or becoming obsessed with numbers. You know me & I don’t ever say DO THIS or DO THAT. But what I can say is that I hope you take the time to research & find a happy balance while enjoying foods in a healthy moderation. Meaning, having that chocolate bar if you want it, without eating 25 of them in a day, and NOT feeling guilty about it.
Having your frozen yogurt, without feeling guilty, while still fueling your fitness and lifestyle with nutrient dense foods to get your vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, carbs (don’t fear them!), & proteins of a wide variety that works for YOU.
I really hope you see my point with this, that you can still enjoy food and not let these rules and regulations we put on ourselves run our lives.
I feel better with a balance every day of fueling my body and workouts while enjoying foods like cereal, chocolate, and bars that I used to stay away from thinking I could only have them one day a week. I’ve found that if I have them when I want them within my means and not just binging on them one day a week, I am way more happier and I feel way less stressed over it.
PHEW! My fingers are starting to get tired.
Even though I’m fast at typing, I think this post was written in record speed.
The truth is, information can be overwhelming and comparing your lifestyle or food choices to other’s is the hardest thing to do to ourselves. We need to work together to start loving ourselves more & not trying to be like somebody else.
I was just talking with my mom this morning about it after I couldn’t sleep and woke up feeling so anxious. There is SO MUCH info out there on what to do, and guess what, some questions may be hard to find the answers to. But, I know one thing. Finding a balance that works for YOU and realizing that restricting is not how you have to live your life, is something that I hope you can work on finding.
I love this post by one of my best friends, Sarah (aka bittie). She is the one who almost slapped my upside the head for eating hardly any carbs. Looking back, that truly means so much. She knew what I was doing was unhealthy.
I’ve been through it and that’s why I share my stories. I don’t want to see people damaging themselves thinking they are getting a head or that 500 calories a day is going to get them to the body they want….then what? You get so low in body fat that you have no energy, almost pass out in your workouts, look in the mirror & you’re STILL not happy with the way you look. Or you restrict so much that you start to gain weight because your body is in survival mode.
You are way more than a number
on a scale & the % body fat you have.
For an example I’d like to share some pictures of myself.
This is 3 years ago when I first competed.
-Living off of 1300 calories
- 1 TB of nut butter a day (and I licked the spoon clean)
-No variety in my diet
-Eating a “cookie cutter way”
-Obsessing over the amount of cardio I had to do –
not for enjoyment, but for calorie burn.
-Almost passing out in my PE class in college when I bent over to pick up a softball;
(I’ll never forget that day) when my friend to me in the corner and asked me if I was ok and what I was doing to myself as I was so pale in the face and the room was spinning but I though that's how I was supposed to feel to look a certain way.
GUESS WHAT – when I looked in the in the mirror I WAS NOT HAPPY with where I was at STILL.
No amount (or lack there of) body fat was going to make me feel any better.
I weighed in at 121 lbs that day of my show.
Do I regret competing? No, I don’t. I am thankful for that experience so I could learn from it and help others who may have been in a similar boat. Also, this is not me going against competitions in ANY way. There are a lot of people out there who find balance with competing and that’s so great for them! I am just sharing MY personal story because while I personally was competing, I was dealing with body image issues for sure.
This is me now.
Stronger than I’ve ever been.
About 20lbs more than I was in those last pictures.
(picture from my brother’s wedding with our friend Jed!)
Fueling my body but also eating foods that I once thought I couldn’t –
in a balanced moderation that works for me.
Working out because I enjoy it.
Not doing endless amounts of cardio.
Lifting heavier because I fuel my body properly.
Not obsessing over how many times I eat a day.
Sometimes I eat 3 times sometimes I eat 4 times a day
– depending on my schedule and when I’m hungry.
Making sure to eat enough to sustain my energy and performance.
Trying not to live by a rule book that I once made up in my head.
No, I’m not perfect – but I’m working to find my balance.
I can’t tell you what that is for you – it’s your challenge to find it and do what works for your own body.
I don’t know exactly how many carbs, fats, proteins, fiber you should be eating
– but I do know that there is hope to find balance.
You are way more than living your life in restriction instead of finding a happy balance of enjoyment & relief that you let yourself LIVE. Life is about living. Life is way more than food. We have family, friends, events, careers, & goals in life. In the end, finding what works for YOU is the most important thing & sharing your gift.
I am not a registered dietician or a doctor or an expert – but I am someone who is sharing my personal honest story and it’s not always easy to do. Sharing personal things sometimes scares me but If I can help one person, I can go to sleep knowing that I’ve done something good that day. I do not have all of the answers but I suggest that take small steps to getting back to your balance.
Don’t take this and think “ok I’m going to go run and eat every food I’ve been restricting for the last couple of years.”
That is not my point with this post – my point is to show that you can have those foods in moderation without feeling guilty and once you challenge yourself to do so, you will probably be surprised in how much better you will feel and mind games or restriction that will lessen.
Ok, I think I’m done now My heart was beating pretty fast during this because it was like flowing through my fingers. If you truly think you have a problem with restriction/binging, again I am not a doctor, but feel free to e-mail me Kasey@Powercakes.net and I will do my best to offer my personal stories to help you feel better.
Be brave & challenge yourself to help yourself. Don’t over-think it. & don’t let anyone dull your light – you and your gift were meant to shine!
Life is more than food & fitness – finding a happy balance of it all is hard but taking small steps to get there is a beautiful thing.
I think I can take a breath now woo.
You all are amazing & thanks for taking the time to read this!
I am now going to crush a leg workout after fueling up on some delicious powercakes!
(extra love today)