Thank you all for the comments and feedback on my Diet Culture post. I think it resonated with a lot of people and more and more I am seeing things on social media about people kind of being “over it.” Over the constant “THINKING” about food and calories and portions and dieting. An instagram friend I’ve followed for years posted recently that she was burned out on it and has been doing Weight Watchers since like the 5th grade. One comment on my post, from Beth, said keto “consumed a lot of brain space” and that is exactly how it felt.
What have I been doing since I quit? A lot of stuff actually. I’m back to just counting calories and watching my portions but not going crazy. I’m not tracking carbs, not worrying about carbs too much. Just doing what worked before.
One thing I did, was I un-synched my Garmin to MyFitnessPal. I think part of my problem has been *thinking* I was doing good creating a deficit but not really doing it. I’d see that I had all these “Extra” calories in my app for the day and I’d think, It’s okay to eat a little bit more. So unpairing the two apps means I don’t see the calories I burn. And now my focus is just on keeping in my range (1400-1500 calories a day).
This has helped me a lot. When I reach that number for the day, I’m done. There are days I eat more. But I don’t worry about it. I’m not hungry. I do not feel like I am starving myself. I do not have intense cravings because I am depriving myself any foods. On days I AM a little extra hungry, I just eat a snack! And it’s ok.
The other thing that has happened is that I no longer associate exercise with “I need to work off ___ food”. Not that I thought of exercise as punishment. I love exercising, it’s a good stress reliever for me and makes me feel good. But there are definitely days when I am not feeling it but did anyways because of eating ____. I think we’ve all been there. Anyways, now I just exercise because I want to, when I want to.
One of the other take aways from doing keto, that is NOT negative, is that Fat Is Good. Eating healthy fats like avocado, nuts (my favorites are cashews, macadamia nuts and walnuts), olive and avocado oil, olives, etc. That stuff is good for your body, good for your brain AND makes you feel fuller.
But the more I think about it, the older I get, the more stressful life gets in general, the more 2020 throws at us…the less mental space I have for all of that stuff. Is it important? I don’t know. I am trying to be healthy. I am trying to keep my portions in control. I am still exercising. I just don’t want my entire LIFE consumed by how many calories I can eat, how many carbs I’ve had, calculating NET CARBS all day long. It is just not healthy for my mental health.
Am I happy with my current weight and body? Nope. But I am trying to make peace with it, work on it, keep doing what I am doing.
I’ve been following a lot of body positive, positive eating, sustainability, eco-positive people on Instagram recently and it’s been giving me a lot to think about. (If you guys are interested, I can provide links and names for some of my favorites.)
It’s really made me wonder how much of my journey was healthy? I lost weight in the healthiest way possible. I didn’t crash diet, I changed my lifestyle, I retrained my brain and eating habits and chose healthier options. I maintained my weight for over 10 years doing healthy things. But was it 100% healthy? Or were there things that were a little questionable? Like being so strict with my workout schedule, never deviating, feeling stressed if I was injured or sick and had to take time off. Was I healthy if I was doing keto and being super restrictive? Did I mess up metabolism for good by limiting my calories for so long? I have a lot of questions. Lots and lots of questions…
It’s so hard, I feel like we’re constantly being bombarded about new messages about what is healthy and what we “should” be doing. I remember well all the weird chemical snacks from the late-80s when fat was the worst thing in the world. And now we find out it’s got a very important role after all!
It sounds like you’re coming to a place of peace – eating healthfully and paying attention, while not getting obsessive, and exercising because it is good for you in many ways, not so you can eat x more calories.
Yes! My parents went through that sugar-free low-fat no-salt era. Everything tasted like nothing in the 80s and early 90s. Yuck.
I am doing better. Feeling pretty good. Feeling less run down, workouts feel better. Less obsessive about stuff.