In 10 days, I’m going to be soaking up the Florida sunshine, and I can hardly wait. There’s typically this thought about going on vacation, especially with women, that we need to start dieting as soon as we plan these vacations because we need to look out best. So in order to look our best, we need to extreme diet, restrict all the food, and do all the exercise. Yeah, this year, that’s not me, and I want to tell you why.
1. I don’t want to go back to old habits
Over the last year, I have worked so hard to start loving myself, and being proud of who I am. While it’s still a work in progress, I have overcome so many battles with my own mind. Restrictive eating, and binging was something that I was so used to. I would eat very little, or only things that were low in calories, and then one day just go crazy, and overeat other things that I had been forcing myself to avoid. Did restricting ever work, and make me feel happy about myself? Never. Recently, I have learned to listen to what my body wants, listen to what it’s craving, and allow myself to enjoy food. I don’t let myself feel guilty for having a treat. I don’t have to eat only egg whites, and fat free cheese because it’s 50 calories for breakfast. Today, I ate pancakes and sunflower butter, and I might even have it again tomorrow. I’m so much happier than I was back then. If I begin restricting my food now, I already know that my brain is going to flip back into those old habits, and I do not want to go back to that version of myself. It’s going to lead to a certain expectation of how I want myself to look in a very short amount of time, and then being disappointed in myself.
2. I want to enjoy myself
As I said, this morning I ate pancakes with sunflower butter. Yes, they were Paleo pancakes, but they were still pancakes. Last night, my cohort for school wanted to go out to celebrate finishing the semester, and while I didn’t drink, I could have, and not had to worry that I was “breaking my diet.” Also, it’s the holidays. I can see it now, I would be fighting the urge to eat a cookie, or some dip that wasn’t “diet approved,” and then when I give in, it wouldn’t just be one cookie, but then I would eat another, and I would feel guilty for enjoying the cookies at Christmas. Instead, knowing I can have the cookie makes it so much easier in my mind to just eat the cookie, and move on. I’m going to enjoy this time with my family and friends, and not be so consumed on eating, and how my body looks.
3. I’m already stressed enough as it is
This applied more a few weeks ago as all my school projects were due, but as if school, work, and life weren’t stressful enough, lets add a diet to the mix. I exercise 5-6 days per week, along with being a full time student, working two jobs, and I volunteer. That puts a lot of stress on my body. I’m already anxious enough, and having to be anxious about my food, and the calories I’m eating is only going to make it worse. My body might feel it’s being starved if I’m working out much more than I am eating, which will lead to the opposite effect of why I am on a diet. Also restricting calories will not help with the feeling of anxiousness, but only make it worse. Then if I think I ate “bad,” I will just get anxious about that so its better to just continue the healthy habits I have built, and not worry.
4. What is going to happen when vacation is here?
So now I’m in Florida, is my diet over? Do I need to stay on it since I’m going to be in a swimsuit? Well it’s vacation, does that mean I can splurge on everything? Well now that were home, spring break is coming up, should I just keep going? Imagine if I did this until summer, wouldn’t I look great?! These are the thoughts that start going through my head. Instead of just relaxing, eating pretty healthy like I normally would, and splurginging when I think it’s worth it. I’m going to enjoy my vacation, but still keep some of those healthy habits I do everyday. Then I can come home, and easily pick up my normal everyday life without feeling like I want to keep eating junk, or restrict extra since I ate extra on vacation.
Do I look bad? No. Are there still things I am working on? Yes. I have come so far over the last couple of years. I have lost weight. I have gotten stronger. I have gotten healthy. I have gotten happier. I do still struggle, but is a restrictive diet going to fix that? Probably not. A diet isn’t going to give me a six-pack in a short amount of time, or ever. I have begun acknowledging what my body can do, and appreciating it. I know I do not look as awful as I may feel sometimes. When I begin feeling that way, I try to force myself to think of all the positives, no matter how hard that may seem. Self-Love is greater than any diet you could ever go on.