I often get questions asking me how often i workout or how i dealt with overexercising and learning to rest.
An important reminder, which i think many of my followers may need, and this advice applies mostly to people who have an eating disorder or struggle with body image or have a negative relationship to food and exercise. And the advice is….
If you need to restrict yourself, deprive yourself or if you struggle with restrict-binge-purge cycle to control your weight, then your weight may not be healthy for you.
Or if you need to spend hours exercising everyday, or compensate eating with exercising to not gain weight – then maybe your weight is not healthy for you.
This advice doesn’t apply to everyone, because in some cases such as if you have been very overweight or obese in the past, then you can have hormones that make you feel constantly hungry and you need to portion your food out and may not be able to eat as much as you want to stay a healthy weight (because you have been overweight in the past). But also if you have a past of being overweight then it can be easy to slip back into old habits if you don’t have some type of control over what you eat and regular exercise.
HOWEVER i know that many in recovery from an eating disorder, especially when they are half recovered. Or people who constantly yo-yo diet, end up going to all forms of extremes to try to maintain a weight that isn’t healthy for them.
If you have to restrict yourself and deprive yourself or still feel hungry after eating, or you can’t take any rest days, just to maintain your weight then you need to rethink if your weight is actually healthy for you.
If you have reached your healthy set point, then your body will regulate your weight (up or down 2-4kg depending on hormones and water weight as well as food intake). If you can’t take a few days off from working out and eating like usual without freaking out or gaining weight then your weight may not be healthy for you.
Of course, i don’t promote weighing yourself, and especially not everyday. But the fact is that if you are using unhealthy behaviours to maintain your weight then your weight isn’t healthy for you.
In the past when i was in half recovery i used the excuse that i had CF as to why i couldn’t gain weight, but the truth was that i was still using sick behaviours and unhealthy habits to maintain that weight. I was exercising more than was necessary or healthy. I was restricting carbs and was still hungry after eating. I wasn’t eating as freely as i wanted to, instead i still only stuck to safe food. I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food or exercise and would freak out if i ate something that was different than usual or was more than usual. As well as i couldn’t take any rest days, or only 1 active rest day.
Whereas now i have stayed mostly the same weight for the past 4-5 years – apart from a dip when i ended up with an inflamed pancreas as well as severe depression which caused me to lose my appetite completely and lose weight rather quick. As well as have gained more weight from strength training, but my weight has been stable otherwise even the times i don’t exercise as often or times i eat more. My body balances itself and keeps me at my healthy set point. (Note, i don’t have a scale at home but i get weighed once a month when i have to visit the doctors and there i see my weight.)
What am i trying to say with this long post? Well… if you are always hungry or restricting yourself or need to exercise alot to maintain your weight or body fat, then maybe that isn’t your healthy set point and infact gaining a few kilo would make your body more healthy. Your body might find its healthy set point and you can find a more balanced relationship to food and exercise.
This may or may not be something you need to think about. It may apply to you.. it may not, weight and healthy set point is very individual. But from my past experience i know that i tried to convince myself that i had a healthy weight – that was still underweight – when i was infact using unhealthy habits and methods to keep me at that weight.
Most important though – LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER WHEN YOU STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF AND STOP CARING ABOUT WEIGHT. Focus on healthy life, healthy habits, healthy lifestyle and happy mind. When you begin to focus on life and inner health and balance rather than appearance and weight!!!