A Healthy Relationship With Food And Fitness
Start writing a post
food

A Healthy Relationship With Food And Fitness

How I shifted my mindset on calories and fitness in a post-gymnastics world.

96
A Healthy Relationship With Food And Fitness
https://unsplash.com/photos/bTJIOXK63vE

In gymnastics, there is a constant pressure to remain tiny, thin, and athletic. Coaches asking about my diet? Normal. Constant reminders about the calories we needed to burn to stay fit and small? A necessity. As I progressed through the levels, the questions turned into demands and the reminders morphed into pseudo-threats. Powdered food replacements, restricting calories, and scale weigh-ins before and after practice became my norm by the time I was twelve. I would feel guilty if I ate (and, even worse, if my stomach felt full).

I never realized how much I feared food until I left gymnastics.

Fast forward to 2019. I am 3 years removed from my time as a competitive gymnast, and, to the surprise of some, I am in the best shape that I have ever been in. I credit this switch to a change in my mindset--prioritizing health and happiness over achieving a specific number on the scale. I eat what I want in moderation with proper serving sizes; I try not to restrict my cravings, and I eat plenty of protein, veggies, and fruits. I workout to make my body and mind feel good--not to burn a certain amount of calories.

The workout component is arguably the most important part of my new mentality. I do spin-cycling at SoulCycle 2-3 times per week, and I alternate my cardio workouts with weight training. I find that pushing my body to lift more or to turn up my resistance one more notch is not fueled by a desire to shed fat; rather, I work harder because my body is capable of doing so. Additionally, I find myself going to the gym because it makes me feel stronger and happier due to the constant flow of endorphins and other brain chemicals that are conducive for a more positive mindset.

Working out while solely focusing on your weight can be a trap. Restricting your diet and overworking your body will sometimes lead you to binge eat and to feel cautious overall. Life is short--don't further limit yourself by imposing overly strict guidelines that deter you from living a full existence.

After all, pursuing a healthy lifestyle should be rooted in a deeper goal (rather than obtaining an idealized, superficial appearance): celebrating the capabilities of your body when it is properly nourished. With the help of my family, friends, and fitness coaches (shoutout to Maya, Claire, Dacoda, and the rest of my Soul Fam!), I learned how to let go of my "caloric-amount" based workouts and to pursue healthier options that fuel both my body, mind, and soul.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

76445
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

143461
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments