No Abs No Cares
From the age of 14 I had developed a disordered eating and I had no idea; I just thought I was eating healthy. It was a game to get my calories as low as possible eating good quality foods. Most days I would hit 700-800 calories. I went from being 71kgs to 57.8kgs in the space of 6 months. For everyone that doesn’t know me right now I am 174cm tall and currently weigh 76kgs. So to be the same height and 58kgs; I was skin and bones. But I had no idea; Id poke and prod and see the tiny amount of fat that was still there.
I truly thought I was just being healthy and just tracking what I ate. If I wanted to have food at a birthday party I would starve myself all day and then to a certain degree eat what I wanted. At this point in time until I was about 18-19 - I had no idea what carbs, fats and protein were; all I knew was to just eat as little as I could.
As a result though I knew if I did eat more I would exercise for hours longer just to burn it back off to keep the calorie in and out balance equal.
This all to me was ‘healthy’.
Once I turned 17, I started doing some minimal resistance training; at this point I had no idea doing this would gain muscle. I had no idea that was really even a thing. My scale weight increased and no matter how much I starved myself the scale weight just wouldn’t come down.
I would eat breakfast. Maybe eat a cucumber for lunch or a couple crackers throughout the day and then a normal dinner with my family and maybe some yoghurt and fruit. Everything was weighed and measured.
I moved for uni and my weight went back up. I did even more weight based training but again; however I could never get it below 66kgs. Again trying to starve myself because that’s all I knew worked. Eat less.
When I started CrossFit all it was, was food rules; I was told I shouldn’t eat carbs and not to listen to what they said at uni. One positive was that they said to not weight yourself. I didn’t get why; but I just alike most other people followed along and did what I was told. All because I thought it was healthy. I checked my weight one day and was horrified to see it had climbed back up to 71.
I panicked; I resulted to shake diets and again to eat as little as possible because that was all I knew. I wanted abs. I wanted to look like the girls I trained with. I lost my period; I was injured constantly and slept a lot. My relationship with food worsened until I finished uni and did my sports nutrition course. From here I realised how much food made an impact to my training. I lasted another 8 months; still eating more than I used too; but still it was not enough food to support my training and I got injured again.
I turned to Olympic weightlifting as I realised how much more I enjoyed being strong. Feeling strong made me happy.
Again my weight climbed, but by then I realised how much of it was muscle. My relationship with the types of food I ate became better. But I was still reserved and scared to eat too much and consistently yo yo my body weight by about 4kgs.
I finally balanced out at 76kg-78kgs. But then nationals happened last year and we did that cut thing down to 71kg. Which actually was probably the best thing I have ever done.
Because I realised being lighter sucks. I lost my period again; I was injured and so emotional. Again I was still eating more; but not enough to support my lifestyle.
Now I trust myself. I’ve embraced eating more and eating into my height! I eat 3500 cals a day; and love it. (Before I was too scared to either track or if I did it was a max of 2000)
Some days I still don’t hit that amount because I’m too busy with work or really stressed. Some days I’m over because food is YUM; but on average it is there.
I’m happy. Less stressed about eating and strong; I’m lifting weights I never have before and I eat foods that I love.
Im the leanest I’ve been in 5 years. (Prior to hard core restriction) and there are still moments I wish I was leaner. But then I remember the positives of what I’m doing now; how much stronger I am AND HAPPIER.
Sure I might cut back a little later on down the track. But it’s easier to cut food from 3500 than from 1700 cals. Literally I am making my life easier for my future self.
Also I think a learning curve to take from this is even what is happening in the world at the moment. A pandemic virus is spreading the world; your immune system will be compromised by hard core restriction and that is the FACTS. If you are thinking about restriction right now; maybe you need to think about the below.
My question is -
Why do you want to lose weight. What benefit will it actually add to your life?
What does tracking your calories or macros do to you? Does it make you more obsessive; is it creating a poor relationship with food or are you scared of eating foods because it is 100 calories.
Moreso; are you trying to eat less from literally nothing?
Make your life easier. Believe me I have lived and breathed the lifestyle. Let’s get away from the hard core restriction and find the balance. I promise it is worth it.
The photo left - 65-66kgs last year of CrossFit after hard core restriction; The right 76kgs last week. Can you imagine what I looked like at 58kgs :(