Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

Taking Back Control

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “you have so much self control.” Actually, that would probably only leave me with $100. I wish I had $100 for every time someone said to me, “you have so much self control.” That’s better, now I can pay my car off, but I’m still a phony. From the outside, yeah, I can see where people might think that about me. I dieted for 25 weeks for a figure competition and ate no more than 1500 calories everyday, some days only 1100. I went 16 weeks with absolutely no sugar. I did my cardio at 430 in the morning and went back at 5pm for more cardio plus weight training. Yeah, I can keep going but y’all would stop reading before I made my point. So here it is…My point. I was never in control. My food, exercise and the want to look a certain way, controlled ME. I was disciplined but I wasn’t in control. When I did allow myself to veer off course and eat certain foods that were categorized as “cheat food”, I would eat like I was never gonna get it again. I can’t tell you how many times I went to bed sick at my stomach because I didn’t stop when I was full. It had been so long since I felt full that I couldn’t remember what it felt like until I went too far. Often, I would feel so guilty for allowing myself to eat these foods, and when I had that feeling of guilt, all I wanted to do was get those so called bad foods out of my body. The only way to do that was to purge. It wasn’t a habit, I can count on two hands how many times I let myself do that, and after my body was relieved of the bad foods, I then felt guilty for what I had just done. Does that sound like self control to you? All those years, from ages 15-29, of under eating, and when I wasn’t doing that I was over eating. All those hours on a cardio machine and not letting myself get off until I saw that I had burned a 1000 calories. All of that so called, self control, to find out that I ruined any metabolism I might have had. From the outside, I was the picture of health at it’s best, but on the inside, from my mental state to the way my body was functioning every day, I was sick. 1200 is the dumbest number on earth: Fast forward to today, I weigh more now than I ever did in those last 15 years, but right now is the first time I’ve ever felt in control of my relationship with food and exercise. I’ve had many women ask, “how did you overcome these bad relationships.” It was actually pretty simple. I stopped categorizing my foods into groups of good and bad. Nothing is off limits anymore. If I want a cookie, I eat a cookie. Knowing I can have anything I want, I don’t fixate on certain foods anymore. I don’t even think about food at all until I feel hungry. I remember a time when I would spend days planning out what I was gonna have for my weekend cheat. I’m so glad my thoughts aren’t consumed with my next meal anymore. Seriously, it was exhausting. Today, I couldn’t tell you the last time I thought about food, or the last time I cleaned my plate, or over-ate. I used to chew a pack of gum a day because it helped my sweet tooth and it got me to my next meal. I haven’t bought a pack of gum in over two years now. Inside my head, I felt like a prisoner, and I’ve spent my last two years trying to shawshank redemption my way out. If it wasn’t for me finally finding my worth in God instead of how I looked, or how I wanted others to look at me, I’d probably still be out of control. Next week starts a new fitness journey. One that requires a little more thought again when it comes to my food, and one that requires a good amount of time in the gym. This time around, instead of fueling my body for aesthetics, I’ll fuel it for athletics. I have to make sure I’m getting in enough protein, carbs and fats to build muscle and give me strength and energy for the intense workouts I have planned. I also have to keep check on my state of mind. I don’t want to revert to my old ways. If I see progress, I don’t want to get greedy and bump up my workouts and restrict more food for faster results. For the first time in my life I want to do it right. I’ve said in the past, “this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” With that statement, I flat out lied to myself and others. A lifestyle is something you can stick to for life, and I was on a long term crash diet. I got results, but at the expense of my health. My body wasn’t meant to survive on 1200-1500 calories a day. If my body has healed at all in the past two years, I should be able to eat no less than 2500 calories a day, workout 5-6 hard hours a week, and still SLOWLY see progress in strength and fat loss. You read that right, 2500 calories. That’s a 20% calorie deficit from what my maintenance calorie intake should be. To my brainwashed mind, that number and those words don’t add up. But it’s science, Bro! Any amount of calories below what it takes for your body to maintain its current composition, you will see fat loss. IMG_1427

                                             Photo Credit:Tine Hofmann If you are following a plan that constantly leaves you hungry, and you find yourself craving sugar and junk food all day, you are probably restricting yourself too much. That diet might give you quick results, but they won’t last. You’ll eventually go cray-cray and eat an entire jar of peanut butter and box of captain crunch at 2am. Then the next thing you know, you’ll say screw it, and start eating those “bad foods” in excess, until you’ve gained every pound back, plus a few more. Or on the other hand, you’ll stick to your low calories and 12 hours in the gym each week and mess up your metabolism and hormones. I’ve done both and trust me, it’s not worth it. If I knew then, what I know now, things would be a lot different. But then again, who would be opening up to you right now and warning you of the dangers of quick fix diets? If me going through all of this, helps one woman, man, girl or boy from making my same mistakes, then I’d gladly go through all of it once again. Do me a favor and ask yourself a few question. Is your happiness based on your jean size and the number on the scale…where do you find your worth? Are you really in control of your diet and exercise, or does it control you? Is your diet and exercise regimen really a lifestyle, or is it a long term crash diet? Life is hard enough without putting these kinds of pressures on yourself. Take control of your life, don’t let your life control you. Love ya’ll

PS. Its taken just a little over a year, but I’ve lost 27 lbs. That’s about half a pound a week. If I can do that again this year, it will be a total 50 lbs. Might not be a record of getting it off, but it will be a record of how long I actually keep it off.


One Response to “Taking Back Control”

  1. Thank you for your honesty. I am recovered from an eating disorder that I almost died from. I never felt good enough and I tried to become societies version of good enough. When I was 15, I went from 200lbs to 105. I obsessively exercised and became anorexic and bulimic. At my worst, I was throwing up 20-40 times a day. I recovered and spent my 20’s finding healthier ways of coping. My weight fluctuated constantly. I was never as skinny as I was in my anorexic years, but I wanted to feel loved and valued for my heart and mind and not my body like I hadnt before. Now, I’m 30 and I weigh the most I ever have before. I’m about 240 and feel trapped in my bad habits. I need a change. A healthy change. We’ve been trying to make a baby this year so I haven’t had the option to do unhealthy thing like crash diets or diet pills. I’m very aware that my body could potentially carry a human and I want to make healthy choices for how I lose weight. Your struggle was encouraging and helpful. I appreciate your honesty. I know I will get through this but it is encouraging to find people in the struggle, trying to figure it out. Thank you.

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