Why Change Is Hard
For me, when it comes to food and exercise, change is hard.
This is quite a difficult subject for me to talk about, but I wanted to share a personal insight into my brain so that it might help others.
My relationship with food is turbulent, and it always has been. I suffer badly from body dysmorphia and I struggle with this on a daily basis. For months, I have been following gym plans, pushing myself in terms of cardio and at times I have worked out to exhaustion, on a minimal amount of food during the day.
If I worked out, I ate more to compensate for the outgoing calories, but the majority of the time I worked out I’ve been deficit in the amount of calories I’ve had, so I’ve never actually eaten the right amount considering the amount of exercise I do.
I wanted to be leaner, and I achieved my goal, going from 65kg to 54kg in half a year. After this, I have majorly plateaued. I’ve tried a variety of different fitness plans, Emily Skye and Kayla Itsines to name a couple, and whilst both have made me leaner, neither have made me stronger.
The beard, who is a keeno at the gym too and has studied exercise, told me that I wasn’t doing the right sort of training for the goals I wanted. I had lost weight, so if I want to build muscle I need to be lifting heavier, cutting the long distance cardio and eating more.
Wait… Eating more AND cutting cardio?!
But that’s the aim of it. You need to cut cardio, which encourages weights and muscle loss, increase weights and eat more to fuel your body after intense sessions.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been doing this for over two weeks now and I’m still finding it hard to adjust. I’m still wanting to cut out meals or cut down on certain food groups because I’ve always been told that carbs are bad and you have to eat less to avoid weight gain. It’s not about weight gain now, it’s about muscle gain, and to build muscle, you need to be fuelling the body so it can be pushed and take the pain that comes from weight-lifting.
I’ve found a new plan to follow, which incorporates three days of weights, followed by a rest day or cardio (my choice) and I did my research into this plan. I’ve watched the videos, I’ve read up on the how it works, why I’m doing it, what I’ll achieve and when I’ll see results and I understand the science behind it. However, because I’m so set in my ways, and have been for quite a while now, the idea of overhauling all of the information I’ve read when growing up is difficult. I’m used to seeing:
Sugar is as addictive as cocaine
Fatty foods clog your arteries
Carbs make you gain weight
That going against the above, embracing natural sugars, eating good fats such as avocado or nuts and ensuring I have enough carb intake to fuel my workouts isn’t easy. It’s not just a lifestyle change, it’s a mindset change for me.
Having said that, I made small changes. Instead of eating three meals a day, I introduced a fourth meal, eating a bowl of porridge at 9am, another at 12am, protein and veggies or carbs at 3pm for pre-workout meal and then protein, carbs and fats for post-workout. Incorporating the ‘little but often’ mentality has helped me up my calorie intake without feeling like I’m eating three heavy meals.
I will keep you updated with how my plan is going at the four-week mark, and then (if I make it!!) monthly updates after that. I’m hoping the change in mentality will allow me to push myself harder and ultimately get the results that I want, but we’ll have to wait and see with that one.
Thanks for reading,