As a fitness and nutrition coach, I get asked time and time again how to eat.
“What can I eat to lose weight?”
“How can I eat for my body type to drop body fat?”
“Why is my way of eating not working and I keep going back to the same thing I did before?”
“I can eat perfect Monday-Friday and then I give up on the weekends.”
I cannot tell you the amount of mental energy I used to put into creating the “perfect” meal or the “perfect” diet for myself. I would often tell myself, “Yes, I got it! I finally got it and learned what my body needs!” Or, I would jump on something else whether that be the Paleo Diet, cutting carbs, cutting fat, counting my macro’s and drastically reducing my calories. Often times feeling that I finally found the answer and the diet to make me look and feel perfect. It was f’ing brutal.
Sure enough, I would last a few weeks max on these diets and then I would cave and go right back to what I was doing before thinking I was a failure. Why couldn’t I live up to what other’s were doing? How were others able to go to spin class and crush it on the bike and only eat an egg and broccoli the rest of the day? I cannot tell you how many times I felt defeated and over time developed a major complex and fell into the comparison trap thinking I wasn’t good enough. I constantly tried to create this meal plan that quite honestly, was downright debilitating. I had control over what I put in my mouth so why not try to create control of how my body looked? Here was a typical diet looked like for me quite sometime ago.
Breakfast: 8 egg whites, 1 slice Ezekial Toast (no butter), 1 cup of frozen veggies along with 3 cups of black coffee
Lunch: 7-8 oz of grilled chicken or fish on lettuce with a tiny bit of dressing
Snack: by this point I was starving! I would typically eat one of those huge bins of salted mixed nuts and an oreo McFlurry from Mcdonalds.
Dinner: another large piece of meat with steamed veggies.
(basically, a high protein, low carb diet with super low fat. then craving tons of sugar and carbs due to my restrictive pattern of food choices throughout the day. come the weekend I would BINGE on whatever I could get my hands on. I would eat an entire half of a cake with icing, a huge container of animal crackers, bread with butter, cookies, fatty foods, bags of chips, then feel like shit and say I was going to start again come Monday.)
I cannot tell you the amount of shame I had around this way of eating. I was miserable. If you have ever eaten this way, I know you get it. That constant mental exhaustion of what we’re going to eat next, has it been 2 hours, what if I don’t want protein, what else can I have?
Here’s the deal. I know you already know this, but there’s no perfect diet. Doesn’t exist and it never will. The way in which I deal with food now is I listen. Listening and tuning into what I’m in the mood for and being mindful of when I’m eating. Do I rush around sometimes and have to scarf my food down? Sometimes but I try for the most part to be mindful and enjoy my food. I try to choose choices that I know are good for my body and feel right to me and no one else. I can speak from experience, people will continuously judge, ridicule and mock certain things I eat and guess what, they will. I accept it and really don’t give a shit. That’s their issue not mine.
There’s nothing more liberating than eating what feels right for YOU. I love color, I love weird combos, I love sardines and I love Reece’s pieces. I’m aware of when my stress levels are high certain foods don’t respond well with me and I’m aware of when I’m craving super salty, crunchy foods that it’s a good time to check in with myself to see what else is going on.
Now, I no longer feel deprived, restricted or unable to decide what I want to eat. I go at it with conviction and confidence and even though they might not always be healthy options, it doesn’t mean I’m less than. It’s life and we don’t always have control over what food is in front of us. Relinquishing that control and choosing to do the best we can in that moment is the best thing we can do. Judging and self-criticism doesn’t get us anywhere.
People will ask me what I eat now and honestly it varies. When I’m at home and not traveling my food kinda looks like this: (I’m pretty big on good dietary fiber, fat and protein)
Breakfast: 2 whole eggs cooked in coconut oil with 1 slice of Ezekial toast or sweet potato hash with veggies
Snack: some almonds and fruit
Lunch: #HAS (huge ass salad) with lots of random stuff. Chicken, bison or fish with lots of veggies, avocado, seeds, dressing (regular oil based) with some type of carb like rice, etc.
Snack: rice cakes with almond butter or if my tummy is able to handle maybe some dairy based protein source. or a protein shake with almond butter and almond milk with berries
Dinner: Beef, bison, chicken or fish with a sweet potato, quinoa or some sort of carb with greens. Then I’ll have some dark chocolate or some sort of dessert. Sometimes more and sometimes less, it really depends on my hormones and time of the month. Sometimes I pick in between and want salty and crunchy and sometimes I eat more than I should. Sometimes I eat pizza and sometimes I’ll eat fried foods. It quite honestly depends on what I’m in the mood for but there is no judgement with my food choices. I don’t view food as good or bad. I don’t beat myself up if I eat too much or choose foods that might not be the healthiest option but I’m doing the best I can and that’s all that matters.
There’s no perfect meal plan. Remember, it’s what feels right for you. 🙂 There’s no right or wrong.
All of this will be covered in length for my 8 week WholeME coaching program starting next Monday! Super pumped and I would love for you to check out all the details HERE.
As always, you can get my best stuff with my weekly newsletter at www.kimschaper.com on food, fitness and mindset.