Helloooo! Don’t you guys and girls worry. I’ve still been doing these #NutritionTipTuesday posts. I just didn’t want to bombard your instagram feed more than it already is, so I’ve just been alerting you and giving you the short deets in my instagram story every Tuesday. Because we can all (hopefully) agree that when it comes to Instagram stories, anything goes. I can post all I want about food, workouts, Daniel, CFEC, my dogs, and whatever else I want. But I try when possible to spare you of having to scroll through that on your main page. You’re welcome. If you happen to feel like you’ve missed out over the past month, you can just go to the “Nutrition” tag, and see all of the past posts there. 

Today let’s talk about the sweet, little relationship between food and exercise. I figured it was appropriate with being right in the middle of summer, the week after 4th of July, and just overall, a time when eating healthy may not be as easy as it was in let’s say… January. But we’re having fun, hanging out with friends and family, going on vacations… and all of these things are GREAT. And with them, comes splurging a little bit. 

So, here is your reminder to think of food and exercise as two separate parts of our health. Yes, they are both important. And they both help you reach our full potential in the other, but they should never been looked at as a “transactional relationship,” meaning that you have to do one to make up for the other. I heard that phrase the other day(not sure where) but i sounded great, so I figured I’d use it here. 

This is near and dear to my heart, because it is about a something I’ve struggled with for more than HALF OF MY LIFE. I still battle with thoughts every now and then, but I’ve learned and practiced how to take those thoughts and see them as a “lie” if you will. I can look you in the eye (not really, but hopefully you feel my sincerity through your screen) and tell you that I’ve come out strong on the other side. But it hasn’t been easy, and it’s led to me definitely NOT living my best life at times.

No one should ever have to feel like they need to “work off” or “exercise” to cancel out or make up for poor eating decisions or a crappy diet. And when we start to believe the lie that we need to work off those calories in order to punish ourselves for our eating choices, then we’re really starting to travel down a slippery slope that at the end of the day, leaves us feeling like crap on so many levels. <—I would like to cuss here so you can feel the full effect, but I want to be sensitive:)

I’m not going to get too far into my personal story with this because 1. this post isn’t necessarilly about that and 2. because I’ve written about it several times here and here. If you have absolutely nothing else to do, you should check those posts out. If you click on the “self image” tab on my blog, you can see a handful of posts there – mostly from a couple of years ago.

But I do want to give some tips in how WE (group effort) can avoid this pit of BINGING, EXERCISING, RESTRICTING, and then BINGING some more, followed by MORE EXERCISE. 

^^^ See, it never stops. 

First of all, before you eat something that you know isn’t best, figure out what your “why.” Own it, and make a decision on the front end that you aren’t going to beat yourself up over it. I’m a believer that every now and then, treating ourselves is necessary to living a happy, social, non -deprived life. Maybe for you this looks like a vacation, or a 4th of July cookout, or a girls night, or TACOS (never a bad idea, amiright?) These things are GREAT. They bring value to our lives. We look forward to them. And with that, we eat food and drink drinks (or dranks) that we normally wouldn’t. And the guilt sets in. We start to think that we need to “work off,” exercise, deprive ourselves, or restrict ourselves for a period of time after in order to cancel out the “damage” we think we’ve done. Sometimes we even do this to punish ourselves.

Second, you should never feel like you have to earn the food you are eating – “healthy” foods, “not healthy” foods, whole foods, processed foods, vegetables, lean protein sources, tacos, pizza, ice cream….Some of these options are better than others. Duh. But none of them need to be “earned” with the mindset of “oh, I’ll just go for a run later.”

And last, but not least, food was put here on earth to FUEL you to do fun things (and not feel like crap while doing them). when we approach food with this mindset, we’re more likely to choose options that will help us feel great, do great (in the gym and in our jobs), and look great. We’ll look at food as a way to help us in our exercise routine, instead of exercising to cancel out what we are eating. 

And since I’ve taken on ^^ this mindset ^^ consistently, I’ve looked at food as a way to make my life better, not tear it apart. Sure, I love having a good time with Daniel and my friends, and sometimes that involves tacos, gin, ice cream, and random snacks like peanut butter filled pretzels that I wouldn’t eat 95% of the other time. I’m going on vacation next week! – to an all inclusive resort. I’ll have food and drinks around me literally 24/7. And I’ll definitely take this resort up on some of these options. And with that, I WILL probably exercise several of the five days we are there (I like to take advantage of their nice pools and get some swimming in). Daniel and I also play beach volleyball with random people and we like to go for long walks on the beach. Romantic, right? But I’ve battled with this long enough to know that the reason I exercise, swim, play beach volleyball, and walk on the beach isn’t the same reason why I eat/drink some high quality Mexican food and drinks, and vice versa. 

Ok, so let’s all say it together: You don’t have to earn your food. 

Before you click out of this post, let’s talk really fast about what you do if you do splurge, overeat, or treat yourself to something you normally wouldn’t. It’s simple…just get back on track. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you know  what to eat. You know what works for you. Do it. You don’t have to deprive yourself. Just get back on track. Drink a crap ton of water. Exercise like you normally would. 

If you’re struggling with how to eat/what to eat, you can always talk to a coach or trainer at your gym, or someone else you trust. You can also go back to nutrition posts I’ve written on here before and try to figure out what I’m saying in them. I don’t have the answer to a lot of things, but I’m all about giving free, *basic* info that you could probably also go find for free on the internet (on the credible, not weird sites, that is).