This year was pretty amazing for me for one reason, I became a mom. Many things changed as you’d expect but one thing completely shocked me. I have the healthiest relationship with food that I can remember since early High School.
Today, I’m going to share my 5 tips with you on how I completely changed my relationship with food and my body this past year and how you can begin to take steps towards this goal if it’s something that interests you.
One Year Ago…
Right before Tommy was born, I was convinced that once I was no longer pregnant, I had to go back to eating like “Sarah Fit.” This meant a lot less calories, carbs, cheese, and especially treats like cookies.
Why I thought this, I don’t know because after childbirth, you are hungrier than you were pregnant if you nurse.
As documented on my YouTube channel, I didn’t feel the immediate pressure to get back to my pre-baby weight. I was so focused on Tommy that I had little time to think about my next meal. The guilt I would have felt if I ate too much or if I ate the wrong thing was replaced by wondering if Tommy was too cold or if he was breathing at all.
I ate a lot of calories on a daily basis. Some were good, some were bad and a lot were from wine.
It took me 9 months. I really didn’t diet. Yes, I exercised and challenged myself 4-5 times a week in the gym but for only 20-45 minutes.
It was almost like when I finally stopped caring what my weight was, I hit my “happy healthy” weight and have been able to maintain it with my current lifestyle habits which includes 30 minute workouts and nightly glasses of wine.
When I was pregnant, I began to stop labeling bad days from what I ate. That has continued to this day.
Here on my blog, it’s been hard to get motivated to talk about recipes, because I just feel like I have a different mentality about it. I’m not constantly thinking about food if this makes sense? I’ve even had the same pint of ice cream in the freezer for weeks that I keep forgetting about.
My meals now consist of things that I can make fast. Often those are the most simple recipes that I know off of the top of my head and are coincidentally clean. I’m not going to share how I roast sweet potatoes. I think most of you already know how to do that, right?
My New Year’s Resolution or Lack Thereof…
For the 1st time in a long time, I have zero food resolutions. I honestly don’t have a resolution at all.
Maybe I should make one???
5 Steps That Helped Me Build A Healthier Relationship with Food
So how did I come to find a healthy relationship with food that I think might work for you in 2017?
First, stop labelling food as good or bad. This wasn’t easy to do, I admit. It took time. It took a baby for me to be able to see that what I put in my body not only affects my own health but also Tommy’s. The only “bad” foods were things like high mercury fish, raw seafood, unpasteurized cheese, too much alcohol and other things they shun nursing and pregnant women from eating.
Second, if you want the damn cookie, have the cookie. If you deny it, you’re just going to build up an insatiable craving and finally break down and have 10. The one cookie now is better than the 10 later.
Third, eat! I think I was always trying to eat too few calories for what I was doing physically that I was always hungry and then would “think” that I would over eat and then I would feel bad about myself, and eat more because I was depressed that I couldn’t stick to a perfect diet like all the other fitness influencers. I once got in a very heated debate about counting macros with Scott Herman, a male fitness personality. He insisted it was the only way to reach goals and I was coming from the “crazy lady” side that knew how counting numbers could have an obsessive negative effect. He just didn’t understand and we butted heads. I do not count calories for the record!
Four, stop being a cardio bunny and lift some goddamn weights. After 10 years of lifting, doing yoga, bootcamp, running for marathons… the leanest I am is when I lift the heaviest and do the least amount of cardio. Yet it took me 14 years and a baby to realize this. When you lift, sometimes your weight is heavier but you look and feel so much better. Trust me.
Five, stop weighing yourself. The scale only made me hate myself if it didn’t spit out an ideal number. If your scale said you were 5 lbs lighter today but you looked the same, would you treat yourself differently? I would. I would be kinder and more forgiving. So, I stopped paying attention to the number and pretended that I was 5 lbs lighter. It oddly is empowering.
These are my tips for you as you think about what your new year’s resolution might be. If it’s to lose weight or eat local, good for you for taking the first steps towards living a healthier life. If you don’t have a resolution like me, hooray too! I’d love to hear your own tips for finding self acceptance or how you created a healthy relationship with food once and for all.
This is exactly where I am at as well. Post baby I am so much more comfortable in my relationship with food and with my body. I agree that a large part has to do with caring less about yourself and more about “is my baby still breathing?”! It’s the first time in years I do not have a new years resolution and I love it! My gym is having a fitness challenge these next 3 months which included counting calories and restricting your diet and I have ZERO interest in completing it!
What a great place to be! I am kinda sorta there myself and boy does it feel awesome! I do weigh myself still because it helps more than it hurts 🙂
There is no time to count calories! I’ve never been good with resolutions. This year I’m focusing on eating a cleaner diet and much less sugar (and I started a few weeks early, why wait?).
Cassie Schelldorf says
Yes!! I got a dietitian this year that changed my life. I’m a longtime Weight Watcher and calorie counter. I ran SIX half marathons and gained 5 pounds. I weighed myself daily, could tell you how many points were in any food off the top of my head, and never drank or ate sweets. Fast forward a few years, a relocation to Boston, double knee injuries, and a new job…ain’t nobody got time for that!! For the first time EVER, my goal is to learn to have some balance. Sometimes my workouts are an hour, sometimes, they’re 30 minutes. I have been eating healthy for so longer, junk food isn’t really a problem, but I’m still learning how to have balance and control. So, my resolution is to hit the gym 4-5x week, incorporate weights (ugh, my least favorite!), and continue to try new healthy/flavorful recipes. I’m SO excited for once. I’m not stepping on the scale and just focusing on being happy!! Thanks for this post, Sarah!
This is a wonderful article! Bookmarking for future reference/motivation. Thanks for keeping it real and honest 🙂
Cassie Autumn Tran says
What an incredible post! I actually have very similar goals where I’m trying to really put on some muscle, lift more weights and gain strength! It’s pretty triggering and intimidating when I see all of these fad diet programs being endorsed for the new year, unfortunately, and it can get easy to get carried away!
I had my first baby in march and my relationship with food is sooo much healthier!!! My main focus is our son but we still go to the gym 4-5x day and eat a clean (most of the time) . I am much less focus on food and I’m 2 pounds lighter than pre-baby. I’m now 10 weeks pregnant (again! ????) and enjoying food again ????
The picture of you with a beer is so great; you can tell you are actually fully enjoying it! This is a great post; #4 I agree with completely. I have a similar body type and post baby, body pump has done more for me in 2 months than 9 straight months of running has.
Beth Quill says
Finally got a chance to read this and I love every single word. Amen sister and keep up the good work.
Now… how do I roast sweet potatoes? JK.
Thanks Beth ????