A few years ago, if you would have asked me what fitness meant to me, I would have told you fitness was life.
Simple as that; eat clean, train mean, and all that other bullshit Instagram feeds us.
For almost two years, I survived on the cleanest diet I could eat, and it mostly included kale.
Lots, and lots, and lots of kale.
For two years, not a single French fry passed my mouth, and I didn’t ever skip a workout.
I would join my friends for dinner and not eat a single thing. I would just sit there and watch.
I wasn’t even tempted.
I could only think about how those foods weren’t doing anything for my body and my goals, and I stuck to my strict regimen of kale and squats without a clue at how fucked up my life was.
And it was very fucked.
I would refuse to see my friends if I “needed” to work out, I would refuse to eat with them, and I would wonder why they didn’t do the same.
I remember thinking “if you want this, you better work for it.” This phrase was engrained in my head for almost two years, and while I lost a lot of weight in that time, and seemingly crushed my goals, I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, and my body.
I was healthy in the physical aspect of the word, but I was by no means all good upstairs.
I was not at the lowest point I would get to (that would come a year later), but I was heading there fast.
After I hit my lowest, I struggled to get back up but I eventually did.
And while I struggled, I was able to find balance. At first, balance felt like I was betraying everything I stood for. Eating French fries was not eating clean and skipping a workout was not training mean.
There was so much dissonance.
It took me a while, but I began to look at fitness completely differently. If fitness really was life, then why should a missed workout or a “dirty” meal define my entire life?
I love exercising and I love healthy eating so much that I plan to keep doing them for as long as I possibly can. There is no weight goal. The only goal is to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
I have had abs before, I have had perfect macros daily, and I have seen my ass at it’s best.
However, when I had all that, I was the most miserable. I was a slave to my regimen, calories, and grams.
I stopped wishing I looked exactly like the fit girls on Instagram and stopped referring to them as “goals.”
I have by no means let myself go, but I have definitely let myself be happier with my body than ever before and can maintain a life outside of Tupperware and the gym.
My life is made up of family, friends, my career, hanging out with my dog, books, and a million other things that make me who I am.
Fitness isn’t my life, but it’s a part of it.
So go ahead and eat that second slice of pizza because life is too damn short.