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One Week Off

June 15, 2016
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Something really weird, but also amazing has started to happen to me and I wanted to take a moment to share what that is with you all.
I’ve shared with you all in the past before that after moving to Utah in February I have been struggling with a binging problem. I am the kind of person that doesn’t typically deal with stress very well and when we moved my life became way more stressful which led me to really struggle in a lot of areas, the main one being that I was constantly excessively overeating almost every single weekend and sometimes weekdays as well. The lack of control over myself is really scary and emotionally hard because it feels like no matter what you try, nothing is working or will ever work. If you are someone that also struggles in this area, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Very quickly after moving I gained 8-10lbs and was feeling super discouraged about this and started to put extra stress on myself to work even harder and longer in my workouts and at the gym to lose the extra weight. And let me clarify something really quick, losing weight has never been an objective of mine, but losing fat and becoming lean and muscular has always been my biggest goal.
Anyways, after completing Whole30 and working super hard in my workouts, I was able to start to finally lean out again and was feeling really great about that, but also super tired of working so hard all the time. Because of my binging problem, I would “overtrain” in my workouts to make up for the excessive eating on the weekends and during the weekdays I would eat a strict amount of calories. When I think about all the energy I put into counting and restricting my calories as well as all the extra time I was spending at the gym, I feel so exhausted, which makes sense because I was so exhausted!
Even thought I felt great about my Whole30 experience, I am also a little sad when I think about it. Since I wasn’t eating any meat, I was basically just eating a ton of vegetables with some fruit, nuts, and seeds for 30 days. It was easy for me to only eat about 800 calories a day and still feel full and satisfied, even though I knew, but was sort of in denial about, I should be eating much more calories per day than that. I was also obsessed with trying to burn over 1200 calories a day and not miss ANY workouts. When I look back at that time, even though I didn’t feel like I was being restrictive and overworking my body with minimal fuel like that, I feel so sad for myself. It is SO easy to get obsessed, restrict calories, work yourself to the bone every day, and think you are so healthy, but really you aren’t. 
Anyways, I went straight from one extreme to the other because as soon as I got on vacation I had decided I wanted to give myself a physical, but more importantly mental break from the crazy obsessed and unhealthy cycle I was putting myself through. I needed to get everything “out of my system” so to speak and just relax and really try not to worry about not exercising and what I was eating or not eating for at least a week. This pretty much just ended up being me hardcore binging for an entire week on all the unhealthy things I wanted. My veganism went out the window with my control as I ate cookies, muffins, ice cream, candy, and a lot of other things, which led me to ultimately gain back the recent fat I had just lost, plus some.
After my week off I decided it was time to give my diet the attention it deserved again and start to eat healthier meals, but also still indulge if I wanted to. Which brings me to the whole point of this post. After eating healthier again for almost a week now, I’ve started to notice something, I no longer have the desire to binge and overeat. At first I didn’t even notice that I was eating a meal and then not eating anything until my next one or until I was hungry again. I’m trying not to focus on it too much, because I don’t want that obsessive behavior to come back, but I just noticed it and wanted to share it with anyone that is also struggling with binging.
When I think about it and why I’m not feeling the desire to binge recently, I realize that as soon as I took the pressure off of myself and got everything out of my system and sort of “reset,” I have been feeling so much less stressed because I’m not having to worry about what I’m eating anymore. When I worry, I obsess, I restrict, I overtrain, and I binge. Over and over. When I take away the worry, I don’t stress, I enjoy what I’m eating while still being healthy 80% of the time, I’m not overeating, I’m not eating because I’m bored, and most importantly, I’m not binging.
Now I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I feel like I’ve finally found what I’ve been trying to regain ever since we moved. I feel like myself again. I feel motivated to get home and to start working out, but in a healthier way like I used to do. This is the feeling I thrived on for months in the beginning of my fitness journey and I am excited to finally be feeling it again. I feel like I can trust myself and the process finally and that the effort I’m making will give me results in time. I feel less impatient and more willing to learn. I feel ready for challenges and for growth in new areas, like weight lifting. And although I am tired from being up all night with a teething toddler, I feel happy and my mind feels clear.
My fitness and health journey has never been about myself, because my goal has always been to share my experiences and what I know with others. If it is working for me, maybe it will work for you and if I can help you with something that you may be struggling with too, then I feel like all the effort I’m making is worth it.
If I had to share one piece of advice with you if you are struggling, I would say take a week off and relax. Take the pressure off of yourself and don’t worry about everything. Reset and restart when you feel ready. I can’t promise that it will help, but there is a possibility that it will and maybe that possibility is worth it.

As always, thanks so much for reading and for your continual support!

Xoxo,
Julia

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