Going Glutton Free
Glutton: an excessively greedy eater
Synonyms: gourmand, overeater, big eater, gorger, gobbler
Yep...My eating habits once were synonymous with a gobbler. Let me paint the picture of a couple real life scenarios for you:
1) Husband and I decide we are going to order pizza for dinner. Obviously we get the deal that comes with two pizzas so we each have our own....we will have some for lunch we say. We crush the pizzas. Cinnamon sugar covered dessert for an extra $2...sure I'll fit that in there as well.
2) Movie night in our household. Can't watch a movie without snacks. Chips...mmm. Well for the price of the little bag I could get two big bags for $3. Those big bags are half air anyways. We each get our own fave kind of chips. Said family size bag of chips...crushed. Fingers covered in chip seasoning. Lick off said seasoning.
3) Gets ice cream thats really just "Modified milk ingredients, sugar, glucose, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan and artificial flavour."??? Tummy is upset after bite four...5 minutes later scraping the bottom of said container. Should have got the bigger size.
Sound familiar at all?
Personally I don't think these situations are unique to myself and I have no shame to admit it. Food relationships are complicated from the get go.
Think about it. Every milestone in your life. Happy occasions and even through the rough times...We reward ourselves with food to elevate our mood.
Birthday? Have a cake. Funeral? Skip flowers send cookies. Bridal Shower? Cake Pops. Showed up to work on Monday? Muffins and Cupcakes.
No wonder this behaviour so quickly translates into us thinking the idea of a great night is throwing on a onesie...binge watching til our eyes hurt while mindlessly shoving food in our face that provides zero nutritional value and we weren't even hungry in the first place.
You aren't alone.
I used to get excited for said nights. Especially if they could happen as a party of one. Husband away or has gone to bed early. Excellent...I can silently savour every crunchy bite or whatever the delicacy de jour was.
I was a glutton.
Since starting my fitness transformation I've come to understand food in a way I never have before. I study menus and realize at a restaurant the majority of items often exceed what should be my daily caloric intake. I look at portion sizes and know a dinner plate filled with food is ludicrous. I think of 'all you can eat' and now ask...why is that a thing?
I look at those items not in judgement toward others. A once in a while moment like this is fine. However, feeding ourselves like that in a repetitive manner is a recipe for health issues in the future. I'm not an ingredient snob by any means, but I'm certainly a lot more cautious over food that I can't read a single ingredient of.
Now I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Training for a competition with a tried and tested method that would often be referred to as bro science. My nutrition plan consists of very clean basic ingredients. Everything is measured to the ounce or gram.
This can equally become a disaster because it once again complicates the relationship with food. If you obsess and do that so long you can end up in a mindset that you don't even know how to properly fuel your body when your competition life is done. You can build a fear over consuming something not in the plan.
I can't say what this transition will be like for me for sure after September, but I hope I'll be as ok as I think I will be. My Coach will put me on a reverse diet where I slowly transition into what my maintenance calories should be. Staying stage lean year round. Not healthy.
I started competing in bikini fitness mainly because I already loved the gym. I spent countless hours there because its a way I actually enjoy spending my free time. No...I didn't drink an excessive amount of pre workout magic koolaid that manipulated my brain into typing that. I genuinely love the feeling of lifting in the gym. Quite honestly as time has gone on I actually enjoy cranking my music and doing my cardio sessions. However, not in the length required this close to competition.
It's never really been about an obsession over a particular physique I wanted. Do I love the results? Yes. But I never saw anything "wrong" with myself to begin with when it came to looking in the mirror.
For me its about feeling strong. Watching my lifts get bigger and bigger. Being able to do a proper pushup. Pull ups! I started with assisted and now have no problems all on my own. It's been about the discipline. Knowing that I can enjoy "cheat meals"...but not in the gluttonous fashion I used to know. I understand that food is what fuels my body. What goes in is ultimately going to determine how well my body functions. I've used the example before, but it is the best one. Would you fuel your car with sawdust and crap? How well would it run. Would you expect it to travel the distance? Of course not...fill it with premium and its ultimately going to run at a premium. Your body is the same.
Overall I think most of us have a complicated relationship with food. However, in the age of social media and technology we have more information at our finger tips then ever before. You have to do what is right for you. I've been prepping and for me its not mentally waring to eat my lean ground turkey and veggies. I find it tasty and my meal prep simplifies an aspect of my life. I love that. For someone else that same experience would be torture. If it is...don't do it. You need to find what fits your life. You need to have moments of that glutton like enjoyment, but don't make it your source of entertainment.
I fell into that for a period of my life and I know I didn't feel well. I napped all the time. My energy levels were so low and my productivity was poor. I also don't miss it.
Learn about what fuels you. Try new things. Build a relationship with food you love and your body will love too.