Food and My Love/Hate Battle for "The Bod".
I love food. I don’t think anyone is surprised by this. If you follow me on Insta I’m constantly taking pics at happy hour or writing love letters to carbs. (Roses are Red, Violets are blue. PIZZA.) But in reality, food and I have a v complicated relationship.
When I was kid, I couldn't gain weight to save my life. I was a super skinny girl, the kind other girls would look at in the hallway and say "Eww look at your bony hip popping out. You are SO skinny." but they'd say it in a way where it definitely wasn't a compliment. And the sad part is, that girl was probably saying it because she also felt insecure about her body. Ugh. Why do we do this? I remember in high school shoving spoon fulls of peanut butter in my mouth just to try to gain weight. But nothing worked. I was a teeny tiny human being.
And then I went to college. Ha! And like many people that freshman 15 hit hard (Or in my case the freshman 28!!!) I came home that summer and began my first experience with crash dieting. I got my calories WAY down, worked out like a fiend and seriously restricted myself. And I had great results. I don't think I ever got back down to that 99 lb high school senior but I felt skinny again, aka like myself again.
And side note about this part of the story: Sometimes even when you're tying to compliment someone on their weight, it can really hurt their feelings. A member of my family who will remain unnamed (because I love them and they definitely would NEVER want to hurt me) told the story at all these family parties about how I came home from college and was fat for the first time and how proud they were of me when I became really disciplined and lost all the weight. They were trying to be nice but what they didn't realize is that weight that I was at when I was "really fat" my freshman year of college? That's the number my body naturally regulates to now as a woman. SO me, walking around at 128 lbs, feels "really fat". Thanks. 😏 I know that person meant well, but I did carry that around for years. And I did finally confront that person while they were telling that story and I said "Hey that's what I weigh literally right now at this moment, so that kinda makes me feel like you must think I'm really fat right now?" Haven't heard that story since!
Anyway, since then I have lived that never skinny enough life. I've tried just about every diet possible. Vegan, 5 hour body, paleo, weight watchers, juice cleanses, keto, you name it. And honestly, now that I'm looking back, I've had success on most of them. But after a few weeks or best case scenario a few months, my weight would slowly start creeping back up and next thing I know it's time to start the newest craved diet. And the vicious cycle starts again!
So let's talk about my industry for a sec. We all know it's tough. There is a certain look, a certain weight we are expected to be. I've been told by people high up at my record label that "bigger women are the exception to the rule and have to be even more talented." Gross. I even had a friend who's trainer was obligated to send her measurements to her record label once a week to keep her in line. Just freaking ridiculous. Let me promise you that no one is sending male country artist's measurements back to their label, I don't care if they're Luke Bryan or Chris Stapleton, it's not happening. But that's neither here nor there. This is a blog focusing on being real, vulnerable but also being loving and full of positivity. So I'm going to choose to not dwell on the industry side of this convo.
So here's where I am now. This past fall I had WONDERFUL results on Keto. I got the skinniest the fastest and easiest of any diet I've ever been on. It seemed like my body really reacted well to a high fat low carb diet. I lost about 15 pounds pretty quickly and felt better than I had in a long time. But as the months went on the weight started to creep back on. In full disclosure I'm not sure whether this is because my body adapted to keto and wasn't being tricked anymore or if I slowly started cheating more and more until I was just eating whatever I wanted. I tried to get stricter, but it just didn't work like it had initially.
Last month, when I was still trying to stay keto and it wasn't really working I realized something. My body was talking to me. Actually it was screaming at me. What was it saying? It was saying PLEASE FEED ME COLD FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. I was craving them so badly. And then giving myself a string cheese and saying "Shut up you. Too many carbs in that, eat your cheese and be quiet." Hmmmmm.... Maybe it was the fact that it was summertime, maybe I was depleted of something, who knows. But I decided to listen. And for month I let myself eat what my body was telling me it wanted. Now that doesn't mean I ate pizza everyday. I think I had a gluten free vegan pizza 3 times and a real pizza once. But if I wanted quinoa, or a big bowl of berries I ate it. If I wanted a sweet potato, I ate it. I kept some of the rules I had learned in keto. For example, I'm never going to crave a banana enough to eat the 27 grams of carbs or whatever it is. I'd rather put that towards some pizza. But within reason I let myself eat whatever I wanted. However I cut out almost all dairy in an effort to clear up my skin. I did eat a TON of ghee though.
As far as working out, I try to hit a hot yoga class 2-3 times a week. And something new I'm doing is fitting in a few long walks during the week as well. Turns out being out in the sunshine is SO good for me too. I swear I'm the happiest right after a long morning walk than any other time of the day!
And at the end of the month I felt good. Did I lose a ton of weight? Not sure. I haven't weighed myself. My clothes are fitting pretty well though and my skin is way clearer. Oooops did you think this was a blog post where I was gonna give you all my weight lose answers? Sorry! Don't have ANY of those. Just wanted to be open and real with you guys on that. At the end of the day we are all so beautiful and different with beautiful and different bodies that all have their own perfect little system that is perfect for them. And I'm still trying to figure that out. In my adult life I've weighed 140 lbs and I've weighed 112 lbs. If I can stay somewhere in the middle I'm pretty happy.
I'm not sure how to handle the struggle of LOVING food as much as I do and severely restricting what I eat. I love enjoying food and trying new things and being adventurous with my eating. I experiece so much through food! And I love wine and fancy cocktails! Will I be on a diet for the rest of my life? I don't know. Probably. And that's a little depressing. But as long as I'm listening to my body and checking in and exercising regularly then I'm ok with that. Would I like Carrie Underwood's legs? Sure. Is my worth as a person dependent on having Carrie Underwood's legs? HELL NO. Does having a six pack make me a better songwriter, friend, daughter, sister, dog mama? Nope. Not even a little. But being conscious of what I put into my body and eating/living pretty clean so that I can be around for a long time and love my people well does. So that's what I'm choosing to focus on.
Disclaimer: this is my story. Yes, I've struggled and yes I work in an industry that puts unfair expectations of women, but IT COULD BE SO MUCH WORSE. There are people out there struggling and fighting their asses of to lose hundreds of lbs. There are people with medical conditions that make it extremely hard to lose weight. If that's you, I say I love you and you can do anything you put your mind to and your weight doesn't define you. Your heart does. But please don't think that I think my journey of putting on and losing 20 lbs is anything close to what others with bigger issues face. It's not. This is simply my true story and I'm choosing to share it with you guys. I am so thankful for a strong healthy body and that's not something I will ever take for granted.
So this is where I am right now: As of this week I'm back on Keto. I'm going to try it for a week and see if I get those same results I did in the beginning. If I do I'll probably stay on it a few weeks and then try some carb cycling. If it doesn't, I think I'm just going to stick on the mindful eating and keep up the hot yoga. What about you guys? Do you have any tips or tricks to help yourself stay healthy and positive? I'd love to hear them!
All my 💖,