What I couldn’t do.
You know what I used to not be able to do? Eat an extra almond without feeling guilty about going off my diet (Yes, really. And yes, that is completely absurd.) You know what else I couldn’t do? Order food at the airport when I was hungry because I thought the only truly healthy meal was the steamed veggies and plain chicken I had just eaten out of a ziplock bag from my purse. #thatgirl
It’s not about nutrition.
If we’re just looking at nutrition, my diet was “healthy.” But that didn’t matter, because I could not keep up that lifestyle. It wasn’t for me. I wanted to be healthy, but I didn’t want to end every week exhausted from following all the "rules" of that lifestyle.
At first I thought I was a failure. I thought that something was wrong with me. I thought I wasn’t disciplined enough, or I didn’t want it enough. When I reached my “goal weight” and everyone praised me for how “fit” I was, it honestly made things worse. I caved under the pressure of maintaining that level of “fit” (I put “fit” in quotation marks because if you know my story, you know that I WAS IN NO WAY HEALTHY. I just had abs, so people thought I was healthy. WRONG. You can read more about that here.
We needed more.
As it turns out, my story isn’t all that unique. I’ve met hundreds of women who have also reached their fitness and weight loss goals, only to find themselves still unhappy. Why? Because they are spending all of their time and energy on one aspect of their lives, only to neglect everything else that makes them who they are and makes them happy. (I know, because that was me!) This is one huge reason Ander and I created the Hot & Healthy Habits eCourse (which is now available for pre-sale for newsletter subscribers) to teach women how to reach and maintain a healthy weight without all the unrealistic rules and guilt, and show women a different way. A smarter way. A healthier, "I love my freaking life" way.
My Old Can’t-Do List
I used to have a long list of things I couldn’t do, and I thought that “can’t do” list made me fit. What I now know is that list was making me crazy, and crazy people aren’t going to be truly healthy (mind, body, soul—inside and out) for very long. So I made up a new list—a can-do list—a list of things that I (and you) should be able to do. Of course, I can still get caught up in a made-up list of “can’ts” when it’s crunch time for a photo shoot, when I’m surrounded by other people in the fitness industry, or when I just don’t feel my best one day. But those times are rare, and when they happen, I reach for my can-do list to keep my life balanced (and sane).
My New Check-List
If you ever wonder if you’ve fallen into the diet mindset or developed an unhealthy body image, I recommend looking at this checklist. Chances are you struggle with something on this list—that means you and I are in the same boat. Go through this checklist and start working on the things that you aren't currently able to do. The result will be a happier, healthier, fitter you.
10 THINGS ALL WOMEN SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO
1. Go out to a restaurant and not have a mini anxiety attack when looking at the menu.
2. Go an entire night without wondering what you look like after eating a burrito.
3. Workout because you want to take care of your body, not to punish yourself for eating that burrito.
4. Say yes to happy hour with the co-workers once in a while, without having to calculate if the two drinks fit within your macros.
5. Not care what your legs look like in shorts, or your arms look like in a tank top, especially in 90 degree weather. It’s hot… your skin needs to cool off.
6. Take a picture with your friends to capture a memory. Everyone has a not-so-favorite angle. Not everyone has the opportunity to make memories with friends.
7. Come back from a bachelorette weekend with your girls and realize that your body may be out of whack, but you’re okay with it. #outallnight #memories
8. Go to bed early after a 14-hour work day instead of forcing yourself to go to the gym because someone told you that’s what “dedication” meant.
9. Play in the pool with your kids during a hot summer day because they think you’re superwoman and don’t even notice (or care) about your stretch marks. #tigerstripes
10. Look in the mirror and be proud of the person looking back.
Psst! If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here. You'll be the first to know about new anti-diet research, blog posts, eCourse enrollment dates, events, and more!