I am a Type-A, rule following, perfectionistic woman with a secret I don’t like to share. It’s the kind of secret that ALWAYS earns me a collective groan and dramatic eye-roll from my girlfriends. My secret? Diets aren’t actually hard for me. In fact, diets make me feel like I really have my life together.
Only eat oatmeal for breakfast? Got it.
No starches after 3 o'clock? I'm on it.
Drink protein powder right after I strength train? Done.
The problem comes when I start to think long-term and outside of my normal routine. What if I want to have pancakes for breakfast? What if I want quinoa with my dinner? What if I don't have any protein powder on hand? What if I’m going on vacation to New York, and I want to eat pizza and cheesecake?
I start to panic because I am such a black-or-white, all-or-nothing, I'm-doing-this-100%-or-I'm-not-doing-it-at-all type of person. And when I can't follow all the rules, all the time, I suddenly feel lost. I lose sight of what is healthy for my body, and I start to believe that if I don't follow a set of rules, then I will rapidly gain weight and outgrow all of my clothes.
It’s a terrible confession, and one I have come to realize has had a terrible effect on my body. Diets are certain, they are fast, and they require little to no work in the area of getting to know yourself and what works best for your body. Those are also some of the very same reasons that diets are incredibly ineffective in helping me lose weight and keep it off for any length of time.
Trust me, I would much rather follow a strict diet plan for 30 days and have a body I love (for a few months). But the truth is, I've found that dieting all the time has made it difficult for me to develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.
And then I started the Hot & Healthy Habits eCourse. (Can I get a hell yeah?!!!) I thought not being on a diet was going to be sooooo easy! How awesome! No diet! I can eat what I want and still look and feel great! Right? Well let me tell you, developing habits is hard work (I'm struggling through the process right beside you!!). It’s not one-size-fits all, and it’s messy, and it’s hard! (Wait, did I already say it’s hard?) But I've already seen where it's worth it, and I'm not even done. While it's a struggle, it's also thrilling and simultaneously a humongous relief.
I’m not going to lie. NOT DIETING is hard for me. But I am learning to let go of rules and be able to have pizza night with girlfriends and not let it throw me for a loop. It’s crazy to think I can do that and still be able to wake-up the next morning, go for a run, eat my balanced breakfast, and live my life. But I can.
So when you see me preaching #OMGNeverDietAgain, it's not because I've nailed it. It's because I'm slowly and messily walking through the process, and I can't think of anything else more worthy of the struggle. It's worth it. You’re worth it.
Lauren Hubbard, CPT
Exercise Science graduate, running enthusiast, and soon-to-be physical therapy student at Duke University, Lauren is obsessed with all things movement. Lauren’s biggest motivation for exercising is to be able to do the things she loves without hesitation, whether that be hiking in Spain, hitting up a local yoga class, or running a few miles with a friend. Whip smart and loads of fun, Lauren loves exploring new cities, creating new recipes, and making new friends!
Connect with Lauren on Instagram here!