Thomasville Times Enterprise

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February 8, 2014

Every bite is making a choice toward a healthier you

I recently began my preparation for my NPC competitions coming up this summer. For those of you unfamiliar, I compete via this popular organization in a division of bodybuilding called bikini. It’s like a classy cross between beauty pageants and actual bodybuilding. It’s something that requires a lot of focus year round and I take it very seriously. 

With that being said, as I’m sitting here writing this, I have Chick-Fil-A digesting in my stomach. No, it’s not on my diet plan, but, oddly enough, I feel somewhat proud of myself for eating the grilled chicken combo meal with water, and the sauce that came with it. It could have been much worse and, years ago it would have been; but I’ve been attempting to practice the dying art of balance — of fitting your diet in with your life and the emotional eating that may or may not come with it.

I had a specific on-plan meal packed and ready to go. In fact, it’s sitting here in the cooler next to me: turkey filet, roasted broccoli and pistachios. I even took a picture and posted it to Instagram and Facebook while I was cooking it. I was in a fabulous mood despite being financially stressed lately. I recently got paid and was on my way to the grocery store to buy all of the things we’ve been making do without. Don’t ask me why, but being able to pay for all of these things at once really excites me. Anyway, I reached into my bag to get the cash I had recently set aside for this and … bam .. it’s gone. Not gone as in I must have misplaced it, but gone as in, “I keep great track of my things (especially my money) and someone else must have found it.” The memories of getting my expensive pro-level posing suit stolen in the middle of my contest prep last year came flooding back … along with those same emotional feelings of betrayal and, finally, extreme hunger (more like cravings, I guess, but it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes); like I-want-ice-cream-and cheeseburgers-kind-of-hunger. I’m on a time crunch, I need groceries, most of my check I worked so hard for last week is gone. A cheat meal would make me so happy, or would it?

Because I have experience with emotional eating, I was able to conjure of the feelings of near immediate regret after binge eating in similar situations. I knew I’d only be swapping out one problem for another.

Luckily, my other half was able to pick up my slack and offer some money for the store. On my way to see him at work, I made the decision I needed to eat something, but not something I would regret. Chick-fil-a was the perfect compromise for me.

As life will have it, I still haven’t been to the store or prepped any of my food for the coming days. My next free moment will be this evening at about 8:30 to even begin this process. By that time, I will be hungry and ill prepared, but I promise not to use that as an excuse to throw in the towel for the entire day. I know that every single bite I take is making a choice toward a healthier me, or just the opposite. I will never again make the mistake of an all-or-nothing approach as I know every little bit counts. I certainly will not give up on my goals and what I’ve worked so hard for. From here, I’m using my best judgment to make the healthiest choices within reason and I’m moving past it. I may be up late tonight prepping food, but I’ll be doing it with a smile on my face and healthy optimism in my step. 

Although I’m not typically so personal in my column, I’m sharing my experience with hopes that it might inspire others to make sensible choices and not ruin an entire day (or more) of eating because of one bump in the road, however significant.

We are all human, and reaching fitness goals — especially following a specific diet — is hard work for anyone and everyone. Don’t give up.

Amanda May is a Factor X Fitness personal trainer. Reach her at AmandaMayFit@Gmail.com and Instagram.com/AmandaMayFit.

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