Weight... the number that haunts us.

Let's talk about weight. The number that seems to haunt us even though it has NO relation to how we feel. The tiny thing that only has meaning if we give it meaning.

I've struggled with that number for my entire life. It took me getting down to my lowest weight (a very unhealthy number), losing friendships, turning into an introvert and hitting a road block in my fitness growth to realize that restriction is the WRONG path. Everyone around me preaches that "strong is the new skinny" and so that became my motto. BUT did it really? It made sense to me that strength was more important than being skinny but we've been conditioned that skinny is what gains you popularity. I may have agreed with the thought process behind strong not skinny but it never really resonated with me until recently. 

One day it hit me that I was so utterly unhappy with my body and I couldn't figure out why. I was "skinny" and people kept telling me I looked great... but I didn't FEEL great. I felt like sh*t to be honest. Why do we always want more or to be more like other people? I looked at those around me wishing for their body types instead of mine. Even when I got down to my "goal weight" of 125lbs, I kept wanting to weigh less so I kept restricting. I was eating 1,200 calories and working out 2+ hours a day. I thought burning calories and doing cardio was the only way to look good so it became an obsession. I would add weight lifting here and there, but I would restrict my diet even more on those days because I thought that cardio was the only way to stay skinny. THIS WAS MY LIFE FOR 8+ MONTHS. It was horrendous. 

One day, I snapped. I realized I had hit my rock bottom and was exhausted. My body couldn't physically take the lack of nutrients and excess exercise I was forcing it to partake in. I turned to my boyfriend and told him I never wanted to feel this way again. He agreed that things had gotten out of hand and I made a decision to find balance. No, that doesn't mean the next day I was perfectly happy and healthy. It meant hard work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Forcing myself to take rest days, to delete my calorie counting app and to allow my body to eat when it needed fuel but not worry about the calories involved. I kept hearing from food bloggers with six-packs and tiny waists that "listening to your body" was the only way to find balance. It felt impossible because I truly didn't understand what my body needed or how to pay attention to what I was craving. It started out small by just being more aware of when I felt hungry or if it was just boredom. I started eating more slowly and really enjoying the foods I put into my body instead of waiting until I was starved to stuff my face. I turned to eating just wholesome ingredients and foods that would fuel me with the good stuff and stopped caring about my waist size. I stopped working out twice a day and created a schedule that consists of some cardio and some weight training. And when I'm tired... I don't workout. Small steps really made a big difference.

Now, four months later... I'M HAPPY! I take it day by day with no calorie counting, no punishment for eating too much and staying balanced in my workout routine. I'm finally "LISTENING TO MY BODY" and  seeing incredible results. I feel strong, healthy and like a better version of Austin to share with the world. If you are in a negative space when it comes to food and weight, talk to someone... don't let it take over your life like it did mine.