I remember the days when I first started working out and I JUST DIDN'T GET IT. I didn't understand or want to believe that the majority of the changes that I wanted to see in my body were actually going to be a result of my nutritional choices and my mindset rather than the exercise that I was doing.
When I started learning about nutrition I actually started exercising less and seeing more results. You see, initially I was doing lots of exercise and I was REALLY hungry.. I mean initially after working out I wasn't that hungry (for some exercise may act as an appetite suppressant for a while) which is when I should have been eating but later on I was REALLY hungry! When the hunger struck I ended up eating all that I could and then some, completely negating any benefit of the exercise that I was doing. I wasn't making wise nutritional choices, I was choosing crappy CARBS because I was craving quick energy and the low nutritional value of my choices left me even hungrier! It was a vicious cycle and I was OWNED by food... I was literally hungry all the time and was choosing all of the wrong things, FOOD OWNED ME! I remember when we'd go out to eat that I could polish off 3 dinner rolls before even getting my meal. These poor nutritional decisions were causing me to lose my willpower and my confidence and I was tired and felt like I had no self control. I started to get injured from the sheer amount of exercise that I was doing and my poor nutritional choices were not helping me to recover or to ever feel satiated.
Now I'm not saying that you don't need to exercise as weight training literally changed my shape and even at 40 I am happy to report that my glutes are better than they've ever been. When I start to get uncomfortable with my body these days I know that it's not that I need to add extra training sessions, it's that I need to start to pay more attention to what it going in my mouth (both food and beverages!) and the portion sizes of the things that pass my lips.
My mindset shift came from the confidence gained through each choice to nourish my body instead of just randomly scarfing down whatever I was craving. It came from working towards the realization that food does not and cannot control me, realizing that I have the power in me to choose what is best for me. This doesn't mean that I don't ever indulge, because I do. When I do, I do it without guilt as I have built up the confidence to know that I can get back to the healthy habits that have become such a part of my life. I am always practicing and working with my clients to be more mindful, to tap into what's really going on inside when we eat as everyone has an emotional connection to food in some way or another. The realization that we hold the power to change our lives is key to our success in all areas of life. Just like Dorothy and her ruby slippers, we always have the power, we just have to build the confidence to use it.