Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Strength training changed my life in the most positive way possible. I was never enforced with positive eating habits, until it was made clear to me how my body started to reflect my mindset.
Growing up, I was never on a consistent eating schedule, as my parents got caught up in their own lives often, sometimes going days without eating from being so picky! My dad believed if I was hungry, I'd find a solution. He wasn't wrong, however this carried very unhealthy eating patterns growing up. I always found myself struggling for balance and consistency. I landed myself in a pretty unhealthy relationship, that lead to loads of junk food consumption, and a huge lack of nutrition, so when I left that relationship, I made HUGE changes to my life.
I did the 'master cleanse' which consisted of 12 days of just water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It CHANGED MY LIFE. I immediately joined the gym after this cleanse and began my fitness journey! It began with weeks of cardio hill climbing on a treadmill in a women's only facility, until I started feeling 'weak', as I was having dreams that I was looking for strength but had nothing to exert. I saw a posting in the gym for a 'Boot camp' style class 3 times a week, so I joined immediately and found the weights.
Back to never finding consistency in my eating, I would find myself having 200 calorie days some days and oftentimes running off fuel which I'm not sure where it was coming from.
When I found the gym, this started to become much more clear to me.
In order to grow, build and maintain muscle, I would HAVE TO EAT! So this started to really keep me on track. I would tell myself that, if I wanted to have a good workout tomorrow, I would need to find consistency in my eating in order to maximize my abilities to perform. I started learning new eating patterns, practicing balance and really recognizing how my body uses food for fuel.
I started this journey being 5’11 at 165lbs@30% body fat, power lifted my way to 190lbs@25% body fat, then dropped as low as 133lbs@19% body fat, and have since been able to build and maintain a steady very healthy 160lbs@17% body fat. - As you can probably notice, when I started getting into strength training, I gained so much muscle and weight, I had never felt stronger! I quickly then started spiralling downwards, back to horrible eating patterns, and bad habits, and dropped 57 pounds in 6 months! I felt my body waste away to nothing. I felt weak minded and I felt that weakness was projecting through my body and I couldn't live like that ever again.
I started with a VERY boring bodybuilding meal plan to teach me constancy. I got into the habit of eating 3-5 BALANCED meals a day. Some days this would result in vomiting, as it felt like so much food to get down. This really started showing me the importance of fuel to my daily workout, now training with proper nutritional macros, however a very plain diet of chicken, rice, oats and hot sauce!!... Basically.
However when this would get boring, and I would revert back to old horrible eating patterns, they would last NO longer than 12 hours, as I'm so committed to that fuel for my workout tomorrow, and repair for my workout today! I would just look for calories to maintain my energy, also not a great habit, but getting further. This allowed me to maintain consistency, and correct long term habits of going long periods without fuel. I was able to build myself back up, to maintain a healthy body, to reflect my new healthy mindset.
So in the most complicated way possible, I've learnt that our body REQUIRES fuel for not only performance, but also for a healthy balanced life, and I make every effort to eat mindfully with balance in every choice, never forgetting the important or allowing my laziness, or stubborn attitude take over.
I do believe strength training will always be a huge part of my daily routine, however even in times of travel for months on end in counties where strength training wasn't as accessible as it is here in Canada, I always was mindful from what I learnt, and practiced consistent mindful balanced eating because I remember how easy and horrible it was to step back into bad habits. I choose feeling my best self each day, and those choices reflect through our daily habits and eating patterns.
Check out what the carnivore diet taught me!