Letting Your Emotions Control Your Weight

I'm so excited to have Chelsea Hetzel write this guest post for my blog! She is such an inspirational writer that posts on all things motivating, loving & encouraging.....with a little fitness, fashion & travel thrown in the mix :) This girl does it all. Check out her blog inspirationindulgence.com and get ready to find yourself willing to take on the world. Enjoy!

When I was 19 years old, I was eating 500 calories a day.

I was going through a rough time. I had just been dumped, was depressed, had a shitty job, and tried to control the only thing I felt I had a handle on—my weight.

I was never overweight. In fact, one could probably label me “skinny” my entire life. But I never felt “skinny.” I felt like I wasn’t good enough for that douchebag ex or for society in general. So eating a banana for breakfast, half a sandwich and a diet Coke for lunch, and a bag of chips or something sweet for dinner to satisfy the cravings was my diet for that summer. Sometimes I barely ate that. I lost about 10-15 pounds in a few short weeks. I felt like I was always on the verge of passing out at work. I didn’t workout because I didn’t have the energy. The weight lost was solely due to calorie cuts.

A few months later, I gained the weight back because I was eating regularly again. I felt ashamed that I gained the weight back and tried everything I could to lose it again. This was during my major party stage of college, so I was binge drinking heavily three nights a week, and then working out like crazy to try and lose it. I wasn’t eating healthy at all, and I ended up gaining an additional 10 pounds on top of the weight I already gained back. Even though I knew how dangerous it was to limit my calorie intake, I missed how skinny I was during the summer. I missed that feeling of being in control. Again, I wasn’t “fat” by any means, but it was the heaviest I had ever been in my life, and I felt absolutely ashamed of myself. I tried skipping meals to lose it, which ultimately led me to binge eating later.

Fast forward a few years. I am now almost 23 and in a much better place physically and emotionally. I no longer check my scale 10 times a day (yes, I used to check it 10 times a day). I check it about once a week, sometimes only once a month. The scale means nothing to me now, because it is just a number. Instead, I measure my body fat percentages as a way to access my gains. I workout to feel GOOD about myself, not to lose weight. I know that I am not perfect and that I have a lot of work left to do to achieve my fitness goals, but I am not ashamed of the way I look by any means, even on the days that I feel “fat.” (As a lady, we all have these occasional days.)

What brought about all of these positive changes?
I realized that fitness is not all about eating and exercising. I used to have the mentality that obtaining a good body was 70% working out and about 30% eating. I actually could not have been more wrong. Have you ever heard that abs are made in the kitchen? I am not a fitness and nutrition expert by any means, but I truly believe that maintaining good physical shape requires more effort on the nutrition end than the exercise end. And I’m not talking about calorie intake. Hell no. I’m talking about the consumption of veggies, fruits, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. I’m talking about nutrients and vitamins. I’m talking about FUELING YOUR BODY.  

But there is something else missing to the puzzle that I never used to even THINK mattered at all:
Your mental ability. 

Each choice you make affects your body in different ways. You think skipping a workout doesn’t matter? Ask a marathon trainer what happens if you get in this habit and skip a few workouts a week. Mental toughness is crucial to being healthy. Not just having the self-control to eat healthy and to exercise, but to keep your mind HEALTHY and POSITIVE. I failed miserably at my goals because I was not mentally stable. I let my emotions control so many things; my eating, my self-worth, my opinion of myself, and so many things. I was set for destruction. It took me so long to get out of that shithole and start loving myself more. Once I started to love myself more and changed my thoughts, I saw positive changes to my body. I wasn’t afraid to eat so many calories because I knew that the nutrition would do good things to my body. I found myself getting full on veggies, healthy fats, and whole foods. And I found that eating all of these calories a day didn’t make me fat or gain weight.

Positive thoughts are crucial. Your mental ability can make your or break you. YOU have a choice every single day. Treat your body like you would treat your family and friends, with love and respect. Know that it’s okay if you have a bad day with your eating and workouts. Shit happens! Tomorrow is a brand new day. There will always be a fresh start. Focus on tiny goals at a time and watch as those small goals transform into achieving bigger goals.

Thanks for reading!
Love yo self, friends!