The most bullshit piece of advice I’ve ever gotten around nutrition was “it’s just a simple matter of calories in, calories out!” It was my OBGYN in 2012, and I had gained about 15 lbs while on the Depo-Provera birth control shot.
Knowing less than I do now about what affects my body, I took what she said and went with it. I started eating 1500 calories a day – STRICTLY – and really upping the intensity of my workouts. And I gained 10 more lbs.
I’ve since learned that a bajillion things affect my weight, and the large majority of them are not a “simple” calories in, calories out. Stress and hormones are two really big things, as is the quality of food we eat – 1500 calories worth of packaged, “low-fat, low-calorie!” food will kill you, promise. But perhaps the most significant and hardest to fix? Alignment.
I’m gonna get a bit woo-woo here, bear with me.
I gained the most weight in my life after I had left college, been turned down from my dream next step, the Peace Corps (through a fluke in my medical review), and begrudgingly accepted a path in life I just did not want. I shut down. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t doing what I felt called to do, and – while I was going through all the motions of health, my heart just wasn’t in it.
And my body knew it. I wasn’t taking care of my heart and my soul, so how could my body feel like I was taking care of it?
Eventually getting rid of the 50 pounds I had gained during that time took a lot of effort around figuring out what foods my body wasn’t working well with and honing in on autoimmune health and anti-inflammatory methods. But what was TRULY key was getting back into alignment with who I was meant to be.
I struggle a lot still – I think I’m usually fairly transparent about that. But I know that I’m still heading in the right direction when my body is responding as such. When my mind, spirit, heart, and body are working together is when I’m at my mentally and physically healthiest – it’s all connected.
You can’t take care of one part of you – especially just the surface – and think that the rest of you is going to be okay.