Do You Spit Or Swallow?
Sounds a bit personal I know.
But these are the sorts of questions that greatly affect your health, your social life, your thoughts throughout the day, the way you think about your body, about food and about.
My whole life I have been a swallower, and for a short period of time forgot how important that was…
It all began with a hungry me, sitting in a lab at Uni daydreaming about something other than the cold white fish and spinach that was waiting for me in the Tupperware container after class that my coach ordered me to eat, at exactly 2.5 hour intervals apart, or else I would never reach my goal, he preached.
I obediently followed his orders, setting little alarms on my phone at 2.5-hour intervals to remind me of another fish and spinach meal.
So I found myself eating handful after handful of savoury biscuits. BBQ Shapes to be exact.
Shoveling them into my face like an animal as I drove home from my lab class. Stopping to chew more gracefully as I stopped the car at red lights just in case someone peered into my window and saw me going at it like a starving shark on a feeding frenzy.
I had a look on my face like a naughty child who just stole a cookie from the kitchen without being caught. This was the perfect crime. I found a way to cheat the system.
I found a way to eat an entire box of shapes and not have to pay the price on the scales the next morning or the price of guilt and self-hatred and hours of punishment on the treadmill in the next coming few days.
But how exactly you are asking. If I’m eating an entire box of shapes….. how could I possibly be avoiding all the consequences?
Once a swallower, now a spitter.
I removed the shiny tin foil bag of BBQ heaven from its brightly decorated box. I would use the cardboard box as my ‘spitting bin’ once I chewed all that I could.
Disgusting - I know. It’s not something I’m proud of or something I continue doing to this day.
I now have mended my relationship with food and am proud to announce:
I am once again, a swallower!
I eat mindfully and I eat according to my daily macronutrient targets. I eat a range of wholesome food and reserve a small percentage of my calories (mainly from carbohydrates) to less micronutrient dense foods such as ice cream, Milo, and the occasional Tim Tam.
Side note: has anyone tried coconut Tim Tams ?! 10/10 YUUUUUMM
Not only am I at my goal weight and maintaining it comfortably, but I enjoy the food I eat and I do so without the guesswork and guilt. I have the energy to kick butt at the gym instead of dragging myself around to simply maintain strength. My memory, concentration, mood, sleep and overall health far superior to my white fish and spinach days. I am in control of my own food types and I no longer obsess about my next meal and spend my days distracted from my tasks and other goals because of constant hunger pangs. I don’t avoid social events anymore and I realise that food is not my enemy and I reward my self with workouts, not punish myself.
Nowadays my head is filled with memories of my most recent holiday, of my boyfriend's hugs and the book I just read, instead of a clouded head and tired body from being chronically underfed. I no longer have a one track mind on food, on my next meal of fish and spinach that I will eat while I pretend its something else.
Learning about food through flexible dieting saved me from a life of hunger and restriction. Both in the physical, but also the emotional and social sense too.
Counting my macros means I no longer have to spit.
It means I am the boss of my life.
I take control of what I want to do. What I want to eat. When I want to eat it.
I eat within my macro targets. It is strict but not restrictive.
I love my life now. It still has its imperfections and speed bumps but is no longer unnecessarily complicated with invalid and out-dated nutritional protocols.
Never again will I blindingly trust someone without looking at ‘the whys’ and thescience. In the words of Layne Norton, ‘Saying that flexible dieting doesn’t work for you is like saying gravity doesn’t work for you’.
It’s a universal law and it saved me from a life of hunger, spitting, and isolation.
Here’s to you flexible dieting, you sexy beast you!
Diet Smart. Not Hard.