Strong Not Skinny by Hannah Lewis
So this is my first blog post and I've chosen a topic close to my heart.
Constantly I am hearing women talk about a certain weight they want to get down to on the scales and talking about various celebrities and how little they weigh. Of course with the power of social media, we are constantly being shown beautiful women with photoshop and filters covering up blemishes, slimming down waistlines and giving women an almost impossible goal to achieve.
I've included this picture because I want to highlight the fact that the numbers on the scale don't necessarily matter.
In the picture on the left (2010) I weigh 60kg and my body fat percentage was 24%, I remember this time vividly. I had been told that I had to retire from trampolining due to a career ending injury and was in a panic mode that I would put on weight. So my answer was to skip meals, eat only yoghurt for lunch and the only exercise I did was cardio every morning. I ate mostly processed food, 'fat-free' and reduced fat products. I recognize that to many I don't look bad in this photo but my point is that I was unhealthy, I had trouble sleeping, I got sick regularly, my skin was bad and I had such an unhealthy relationship with food and my weight that I couldn't even go out for dinner.
Fast forward to the picture on the right (2017) and I weigh 68kgs, yes 8kg more! My body fat has dramatically decreased to 14% and I'm the healthiest I have ever been. I eat 4 to 5 meals a day, sometimes I struggle to even eat enough! I sleep uninterrupted, my skin, nails, and hair are in amazing condition and my body confidence is at an all-time high. My body has also become my biggest tool and with the sport, I compete in I need to ensure it's well maintained. I feel empowered, I'm not worried if I eat a donut or if I have dessert. In fact, ask anyone who knows me and they know I'm partial to a burger and chips and I often eat the most around the dinner table!
It's about balance, if you deny yourself completely from having certain foods or treats then it's more than likely that you will crash and end up binging. Everything should be in moderation, I still enjoy prosecco now and then but I don't make it a regular occasion, and If I know I'm going to indulge I ensure I workout and eat clean for the rest of the week. You only get one body after all and it's important to look after it.
The most important thing I think about these two pictures is the fact that now I have a much healthier relationship with food and my own body image. I am not focused on what I weigh, in fact, I can't remember the last time I stepped on the scales. Instead, I concentrate on the type of food that I put into my body, I ensure I am giving my body the best fuel that I can. I focus more on my measurements and If I feel my clothes getting tighter or I'm beginning to feel more lethargic, then I know I've over indulged.
Life is too short to be constantly counting calories, to be skipping meals and starving ourselves in order to feel that we fit in or that we are 'Instagram' worthy. If you can create a healthy balance through educating yourself on food and exercise then it doesn't become a diet but a lifestyle change. Of course, I understand some people want targets, they want something to aim towards when losing weight but I encourage you to focus on your measurements and to ditch those scales!
5 Top Tips to creating a healthy self-body image
- Look at what food you are putting inside your body. Try to eat as natural as possible and ditch the processed food.
- Exercise! Got a spare 10 minutes... do some steps ups on the stairs, do a quick Tabata workout. Ditch the car and walk, get moving!
- Embrace what you've been given, don't believe everything that's put on social media. We are all beautiful and unique, be you.
- Ditch your scales!! Instead get out a tape measure.
- Balance- want the cheesecake? then have it but remember to work that bit harder on your next workout.