Hiiiiiiiii to all you Hummusapien aficionados!
I’m Robyn from The Real Life RD. When Alexis asked me to guest post on her blog, I was like…TWIST MY ARM? So here I am, more excited about being here than I am about coconut milk ice cream. Alexis and I have never met in real life, but between text + phone conversation and some email bantering, I’m pretty confident our online bestieship will turn into a full blown gf obsession when we eat our way through Boston at FNCE this year. It’s going to be the best. You guys are awesome, so thanks a trillion for reading!
Our society is obsessed with diet and exercise.
We are wildy satisfied and take immense pride in eating less and moving more. Magazines are chock full of articles telling you how to get your beach bod in eight weeks, eat this and move like that and boom, six pack abs by May. And although I love the classes and steam room and warm towels at the gym I go to in NYC, their marketing is intense. I can totally see how walking into gyms can turn someone into a calorie counting maniac stuck on a hamster wheel of beauty perfection.
Breakfast // green smoothie with ½ scoop vanilla Vega One, frozen blueberries, almond milk, frozen spinach + 2 slices Ezekiel with cashew butter and banana eaten on my way into clinical
But the truth is, it’s not calories in versus calories out. Just working out more and eating less isn’t this direct route to losing weight – and it’s certainly not this linear way to maintainig a healthy weight. If it were a simple equation, weight loss wouldn’t be that hard. But it’s so not. Most importantly, it’s not about the food….really ever. Never have I sat down and chatted with a woman to find out that it’s really just about what’s she’s putting in her mouth. Food is so intricately woven into our emotions, our spirituality, our social lives, and our overal mental health. The posture of our hearts so directly dictates how we view food and our bodies. So really, it’s never about the food.
And health isn’t about the food either. When I work with clients to restore their menstrual cycle naturally, or to heal metabolism so they stop gaining weight while eating 1,600 calories a day, or help release them from calorie counting so they can eat more and eat freely without worrying about weight gain — my first questions aren’t about what’s going into their mouths.
It’s about their thoughts about food and how they view food.
It’s about how they’re sleeping.
And then about the other stressors in their life – like work, or school, or their marriage, or their parent that’s dying of cancer.
And then it’s about their exercise routine.
And then it’s about the food on their plate.
Talking to women about eating more and educating on how the body works and therefore how much energy their body actually needs to function and the energy it needs to support exercise fills me up – because to see the lightbulbs turn on and women in awe of their body’s capacity to burn energy is awesome, but it should not be this astounding or life changing.
Afternoon snacks // slice of banana bread with coconut butter right around 4pm + jam and a tortilla with mashed avocado and hot sauce an hour so later to hold me over till dinner
But our culture has made it this way. Our culture has shoved 1,200 calorie diets down our throats and made us believe the more you sweat and the more calories you burn, the fitter you’ll be.
And that’s exactly how we’ve wound up here. With so many women struggling to menstruate naturally, yet the only answer they’ve gotten is to take birth control. Or the woman who keeps eating less, but the scale isn’t budging, heck it might even be going up – yet she’s told to eat less. To cut back on calories or watch her fats and stop eating real peanut butter. Or the woman who finds herself uncontrollably binging on carb rich foods at night and wondering why she can’t just stop – maybe nobody told her that her body was just freaking hungry and she needed to eat more during the day. Maybe her binging isn’t just a psychological issue.
Dinner // veg plate from Dig Inn that included some sort of roasted root veggie salad + tofu salad and other goodies eaten with Nick
But there is freedom from it all – because our bodies were designed to burn through energy, and that includes carbs and fats and foods full of nutrients that sustain us like spinach and chia seeds and foods that also bring us pleasure like chocolate and wine and cupcakes.
Seeing women learn to take care of their bodies well and to enjoy food for how it nourishes and also because it tastes good excites me more than anything. It breaks my heart to see women enslaved to food and exericse regimines in fear of gaining weight or to see women in World War III because they’re trying to get healthy and lose weight. It shouldn’t be this hard. Our bodies aren’t our own worst enemy.
We should be getting hunger cues, we should be menstruating naturally, we shouldn’t have constant carb and sugar cravings, and our weight shouldn’t be a ongoing battle to maintain.
There’s freedom in eating enough, in eating carbs, and in eating fats. Less is not more. And there is freedom in exercising in a way that is good for you. More is not more.
night snacks // we walked over to Van Leeuwan’s for the BEST ice cream ever – I went with the cashew based chocolate chip cookie dough in a cone and Nick went with mint chocolate chip
Our bodies are meant to be nourished.
And to thrive,
And to be well.
You don’t have to exercise everyday, eat healthy all the time, and deprive yourself of delicious food and spontaneity to maintain a healthy weight. Let’s throw up the white flag and walk away from the fight.