It’s Monday…the start of a new week. I thought today I would take my post in a new direction and discuss extreme dieting. This topic is close to my heart, as I have been a victim of its effects emotionally, physically and psychologically. Like so many people out there, I have always struggled with body image. I would look in the mirror, see a ripple of cellulite staring back at me and my heart would sink into the depths of self-hatred and sadness.
We live in a society that has become so vain, influenced by the imagery of media and pop culture: if you’re not skinny or fit your not beautiful. It saddens me to think I ever felt that way about myself and to know I am not the only one. This obsession of being “perfect”, took me beyond eating healthy and exercising and into a place that no person should ever go…extreme fitness competitions.
At the time, I felt excited as my body began to morph into this physique I never thought possible. Once I saw my six-pack, it was over and I was hooked! All my life I wanted a body like those fitness competitors I saw on t.v. and now I finally had it!! One competition led to the desire to do others: the guilt of eating a slice of pizza, threw me into a frenzy of over training at the gym, weighing my food and basically never allowing myself to enjoy the pleasures of life!! I had been emotionally and psychologically effected with the illness of vanity, obsessing over myself and every physical aspect. What I know now is that such extreme dieting, over training, and dehydration for sake of physical appearance, is actually detrimental to my health. I was putting myself at risk for long-term ailments, such as weakened joints, muscle imbalances, kidney damage and cardiac stress. It took a really special person in my life to strike a chord, helping me to realize how far removed I had become, choosing the gym over spending time with family and friends. This was a pivotal point in my personal growth and outlook, taking me from a full-fledged carnivore to a vegetarian, from weight training to functional training and into the person I have become today. I now have a better self-image, a healthier mind and body, while still enjoying all the pleasures of life, in moderation of course! We have all been influenced at one time or another by diets as a quick way to get that body we have always dreamed of. What is important to take away from all of this is, it’s not about dieting, it’s about living a healthy lifestyle that brings you the most enjoyment out of life. Eating a diet, rich in whole foods, coupled with exercise and activities that you enjoy are the foundation of an investment we should all be making into our personal health. Beauty comes from within: the more beautiful you are on the inside, the more beauty you radiate on the outside!
Please check my post on Wednesday when I will walk you through a workout, you can do right in your home using bodyweight and gravity resistance!!