Beating the Fad Diets
I thought that because I was interested in food, I knew my shit, but in reality I was following those fad diets. I love working with, and shooting, raw ingredients; give me the choice between buying a pre-made pie to use in my work, or dragging some unwilling participant around every market stall and supermarket aisle hunting for an exact specific spice or extract, and I will don my walking boots and ignore your whining better than your mum at the supermarket. Every. Single. Time.
My Relationship with Food
I always thought this meant I knew about food….but it turned out I was just a girl who really likes cake, and my interest was actually leading to an unhealthy diet and relationship with it. I realised this relationship was something I had been yo-yoing and grappling with for many, many years….and the food was winning.
So I tried restrictions, denying myself certain things I loved, and constant dieting. I’ve tried them all… Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Dopamine and Low Fat. And they all worked! For a period of time, that is, but I got bored and disillusioned, or realised I was shoe-horning some-one else’s lifestyle into my own. Once I fell off that horse, I was back to square one and to my old ways.
Knowledge is key!
So I have tried a different tact this time. More recently I’ve expanded my knowledge exponentially around how the body works, how exercise works, and what nutrients are, and more importantly, are not. I am now trying to channel all that into the content I put into TPT – because my work really is a reflection of who I am, and if my photography can grow alongside my learning, it is going to help me make some real, sustainable, long-term changes.
Don’t get me wrong I still love cake, especially lemon drizzle, but I now know how to enjoy it without a negative impact, and I’ve finally realised the importance of exercise over quick fix diets.
The commercial diets all stem from the same principals, and until you really dig down into it, you don’t notice. You get swept up in eating ten fat free yoghurts a week because they’re “free”, and treating yourself to something unhealthy each day because you have an allowance left. The cycle continues until you fall off, or don’t, but ultimately it all depends on your lifestyle.
Three things helped change my approach, and made me realise how I can adapt my diet to my lifestyle and stick to it. The first was Adam’s thought process of ‘anything counts as exercise’. If you’re moving, it’s helping. I never realised how many squats you can do whilst washing a car, or how lifting two 18kg buckets of water at once from the kitchen to the drive is building your strength. I use the “Other” Workout option on my watch to track it and it soon mounts up!
The second was being constantly impressed by Imogen, and my competitive nature wanting to push myself to meet her level of fitness and strength. This girl could flash a boulder problem that I would only get half way up and when we’re doing something together, it’s sometimes hard for me not to be able to keep up with her.
Worlds Fittest Book
The third was Ross Edgley’s Worlds Fittest Book. Before buying this book I’d only ever owned cookbooks linked to healthy eating with the odd workout here and there, but this is different. It’s like a textbook of the basics of fitness, losing weight, getting strong and everything in between. I was so engrossed in learning I even bought the audiobook to listen to in the car.
So what have I learnt so far…
- The book taught me the importance of calorie counting and calorie deficits to lose weight.
- It reminded me about eccentric and concentric contractions in exercise (remember those from biology lessons in school? Who knew that would come in handy one day?)
- I didn’t have enough protein in my diet (hello Protein Works Brownies).
- It reiterated Adam’s theory about anything can be exercise.
- I can one day be challenging Immy on some complicated Boulder problems.
- It taught me that I can eat cake and still have a healthy lifestyle! Yes! Cake!
- The book brought everything together.
I’m at the very start of grasping this and I’m so excited what it can lead to! Hey, there may be the odd healthy lifestyle recipe popping up on TPT every now and again.