Excuse this huge ramble, but I feel like we need to be talking about this.
In the past ten years I have put my body through hell. Since I was 13 I have been dieting, exercising too much and binge eating. I knew nothing about nutrition – all I knew was that I HAD to be skinny. I am sure this was a standard feeling of most (all) girls my age, and it is something that I still carry with me today. I can remember being in year 9 and not eating breakfast, then having a bottle of coke and coming home to eat a big bowl of noodles. In my mind because I hadn’t eaten all day this was totally okay, even though I probably consumed a ton of calories that had no nutritional value. As I got older I switched to starving myself some days and only eating dinner, then going for huge walks in the evenings as exercise. The thing was, I never really lost weight. Because I knew so little about nutrition I was focused on eating as little as possible regardless of what that food was made of. My body must have been lacking protein, iron and all those other goodies and it showed. I was often sick with a cold or something, and I was really unfit.
This stayed with me until University when I did the whole, gaining weight in your first year due to drinking and eating way to much. Then I joined a gym and started to eat a little better. Believe it or not I was 19 when I started eating breakfast every day.
While my fitness went up and I lost a little weight, I still knew nothing about food. I would eat so much junk food and drink a lot of wine, then just get up and go to the gym to counteract it. Not to mention I was burning off all these calories but not re-fuling my body with things like protein – my poor muscles! This cycle pretty much continued until I eventually moved overseas to Korea.
It was here that I found the food blogging world. It began by coming across http://www.aliensdayout.com which is an amazing website written by a vegan in Seoul. I started reading it to get some ideas on what to eat in Korea, and this lead to a bunch of different food blogs which changed my world. It sounds lame I know, but reading blogs such as http://www.neverhomemaker.com, http://www.healthyhappylife.com and http://www.katheats.com made me realize how powerful my body could be. These ladies work out, cook delicious meals and they eat a lot! Finally I was learning about how to fuel my body for both everyday life and when working out. I was inspired to start running and I really began to focus on adding foods into my diet rather than taking them out. For the first time in my life I was happy to be eating heaps because I knew how food could help my body.
That was two years ago, and today in Zumba as I watched my terribly uncoordinated body dance in the mirror, I noticed some new muscles in my legs. And I felt incredibly proud! It bums me out that it took me ten years to learn about nutrition and to feel happy with my body. But as I look online at different blogs and at my friends facebook pages I am realizing that a lot of girls now are starting to look at their bodies as powerhouses, not as sticks. Strong seems to have become the new sexy and I think that is damn awesome.
Most girls have no idea how to eat properly, and being told that you need to eat more to be healthy is an almost frightening concept to us. I want women to feel empowered by what they can do rather than trying to be as thin as they can. I have spent way to much of my life worrying about what I am eating and stressing over things like going out for dinner because I don’t know how many calories will be in the meal I order. Women now are starting to make a change for the better and we need to encourage it and each other! Let’s focus on being strong, sexy ladies who ooze confidence and love who they are.