Why “Eat Less, Move More” is Crap

It sounds so simple, Eat less, move more. Any idiot can do it. So here’s my problem, if it’s this simple, why are there so many educated, intelligent people, still struggling with their weight?

First, a little back story. In the words of Sophia Petrillo, “picture it”, I’m nineteen years old, married, in school, and working at a small hospital. Like most people overwhelmed with the stress of school and work, I put on a little weight. Not a lot, but enough that my clothes were getting tight. img_7595-1So finally one day, I got up the courage to ask one of the dietitians that worked at the hospital, if she had any tips as to what I could do to lose those extra pounds. I figured if anybody knew, she would. Imagine my disgust when she, without even looking up from what she was doing, uttered those four nasty little words, “Eat less, move more.” You don’t say. Insert eye roll.

Now at this time in my life, I had no clue about flexible dieting, macros, or nutrition. However, even then, I distinctly recall having the immediate thought, “what a load of crap.”

Obviously I never asked again, and went on to go through years of the ups and downs of the diet/binge cycle. Thanks for the earth-shattering advice!

It’s Not That Simple

“Eat less, move more” is not the answer. It’s so much more complicated than that. When you hear those words, while they may be true in a very broad sense, they don’t even begin to address the real reasons why we can’t lose weight. Calories in versus calories out is only the tip of the iceberg.

The reason we don’t lose weight isn’t because we don’t know how. It’s pretty common knowledge these days, that to lose body fat, you have to burn more calories than you eat. We don’t have to get all reflective and mushy about the reasons why we gained weight necessarily. For me it was simply apathy and stress. The reason we can’t lose weight, is because we can’t keep our head in the game long enough for habit to take over. We haven’t decided to really commit to doing it.

The “Kinda” Zone

I was forever stuck in the “kinda” zone. I “kinda” need to eat better, I “kinda” need to lose weight, I “kinda” would like to look better. It took me a while of feeling horrible in my body and feeling embarrassed about how much I had let myself go. Finally, I made the choice to change my mindset and do what it took to change my body. img_7596

Our success starts and continues with our mindset. We have to decide that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, there are no deadlines. We need a true lifestyle change in order for this to be sustainable. Even if that means doing what seems like the harder thing, of not just following a diet plan, but learning how to make our own.

We women are unstoppable when we decide. Ask my husband, when I get something in my head, and I decide I want to do it, I’m freaking doing it. I obsess about it until it’s done. I’m sure people would say the same thing about you. We are powerful and capable when we move from “kinda” to actually truly deciding.

We’re More Powerful Than We Think

We’re way more complicated and powerful than “eat less, move more”. All that tells me, is that I’m an idiot for not being able to do this. img_7598Now go starve yourself and run on the treadmill. Both of these things sound horrible to me now, and sounded even worse when I was 100 pounds heavier. A dumbed down answer like that just doesn’t do it for me. If it was that simple, no one would struggle with their weight.

Taking Action

If you can be a sponge, figure out your why, and truly decide that this is something that you want to accomplish, then you can. You can decide that you’re going to figure this out for the last time. Let it be a process. Understand that it will be trial and error. But when the errors happen, you course correct and move on. I have said this before, but I’ll continue saying it, this is all a mental game. It’s not all about “looking better”. My true motivation this time around, has been to just physically feel better. img_7597What has been an unexpected surprise to me, is that while my confidence increased some from looking better, the main reason my confidence increased, was because I set a huge goal, and I accomplished it. I decided I was smarter and more complex than “eat less, move more” made me feel. I decided that I was going to look at this like a calculated, scientific experiment, and that I was going to do what I needed to do mentally, to keep going and see what would happen. I was going to eat and train smarter. So much can change in a year if you keep going. I’m nothing special. My body functions just like everybody else’s. Truly, if I can do this, you can do this. It all starts with your mindset and your decision.

YouTube is My Guru

I have officially categorized myself as a “dabbler”. I’m not sure why, but every few months or so, I get the itch. I have a thought, about how I would like to learn how to do something new, and quickly, I escalate from questioning how, to full-blown obsession. I’m all in, or I don’t care about it at all. I guess this can be a strength or a weakness.

The Parade of Hobbies

One time it was cake decorating. I loved watching baking shows on TV, and Lord knows I love cake! It sounded like the thing for me! I knew nothing about decorating cakes, but I got on YouTube, and looked it up! Viola! I’m decorating cakes, cake pops, cupcakes, you name it. I even took a cake decorating class at Michael’s with my mom, and may have accidentally squirted icing in a lady’s hair. It’s kind of hazy. Until my mom reminds me of it once a year or so, because she thought it was hilarious.

img_7551

Next, it was knitting. I thought, if I can learn this cake decorating stuff on YouTube, I bet there are videos about knitting too. It seemed like it would be relaxing. Before long, I was knitting up a storm, and channeling my inner Grandma.

img_7550

Naturally, the next step after knitting, was quilting. Why you ask? Your guess is as good as mine!

img_7549

All I know is, I have a kitchen full of cake decorating supplies, a tote bag full of yarn and needles, and a sewing machine collecting dust in my laundry room cabinet. I get the urge to learn something new, and watch out YouTube, momma needs a new hobby!

Using My Obsessive Personality For Good

You Get the point. I am a firm believer, that if there’s something that you’re interested in learning how to do, you can learn it on YouTube. From cake decorating, to breastfeeding, to flexible dieting. Trust me, it’s on the Tube.

I had heard of flexible dieting before, years ago, and even had a friend make me a meal plan to try it out. But soon after starting to date my husband, I basically just said screw it and went wild with fast food, when and wherever I felt like it. That’s what you do when you’re falling in love I guess. Haha.

When we started dating, I was hovering around 160 pounds. A year later, after we had were married and decided to have a baby, I had ballooned up to 225, and when my youngest little angel was born, I was tipping the scales at 247 big ones.

So after I delivered Tyson, and life settled down a bit, I decided it was time to get my postpartum booty in gear. I started making small changes here and there. Dropping weight slowly, while still trying to breastfeed.

I dabbled (because I’m a dabbler), in different eating styles, and even tried to do the vegan thing for a couple of months after watching too many food documentaries on Netflix. Which is hilarious to me now, knowing how much meat and cheese I eat on a daily basis.

Finally, I decided to do the thing that may not be the easiest, but what I knew would work the best for me long term, if I could figure out how to do it for myself. I knew this was a methodical way of eating that people in the fitness industry had been using for decades. I had just been putting off learning it because it seemed so complicated. So many numbers and calculations.

Who did I turn to? Ol’ Faithful, the Tube. I binge watched so much YouTube, scouring the inter webs for flexible dieting info.

Not Just a Hobby

Here I am, 107 pounds lighter, the lightest I’ve ever been in my adult life. I’ve learned how to eat, how to get my mindset right around weight loss, and I’ve found a gym routine that I love and crave doing. I finally found a “hobby” that I love and have stuck with for way longer than any other, which in itself is still mind-blowing to me. You don’t have to buy anything to learn. I learned by investing my time. While the baby was taking a nap, after the kids went to sleep at night, I was a sponge, soaking up everything I could find about flexible dieting, and later about strength training.img_7048

Maybe most importantly, I didn’t learn everything about flexible dieting before I started implementing it. It was a learning process. I took “messy action”, refining and tweaking my macros and my meals as I learned and figured out what worked best for me and my body. Invest in yourself, and your knowledge. It can seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll be doing so much for yourself in the long-term, than any pill or fad diet could do in the short-term.

What in the World is Flexible Dieting?

Oh man. The things we put ourselves through to lose weight. I feel like we’ve all been guilty of wanting the quick fix. That instant gratification of taking a pill, drinking a tea, or getting a shot, and magically our body fat melts off and we see that weight drop consistently day after day.

The problem is, these things we do to ourselves, even if they work in the short term, don’t last. We get to the end of the challenge, end of the program, or end of the bottle, and we don’t know what to do next. So we just slowly go back to doing what we know. We eat whatever, and do whatever, until we feel so crappy that we’re searching around like crazy looking for the next miracle. And there we are, back in the cycle. I know this, because I’ve done exactly this. Over, and over, and over.

img_7399
Size 20 to Size 6

So after the birth of my second son, Tyson, I knew I had to do something. I was 247 pounds when he was born, and on my 5’5” frame, it was quickly taking a toll on me. I was overweight, I had a newborn who didn’t sleep through the night, I was breastfeeding, pumping, and working full time. All while taking care of the other three men of the house. I was exhausted. I felt like complete crap. I had created this life that I couldn’t keep up with, I believe, because of what I had done to my body. I had lost a significant amount of weight before, so I knew what it felt like to be a “normal” body weight. And then I gained it all back, plus a few extra. I knew to feel better, I had to get back to that.

I knew it was going to take a while, but having lost and gained back a significant amount of weight before and blowing it, I was going to make sure this time that I put in the work to never have to do it again. I wanted to learn how to eat, realistically. I didn’t want my success resting on anything except my knowledge, the foods I ate, and my hard work. I absolutely refused to spend anymore money on fads, gimmicks, or pills. I wanted to do it in what I considered to be the real way, no shortcuts.

So here’s where flexible dieting comes in. First it’s important to know that while it is called flexible dieting, it’s not a diet. This is a method. A method of teaching yourself how to eat a balanced diet. Eating the correct ratio of proteins, fats, and carbs to meet your body composition goals. This method works if you’re trying to lose body fat, gain muscle, or just maintain your weight. It’s not a meal plan, it teaches you how to create your own meal plan.img_6931 It teaches you how to realistically eat to change your body, and to not feel deprived in the process. It can seem overwhelming at first, especially when we’re all so used to the instant gratification of someone giving us an exact list of do’s and don’ts. I promise though, if you take a breath, invest in your knowledge, and figure this out, you’ll be so grateful you did. You don’t have to know everything about it day 1! This is a learning process! Take messy action and just get the ball rolling. My Fitness Pal is a great place to start figuring out what makes up a food.

Cheat meals are included! For my purposes though I would rather refer to them as mental sanity meals. Haha. I’m not “cheating”, because those meals are part of the plan, not a slip from it. There are scientific reasons for the MSM too, but the big reason for them, for me personally, is just to have a mental break. Having the “will power” to keep this going, is a lot easier when you break it up into chunks. 3 days on plan, 1 MSM, 2 more days on plan, 1 MSM. You get it? It’s not “falling off the wagon” if they’re part of the plan. Just go back to eating that meal prepped food the next day.

I get told a lot, “I wish I had your will power”. Will power is a lot easier when it’s a few days at a time, and you’re working in your favorite foods as part of the plan. I don’t feel like I have a ton of will power. I just learned a system that doesn’t make me feel deprived while still giving me the results I want. And it didn’t cost me a penny! Please feel free to follow me on Instagram @mommytracksmacros where I post daily motivation and tips about flexible dieting and what it takes to stay in the weight loss mindset. img_7711

img_0345

 

Mommy Fell Into the Wormhole

4697B7C6-BDB3-4CD7-B3F1-58B3DC747827        Hello! Welcome!! Phew, my very first blog. This is a big deal. Anyone who knows me personally knows me, knows that I’m not really one for sharing feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I will talk your ear off if you catch me in the right mood, on the right subject. As far as sharing my deep thoughts and feelings though, I usually keep it to myself.

Over the past year and a half or so, I have managed to completely change my lifestyle. I was never really “in shape”, or what I would consider “naturally thin”. However, after the birth of my second son in June 2016, I knew I was going to have to lose weight, and I was going to have to do it the right way this time.

I, like most people, have lost and gained weight so many times, trying so many quick fixes. From Weight Watchers to injecting myself everyday with HCG, I have tried so many things. This time, I didn’t want to have to rely on any plan, any pill, or any device. I wanted to figure this out, without hanging my success on the efficacy of a product or medication. I needed to rely on me, and my knowledge to figure this out.

So I dove deep! Holy crap. I dove straight into the wormhole of YouTube. I binge watched YouTube like most people binge watch HGTV. I wanted to learn every possible thing I could learn about nutrition and flexible dieting. By no means am I an expert, but by investing in my knowledge, I have managed to lose 107 pounds, naturally, through flexible dieting. I truly feel like I’ve finally found the lifestyle change that all those thin, beautiful fitness people are always ranting and raving about. And I love it. Never did I think I’d see the day where I craved the gym. If I can get from where I was, to where I am now. I really feel like anybody can.

While I was in the process of losing weight, I really didn’t talk about it a lot. I was focused, I had a goal, and I knew that goal was going to take a long time. It was a process. Of course people noticed I was losing weight eventually. But it really wasn’t until they saw the longevity and the perceived “discipline” that I had, and that I was still consistently losing weight 6 months, 8 months, a year later, that the questions really started picking up.

People wanted to know how I was doing it, what plan, what pill, what shake. You would not believe the looks I got when I said the word “macros” 😂. Although I feel like flexible dieting is pretty commonly talked about online these days, there are still a lot of people that have no clue what you’re talking about. But when you try to explain that it’s basically eating a balanced diet, that somehow seems even more strange and like a bunch of crap.
I truly want to be able to explain my process, my mindset, and the things that got me from point A to point B. But holy crap it’s hard to do in one brief little conversation or text or (as I’m learning), instagram post. Dang you character limit!!

I recently started an Instagram @mommytracksmacros to try and shed some light on this for people I know that were interested and had questions. Something I could make public, without it being mixed in with pictures of my kids eating spaghetti or playing baseball.
Good lord though. As soon as I actually started wrangling my thoughts and actually trying explain and talk about it, I quickly realized how complicated and complex this issue is. This is not something where I can just say eat this, don’t eat that. Do this in the gym, this many times a week. There is so much more to it than that. Once I started making posts and trying to explain, after keeping it to myself for a year and a half, I could not for the life of me shut up about it. Instagram character limits are my worst nightmare. I just have so many thoughts! 🤣

So that is the purpose of this blog, and maybe one day a podcast, who the heck knows. Where I can actually sit down, get my thoughts out, and talk to you as a friend about how to actually create lifestyle change for the every man, or probably in this case the every woman💪🏼 haha. I hope that I can help you get your head around this, and show you that it is possible, and that you don’t have spend a fortune on gimmicky fads and extreme measures to create the ever illusive “lifestyle change”. Take a deep breathe, eventually you might even love it. Maybe you won’t just meal prep and work out because you think you have to, but because you love the way it makes you feel to take care of yourself and feel strong. Things could get weird, but here we go! 💪🏼🙌🏻