“We’re eating turkey and dressing tomorrow.
Head down, legs pumping as fast as they could. Those mountain climbers had nothing on this group. Yet as soon as the words left my lips, I cringed at the sound of them.
“No, Lindsay. NO! You don’t believe it so don’t coach it.”
And it’s true.
I don’t let the corners of food and exercise touch. Like those (odd) people who can’t let the juice from their black beans touch the corn on their plate, I don’t allow my mind to even go to that place where exercising X amount burns off X amount of food. After talking to several recovering ED friends and just women in general, I realize that this is a blessing.
Food and Exercise. Why DO we put these two things together so much??
We say things like:
“I ate this donut so I’m going to run for 50 minutes to burn it off.”
“I want to eat a donut later so I’m going to run for 50 minutes to make a calorie deficit.”
If you want to lose weight, you need to watch your food intake.
If you want to get fit and strong, you need to exercise.
The borders of food and exercise should really only meet when we’re talking about pre and post-workout fueling. That’s it.
When we use exercise as a punishment, pushing as hard as we can, for the food we’ve either eaten or want to eat, we dishonor our bodies.
When we binge on food because we worked out really hard (or maybe twice in a day), we dishonor our bodies.
When we use the phrase “let me burn this off,” we get stuck in this perpetual pattern of feeling shameful about our food choices or approaching exercise with an attitude of punishment. Not good. Not healthy.
I want to tell you right now – there is nothing more JOYFUL than moving your body. It’s a pure blessing! I think once you’ve dealt with an injury or sickness, you immediately recognize the privilege that is MOVEMENT. Same goes with food – fueling your body in a way that promotes digestion, clear skin, energy – that’s a gift you can give yourself. Eating vibrant, energy-giving foods is a way of honoring your body.
To move freely, for fun…for pleasure. That’s the goal.
To eat healthfully. That’s the goal.
Not “calories burned.”
Not all the numbers.
And most definitely not out of guilt or obligation.
(So long story short – don’t let “calories burned” rule your life, don’t let food and exercise touch and keep your black beans separate from your corn.)
QUESTION: Are you stuck in this pattern of exercising to burn off what you ate? Do you count calories?