Over the past week, I have been thinking more and more about what I want to do on Oh She Glows. I have come to the conclusion that I want to write about the topics that I feel passionate about- body image, self-esteem, eating healthy, finding a balance, motivation- just to name a few.
For example, I think somewhere along the way I started to focus more on the number side of things with my workouts (e.g., distance, calories burned, etc) rather than how working out makes me feel, how it makes you feel, and why we do it.
How do I feel when I enjoy a good hike in the woods or after a run that doesn’t leave me feeling winded? How does it feel to be able to hold a side plank for 20 seconds longer than I used to be able to? Or climb 3 flights of stairs? Or train for my first race when I used to not be able to run more than 1 minute at a time?
And I don’t want this to be the case. I do realize that many of you find the details of workouts to be helpful, and I will continue to post much of the information, but at the same time I also want to focus more on the big picture.
Which brings me to this afternoon’s topic. Last night I was a bit upset about a comment that I got in the survey, I’m not going to lie. I am a sensitive person and things like that do hurt me. However, I take it with a grain of salt because we are all unique and we all have our different opinions. The amount and/or what I eat will not be suitable for everyone. Yes, I do eat a lot, and I am proud of that fact. When you have struggled for years like I did and suffered from low self-worth, low self-esteem, and poor body image, the ability to eat freely is a huge bright spot in my current life.
I don’t try to assume that what I eat will be the same amounts that you will need for yourself. I just show snippets of my own life and what is working for me! I don’t expect you to eat dandelion, green monsters, veggie burgers, or herbal tea. What I do want you to get out of OSG is a way to challenge yourself to change up your current routine and to try new things. Maybe for you that is getting a bike and hitting some roads or trails instead of biking at the gym on a stationary bike. Or maybe it is trying a class at the gym when you have been scared to for the past 5 months. Whatever it is, I hope that this blog will make you think differently about the way you view ‘static’ things in your life.
I received a beautiful email today that I knew I had to share with you all.
I am relatively new to reading your blog, but am loving all the different facets of healthy living you talk about: exercise, eating, cooking, body image and care, attitude, etc.
As someone who follows a few different blogs to get ideas on continuing my own healthy lifestyle, I really appreciate your honesty, especially with eating.
Your post from yesterday, about your snacks, was really good for me to see. I workout every day and try to eat very healthy meals, but sometimes I feel like I must be overeating if I’m hungry for lots of snacks between meals. I feel like I’m always eating (which I don’t mind, but I don’t want to overdo it either). I don’t have any weight to lose, so I’m sure it’s fine (in fact, my boyfriend is constantly telling me to eat more), but seeing your post about snacks helped to reassure myself that it’s okay. My body needs fuel if I want to workout and lead the hectic lifestyle I live (I’m a high school teacher). I eat before I workout every morning (4am), then have a bigger breakfast afterwards (which is at 6:30 am), eat a snack at 9 am to hold me over to lunch at 11:00 am. I then end up eating another two snacks, at least, before dinner, which is usually around 6 pm. Sheesh. Doesn’t that seem like a lot??? Anyways, thanks for grounding me in the fact that if it’s healthy food (which it is!!!), then it’s okay! Sometimes I need that reminder–and I’m sure many other young women need it too. I just needed to take the time to say thanks for being a great role model!
I am so glad that M* emailed me and told me this. I think it can help a lot of people. It is easy to look at food blogs and think ‘Gee I must be eating way too much!’ and then feel down about yourself. I don’t want this to be the case on OSG. That is why I did that post yesterday because I realized that I don’t often talk about the snacks I eat during the day. I eat a lot of food that doesn’t get shown on the blog. Some days I am plain old hungry and when I am hungry I eat. I don’t deprive myself anymore.
In my reply to M*, I said:
It is crazy how women deny themselves with such basic things, isn’t it?
Do you ever hear the men in your life complaining because they eat too many snacks or have too big of an appetite! Not usually! It’s usually something like, ‘Wow look at his appetite! He eats like such a man!’ In fact, I used to feel a bit strange when I would eat more than Eric. And to be honest, many days I do eat more than Eric! Guess what? Eric sits all day at his day job and doesn’t workout. Guess what I do during the day? I exercise almost daily and I am often on my feet baking. Our calorie needs are not the same which is why we shouldn’t compare what we eat to anyone else but ourselves.
I used to deny my hunger for many years. After I began my road to health, I slowly started listening to my body.
You know what I finally realized?
Hunger is NOT a bad thing! If you are truly hungry, you do need to eat. There is no other way around it. I know, it’s not rocket science, but when you deny your true hunger signals for so long it can seem like a foreign concept, right??
This is what now works for me:
When I feel true hunger pains, I eat. There is no denial. Sometimes, it is trickier to discern whether it is true hunger (or whether it is dehydration, tiredness, etc) but for the most part my body does a good job of letting me know when I need some fuel. We need to stop denying ourselves and start listening to ourselves.
Our bodies are amazingly smart machines that are extremely efficient. It’s only when society started to put pressure on women (yes, men too more and more) that we started to have problems with eating disorders, negative body image, and the like.
Do you ever notice that people who don’t diet also don’t binge? My urge to overeat only stopped once I finally gave up calorie counting and denying my body what it needed.
I think if we started listening more and over-analyzing a bit less, we would lead much more content and full lives. Get back to the basics with your health and simplify what you are currently doing.
Your body will thank you for it.
How are you with listening to your body and hunger signals? Are you trying to improve how you listen to your body? Is it difficult for you? What works for you?
See you tonight for a baking recipe + how to!