Throughout my college years I became extremely dedicated to fitness, and I mean to the extreme! Day by day I would read cover to cover magiznes such as Muscle and Fitness for hers and Oxygen eyeing the models and dying to look as good as they looked. I would spend hours in between classes googling meal plans, macros, carb amounts, protein powders, etc. If it was low carb high protein I was 100% dedicated to it.
My gym time consisted of Monday through Saturday with 45 minutes of high impact cardio followed by another 40 minutes of weight, and consuming around 1,500 cals a day of egg whites, tuna, squash, oats, protein powder and very little fat. If a product had sugar in it, it would be nixed. I ate very little fruit and counted every calorie to a tee, measured and weighed.
Was I thin, heck yes I was thin! I still remember one night looking in the mirror after a shower and I could count the bumps on my stomach. Was I healthy, no! I considered myself to be healthy, I was no longer eating huge amounts of food and throwing up several times a week and I was no longer starving myself to just protein bars and shakes all day long. I still, by no means was healthy. Social events were out the window because I would be forced to have a drink, or forced to eat something I did not want to eat and that would set me back so many days. I often asked myself, what was I trying so hard to accomplish...easy to look like the models in the magazines, I wanted to be perfect.
Looking back now, I can see that no matter how perfect you can be, you will always want to strive for more. You can get down to a size two, now you want to be a size 0, you can see your abs...now you want your biceps to pop out. It is a never ending cycle, and when you don't see perfection, you end up depressed and tweaking your life style to make things even more difficult for your body to handle.
It took me years to realize that it is okay not to be perfect, heck I still have to tell myself this several times a day. It is okay to have a little pinch of fat around my abs, it is okay not to see the veins protruding in my arms, it is okay to make it through the day and not need a two hour nap from all my exercise.
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy looking at these magazines, but I have to remind myself to have a healthy mindset when looking at them. Many of these fitness models are paid to look this way, it is their job. Also, they do not look like this 100% of the time. It is not healthy for your body to stay at such a low body fat. Being obsessive about my food has taught me a lot about portion sizes, so much that when I go out to eat I can pretty much now how much I should take by eyeing it. I have learned that just because you order a salad does not mean it is healthier then ordering the grilled chicken sandwich. I have learned that most importantly it is calories in verses calories out, your body will gain weight if you eat an extra 3,000 calories of protein powder or if you eat an extra 3,000 calories of chips.
I actually do enjoy Oxygen and fitness mags because they show girls with more meat on them then most other fitness magazines, approaching a healthier lifestyle of eating right and exercising in moderation. It become unhealthy when you take this lifestyle to the extreme.
Do you ever strive for perfection?
What do you do to help you keep your eating habits and exercise routines in moderation?