Body image is something people who are in the fitness industry tend to often struggle with. It can be as simple as not being happy with the progress you have made and thinking it is very slow coming or can be as extreme as body dysmorphia, anorexia, and bulimia that can take a huge toll on our bodies. As you progress through your fitness journey, it is important to remember that despite all the Instagram and other social media fitness models, you should only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. Some of those fitness models have unrealistic amounts of time to spend in the gym and on certain meal plans that cannot be followed by a traditional person with a 9-5 job. So when you scroll Instagram and begin down the road of “I wish I had his/her _____” quit that self talk and realize you are on your own journey at your own timeline. And that is perfectly normal.
From my nutrition degree at the University of Arizona, we have been studying the idea of disordered eating that is something commonly seen and comes in all forms. It begins with eating clean and can soon become an obsession of “good foods” and “bad foods” that cause incredible limitations. These limitations leave you feeling guilty if you consume a “bad food” on your list and can lead to an obsession. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, disordered eating is defined as a range of irregular eating behaviors that may or may not warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder. True healthy eating is being mindful of what you are consuming, what is on your plate, and how it makes you feel, but not allowing it to control your behavior in all aspects of eating.
Now am I telling you that those of you who eat clean regularly have disordered eating or an eating disorder? Absolutely not. But what should be noted is that it is totally okay to eat that bowl of ice cream or that doughnut. Treating yourself to something you enjoy is important. And you should be happy every step of your fitness journey. Life is too short to be unhappy with yourself and obsess over it. Eat what makes you feel good, spend some time exercising, and enjoy your journey. So please love yourself!