According to The Fitness Industry, I have failed and I need to “get back on track.”
Three years ago I was prescribing very heavily to the “Fitspo ideal”; by that I mean:
- I was tracking calories & macros
- I had a somewhat defined six pack - it wasn’t **fully** there, but it was kinda there
- I had a very low body fat percentage,
- I was over exercising - 2-3 times a day
...I was what Instagram would dictate is the modern-day picture of “health”….very lean, low body fat percentage, on Keto.
Living my “best life.”
However, I couldn’t have been further from it.
In reality, I was:
- Chronically hungry because I was eating about 1200kcal a day (the recommended daily amount for a toddler)
- I was over exercising (as well as and under eating)
- I was chronically constipated because, little do they tell you, that’s a side effect of the Keto diet. (As well as bad breath, watch out for that!)
- I had no menstrual cycle whatsoever
- I had a very short fuse because that’s what happens when you don’t eat enough and you are constantly hungry!
- I was taking SSRI’s which are a form of antidepressants...Again, something that is not readily spoken about is that when you mess around with your diet so extremely it can lead to hormone imbalances, which can have an effect on your serotonin levels.
However, this was me trying to be the “picture of health” as it is displayed on Instagram thanks to Diet Culture and the Fitness Industry.
Fast forward 3 years and Instagram would tell me I have failed because I have lost my six pack due to no longer tracking calories & macros and I am no longer on Keto.
But what I have lost in aesthetics I have gained in health; I now go to the bathroom more often (yay!), I have somewhat of a menstrual cycle (although this can take a bit longer to come back to normality), I am no longer constantly hungry therefore I’m not as irritable - that’s a win for everyone right there - and, arguably most importantly, I am no longer taking my antidepressants.
So whilst the internet, Diet Culture & the Fitness Industry would tell me that I need to “get back on track” because I have lost my six pack and I have put on weight, I can tell you that my mental wellbeing outweighs any aesthetic attributes making me stronger than I have ever been before.