Persistence, Not Perfection.
I have anxiety. Really bad anxiety, actually. Couple that with depression and you have a really gnarly cocktail of brain imbalances that can lead to a whole plethora of problems. When I was in college, I mitigated my anxiety by spending 2-3 hours in the gym. Mostly running on the treadmill. It was an okay outlet, but I still struggled internally for a lot of years.
Fast forward to when I got married. I gained about 25 pounds because I just didn't have time to workout with transitioning to working full time, buying a house and raising two fur babies. I started to slip in to this awful and punishing cycle where I'd try to eat healthy, get overwhelmed because I didn't know where to start, get frustrated, quit, eat my feelings, and then feel gross and guilty. I was stuck in a loop of frustration and self pity. I didn't know where to go, or where to start to feel better.
Any mental health journey is a tough one. And it's different for everyone. I started mine with medication that helped clear my head. And then I walked into a CrossFit gym one evening after almost psyching myself out. CrossFit was and still is a massive positive influence for my mental health. I started to notice a few small changes as months went by; my shoulders started getting more solid. I had quads for the first time in my life. But progress was slow, and I was hungry for more.
So I researched. And I found macros. And I was scared out of my damn mind. It was so confusing! What are these categories?? How do I track them?? What is a carb??? ( I knew what a carb was cause #allthebread, but I legitimately didn't know vegetables were a carb until I started counting macros. I know. No judging.)
I really struggled at first. I would hit my fat way before my protein, and didn't know how to balance out my meals without eating the same thing every day. I didn't want to branch out for fear of going over on all my categories, so I ate chicken, sweet potatoes and oatmeal for a few weeks.
But I got tired of that crap real fast. There had to be a better way. I see all of these people on Pinterest making these amazing meals that are somehow macro friendly?? How?
This is the point I'm getting to. Macros are a process.
You aren't going to be amazing at it after a few days. I'm still not amazing at it! It's something I have to practice every. single. day. There are days I totally blow my macros. Sometimes one graham cracker becomes the entire sleeve. Sometimes I just need to eat some freaking ice cream because you know what? It's been a really hard day. And I always used to feel guilty after those slip ups.
"I ruined my diet." "I can't stay consistent at anything. This is never going to work"
are things I said to myself all the time after those bumps in the road. And then one day I just decided that when I woke up every morning, it was a fresh day and I was going to try as hard as I could to make THAT ONE DAY the best I possibly could.
The thing with macros is it's a lifestyle change. This isn't some fad diet we're all doing for 6 weeks to get the best results and then we'll all go back to our old ways. We are literally changing how we view food and world around us. We're learning about proper intake. We're learning about our bodies preferences and the kinds of fuel it likes the best. We're learning how to create combinations of those foods that are convenient and tasty! That's a lot of information and a lot of learning to do. We can't put pressure on ourselves to be perfect at it every day. We would all go crazy.
There will be bad days. There will be days we feel like everything is crashing down and macros are the last thing on our minds. There will also be really good days, too. Christmas, birthdays. Special date nights to our favorite hole in the wall restaurant where no nutrition information is available. Please, PLEASE enjoy those nights. Mental health days are JUST as important as anything else. Don't over stress if you can't find the nutrition information. Don't bring your scale to a birthday party (or on vacation!) Persistence is more important than perfection.
You are human. You are going to have ups and downs. The path to success is never a straight line. But you know what matters more than any of that? The fact that you're here. And the fact that you're trying.