How to stay fit while having a feast

Numerous times, I’ve attempted to get into fitness. To me, it was about looking a certain way. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing countless “perfect bodies” made me lack in personal body confidence. The irony is that I was never aware of this endless scrolling. I would just never look at myself in the mirror or ever think about the way I look in certain clothes.

I realised I didn’t have confidence when it came to my body until it was time to go back home. After a semester of hard work, consisting of eating absolutely anything and spending countless hours just sitting, I would always find myself doing 2-week challenges to look good. I would often restrict myself from certain foods so I could go back home to people telling me I haven’t gained weight.

We all know 2 weeks is not enough.

I didn’t set any new year’s resolutions in 2021. I simply wanted to go with the flow. I then realised, no matter what I do, the days will fly by. It was up to me to make every day count.

It was one of those days of not many goals, when I was scrolling through YouTube, that I saw a video about fitness. There was something about this video that made me watch it, it was the thumbnail consisting of both fitness and a lot of delicious food. Two things that I never thought would go hand in hand. I watched that video with the typical mindset of “fitness and body confidence is a journey”, but this time, something clicked.

 I’m going to link the video here, but in a nutshell, she didn’t believe in diet culture. She didn’t believe in working out to make the body look good. It was the opposite. She ate because she wanted to and she worked out because her body needed it.

I found myself being confused, as a medical student, I know the importance of a healthy body. That is pretty much what I study about on a daily basis. For so long having a healthy body and taking care of my body didn’t fit in the same sentence. In fact, while studying about the human body, I realized that I never really thought about my own body.

For so long, the idea of living a healthy lifestyle to me meant giving up on everything I liked. Fries, fast food, sugar. The toxicity of diet culture had washed over me and it was something I just didn’t want to go near. That video made me realise, trying to be healthy doesn’t mean I can’t eat all those delicious foods.

Being healthy meant that I had to take care of my body. To fuel it with nutrition. To get my heart pumping. It wasn’t about looking a certain way, but it was about taking care of my body and knowing that my body needs it.

It sounds cliché I know. It’s just that this time around whenever I workout I don’t look in the mirror to see if I Look better. Instead, I’m happy and satisfied that I did something for myself.

I stopped weighing myself on this stint of my health journey. It’s not about looking a certain way. My body is amazing and capable of so much. This time around, it is about caring about my body. I’m born with only one and it is about damn time I take good care of the one I have. Do mind though that this does not mean I’m cutting down on food that I love, it just means that I’m going to be more aware. If I feel like chocolate, I will have chocolate.

Yes, fitness and health is a journey. It always is. This might be the initial spark within me speaking about how amazing everything is but it truly feels different from all the other times. Working out never sounded enjoyable, it used to be something I hated but now I’ve found workouts that interest me and if I miss out on a day, the next day I immediately feel like wanting to do something about it.

I hope all of you reading this get encouraged by my little realisation. Let’s take care of our bodies together!

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

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