"Do you diet?" "What is your diet?" In general, I get a lot of questions around “diet”.
Let’s take a second to stop and think about this word: DIET
If you looked up the definition of the word diet it reads anything from the food one eats to the typical connotations we have about this word around restriction for weight loss:
I understand both definitions, but at the end of the day, I don’t like it. There is TOO much negative associations to this word, both from a society standpoint and from a personal standpoint. Maybe it’s because the word “die” is in it. Maybe it’s because it’s a word that is used to describe as the only solution for weight loss; you know the one you get on and lose weight, but after you’re done you get off it and gain it all back plus some. Maybe it’s because it’s an invisible chain to the food we eat, much like the invisible chain to the scale many of us are tied to. These invisible chains are the problem. Us wrapping our minds around this word is the problem.
This is one of the reasons why so many of us who are looking to lose weight fail time and time again. How many times have you heard someone (or even yourself) say, “I’m going to get on a diet and lose these last 20 pounds”? Hmmm... “get on a diet”? What percentage would you say you’ve successfully kept it off, or have seen those people keep it off? What do these diets typically look like too? I know all of this too well, and I’m really just posing rhetorical questions here, but I want to get you thinking. I know exactly what that involves, I was guilty of this in the past.
Bellona's Hard-Core Truth
Many people begin restricting calorie and food intake, or focus on eliminating food groups to address the situation, that being to address weight loss. As a person who was formerly obese and rode a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain over years, I’d like to tell you that I’ve said “fuck the scale” before and I’ll say “fuck the diet” as well now. Excuse the language, but Bellona is a warrior that won’t hold back or sugar coat. It’s the hardcore truth I’m giving you here. I wish someone would have told me that years ago. Nevertheless, I broke free of that chain to the scale. I also broke free of the chain to the food I eat, or should I say the restriction of eating. After losing 130 pounds (and no I didn’t lose it thru weight loss surgery or extreme measures, just plain old fashion hard work and eating clean), I will tell you that the quality of the food we eat far outweighs calorie counting or diet techniques. I will tell you that many of us aren’t taught how to eat to nourish our bodies. The grocery stores are loaded in crap; and that the way we think about food is at the core of lifestyle change.
Bellona's Focus on Nutrition
It’s about focusing on whole foods, clean food, foods that are minimally processed, foods that are replenishing your body’s fuel, and foods that you enjoy eating. Yes, there is an awareness of “how much” food you should and shouldn’t consume, but at the end of the day, it’s not about starving yourself. It’s about realizing what crappy food does to your body, and most importantly it’s about realizing that if you change your focus from the foods “I shouldn’t or can’t have” to the foods that “I should and need to eat” there lies your stepping stone to success, to the lifestyle change.
Weight Loss vs Performance Nutrition
I learned how to eat and nourish my body for weight loss and I am learning, currently, how to eat and nourish my body for performance. As an athlete who also happens to be a relatively new vegan, I will tell you that it took me 15 months of working on the mind (not my mouth) and the way I see food to understand it’s not about a diet. It’s about lifestyle, it’s about how I feel when I eat certain foods, it’s about not eating less, but eating more of the foods my body needs, it’s about nutrition, it’s about eating for my goals (once weight loss and now performance).
Focusing on nutrition helps me hit new PRs in the gym (recently 306 lb. back squat, 310 lb. deadlift, and 108 lb. strict press …. I’m so happy about my totals), helps me recover from training, and helps me feel amazing!
Bellona's Final Thoughts - "Lifestyle Nutrition"
So whether you eat vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto – follow the nutrition that supports your needs and supports your lifestyle. Let’s drop the word diet, use the phrase "Lifestyle Nutrition", unless we are going to ask ourselves “Did I Eat That?”! :) .... my answer will be "why, yes I did eat all that food!" lol
Bellona's Army, Let's Rise!
Hi! I’m Bellona! Welcome to Bellona Rising.