Skinny or Lean Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy

I’ve stopped saying, ”I wish I looked like her” and complimenting people on weight loss.

Somehow, someway, people {and society in general} got the idea that being thin and lean should be praised as “HEALTHY” and we should do everything in our power to get there or else we are not worth HEALTH.

Prime example right here:

bodybuilding lean vs healthy

In the picture on the left, I was at my absolute leanest. The photo was taken on the day of my bodybuilding competition. But here lies the problem… for months after that show, I fought so hard to keep my body at this unsustainable weight and look. This led me down the wrong path in the world of health and fitness.

You see, after a show, you need to reset your metabolism back to a HEALTHY set point because your body has been in starvation mode for so long. {This is the same thing that happens when you have been on diet after diet.} Your body doesn’t trust that there will be any more food soon so it will try to store as much body fat as possible in order to protect you from another possible famine. So, you need to essentially feed it back to health.

But… most people don’t do this, including my past self!

The reason I don’t have a picture of me post-show is because if I went a pound over that picture on the left, I felt too fat and not lean enough. This is called #bodydysmorphia and it’s something most of us likely suffer from on some level, but may never realize. Just a couple of pounds above the picture on the left wasn’t good enough. I had to be perfect.

Friends, family, and STRANGERS saw me on the outside and praised me for my lean physique. I mistook this compliment as a value-marker for my self-worth. It didn’t matter that my reproductive system had shut down or that I would stress out TO THE MAX before we went out to eat. It didn’t matter that I hated my body into submission when I looked in the mirror and found cellulite on my thighs. It didn’t matter that my eating disorders came back again. It didn’t matter that my relationship with my husband and boys were failing because I was too tired to go out on a date or play with my kids. BUT, I WAS THE LEANEST I’D EVER BEEN! I was finally “HEALTHY” after years of being overweight!

I know you can’t see me as you read this, but I have a serious eye-roll going.

So remember, when you say “I wish I looked like her,” you have no clue what she is going through underneath. I know so many women who have “perfect bodies” and are undergoing major internal struggles just to be perfect and happy on the outside for everyone else at the expense of their own feelings on the inside.

I sit here today at a much heavier weight than the picture on the left, but I’m the healthiest I have EVER been. 

TRULY.

Because true health encompasses both mental and physical health.

Back then, my obsession over being lean and strong to impress other people trumped my need for health. But after working on myself from the inside out rather than from the outside in, I can safely say that food and my need for perfection are no longer a vice. I have come to peace with the fact that my genetic body structure is not lean. I now embrace my body at its most optimal and sustainable health.

I still work out and eat to nourish and satisfy my body. I drink lots of water, but I also enjoy my favorite Michigan made Austin Brother’s Orange IPA with my hubby. I don’t get anxiety when we go get ice cream at the Dixie Frosty Freeze with our boys anymore. I am finally living my best life and am able to keep any type of food in the house like LA Cafe’s Carrot Cake without feeling an extreme intensity to eat the whole thing.

I now help lead women to their best, most balanced, and sustainable lives without dieting or food rules. Because, who wants to spend the rest of their lives counting and tracking every single thing they eat? The journey begins with self-love and empowerment.

Whether this story hits close to home or just strikes a chord with you, I hope this helps you stop playing the comparison game in your head, because your body shape is the least important thing about you.

My best advice: Stop trying to fit in a size 7 shoe when your foot is a size 9.

 

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Christi and her incredibly supportive hubby live in the Davisburg/Clarkston area. They have two energetic and inexhaustible boys, ages 2 and 4. Even though she loves those little boys with all of her heart, she is incredibly honest in the fact that she is an imperfectly perfect Mom. She frequently uses clicklist in the new White Lake Kroger Marketplace so she doesn't have to take her wild boys into the grocery store and often uses the iPad as a babysitter so she can go pee by herself. Christi is a full-time working mom with a job that doesn't seem like work at all. She is a Non-Diet Nutrition Coach who helps women end their personal war with food and body image struggles. Follow Christi on Instagram with her imperfect journey of Momming and helping women love themselves again.

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