Your Body

“Healthy” And “Skinny” Are Not The Same Thing

By January 3, 2016 0

The other day, I was looking through old pictures on my laptop, which usually either makes me really nostalgic or really scared that I documented some of the dumb shit we used to do. My intention wasn’t necessarily to reminisce….I was digging deep for a meme from The Office that I knew I had saved and I just had to cut it out and tape it on the wall by my front door to get a few laughs from those that passed. Obviously, it was a meme of Dwight Schrute.

In the depths of my computer are endless pictures of me when I was tiny. When I say tiny ,I mean I easily slipped into a pair of size 24 jeans without having to do a jump-squat, and I practically lived in cropped tops. I spent my entire summers walking around in bathing suits and only putting a shirt on if it was necessary, like to eat in a public place. Because let’s face it, I’ll do anything to eat. And to drink.

As I scrolled through the photos, I thought to myself “God! To be that skinny again, what was I doing so right?!”

But then I remembered that back then, I was doing it all wrong:

I smoked like a chimney and drank like a bartender (partially forgivable, because I was a bartender). If I wasn’t nauseous and hungover when I woke up in the morning, I was starving,  so I’d light a cigarette to keep the hunger at bay If I felt like I really, really needed some nourishment I grabbed an Ensure shake, like the 85 year old woman that I am. I avoided food all day long and would eat dinner when I got to work. Chicken and vegetables. Then I would come home trashed and binge on anything I could get my hands on. Unless my friends and I had popped an Adderall to get through the 12+ vodka shots we took behind the bar during an average shift – then, I came home and chain-smoked cigarettes while emailing strangers about inspired I was by their Etsy site selling hand-knit sweaters for cats. No time for food when you’re on a roll giving gratitude to the beautiful people of this beautiful world.

I may have looked like I had the perfect body, but it was crying and dying on the inside. I was studying for my bachelor’s in Nutrition and Food Science, but I wasn’t practicing anything that I preached. I barely even drank a glass of water —Diet Coke ran through my veins.

So, just to recap: it was a cycle of smoking, drinking, starving, and binging on shit.

Not. Healthy.

I got to a point in my life where everything needed to change. After years of living like a slob my soul needed to be cleansed and put back together. I wanted to filter my body of toxicities – from food, people, drugs, beauty products, all of it. I was in a position that I could afford to buy all of my food from organic, sustainably sourced sellers and companies, but if you cannot I strongly urge you to check out the dirty dozen list of produce and choose to always buy these items organic. Also look for the non-GMO Project Verified Label as well on your packaged foods. Foremost, I learned how to eat breakfast, balance my macros on a plant based diet (carbs are not the enemy!), eat when I’m hungry, drink an obsessive amount of water, and quit the cigs.

So it wasn’t that hard to quit smoking. I smoked for 8 years – like full on smoker. I planned my day around smoke breaks, so I filled those voids with food. When I had a craving, I found myself in the fridge eating Baby Bell cheeses. When they say you gain 10 pounds when you quit, they aren’t kidding. I gained 15. Those size 24 J Brand’s became a fixture on the back shelf of my closet. I felt like shit getting dressed in the morning. But my body felt amazing! I could walk up a flight of stairs and breathe. I started running again, got into yoga and barre (Oh. My. God. If you haven’t tried a barre class you need to find one. It makes you want to yell horrible things at your instructor while simultaneously watching yourself look awesomely strong in the mirror). Between being physically active and eating a nutrient rich, balanced diet the extra weight I gained came off. My pants fit again! And I’m physically in the best shape of my life. If I had to run from zombies, I’d be pushing my old self down as bait – she wouldn’t stand a chance.

We all have that friend – eats 4 mozzarella sticks for dinner with a body like a rail. When I saw the world through Victoria-Secret-model-colored glasses I thought that was OK. It’s horrendous. Our bodies are machines that will conquer through anything except death. But why not maximize its potential? Why not eat a mainly plant based diet to reduce the stress we put on our environment? I personally think, (aka I know) that I will live a much longer, healthier, stronger, enjoyable life than the chick eating a couple of nachos for a meal. And my body will thank me for it. You are what you eat is one of the most real statements. Along with never say never. I’ll never be one of those people that wakes up early to go to the gym. Well here I am, 7:30 am and I just got back from kickboxing. Happy Friday!