I despise the word diet. By definition diet is defined as “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. Let me be more specific, I don’t particularly like the modern trends associated with “dieting” and what it does to us personally and as a community. I have been caught up in many of the dieting trends throughout my adulthood, more so as a professional athlete, than just a student making my way around University and normal life. As soon as the words power to weight was thrown around during a meeting with my team owner in 2010, I realised I was about 4 kgs over my “ideal” race weight.
Imagine a 21 year old girl being told that you’re a little bit too heavy? Not any 21 year old girl, but a girl aspiring to be a professional athlete. It was a massive blow to my confidence, but to be honest, I was less sensitive then, than I am now when it comes to being “over weight”. Long story short, in the space of about 4 months, I went from 67kg to about 62 kg. The leaner I got, the more addictive it became. Dieting is an addiction, fed by vanity created by the media shoved down our throats in magazines, bill boards, adverts, movies etc. My weight loss was purely performance related at the beginning, however, as I got leaner and people complimented on “how great I looked”, I became more vain. I admit it, it felt good for someone to tell me how fantastic I looked, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised it is only shallow gratification, which doesn’t have a lasting feeling. Not like the feeling of loving someone, accomplishing a goal, or sharing a special moment with your friends and family. Those are lasting feelings, not looking in the mirror and seeing your veins.
So why was I inspired to write this blog? Because I started a 8 week challenge and on day 3 quit the challenge, when I realised my reasonings behind the challenge were all wrong. My motivation to get “skinnier/leaner” was not a good enough reason to starve myself for 8 weeks to maybe look good for a month. What I realised is that I was falling into yet again one of my many dieting traps. However, this time, I realised I don’t need to diet at all, what I needed was greater life balance.
My life balance hasn’t been awesome for the past few weeks. I’ve been putting making money before everything else to be honest. I was using food as a bit of a crutch, and having mini binges on junk food, telling myself I would start a new diet on “Monday”… needless to say, Monday never came round! I realised that I missed riding with my partner, and using cycling as a social catch up. There’s no need to pump out the kms anymore, which is something I’m trying to wrap my head around. I keep trying to thrash myself when I exercise, thinking “I must burn off lunch”, stupid things like that.
So I have decided in order to start accepting the fact I am 10 kgs heavier than my “race weight”, and that it is ok to have the odd cheat meal here and there. I don’t need to starve myself in the morning before gym thinking about having rock hard abs, and no cellulite on the back of my legs. I’m throwing diet out the window, and replacing it with… well nothing, just eating right, having a good balance, and making sure I ride my bike more!
I have to thank Ridley for inspiring me, and helping me on this journey this year. The team has been so supportive, and have had my back from day one. I look forward to sharing my new adventures with you including…. drum roll…. MTB’ING!!!!! YEWWWWW.
Also read: Ride – pause – think – repeat