I’ve been alluding to this all year with my many posts on getting fit and staying active, but today, I’m just gonna say it…out loud. I’ve gained 20 plus pounds in the last year or so while on a healthy, whole foods. (Whole foods as in limited processed foods, not the grocery).
Before I go any further, I just want to say, I don’t blame my weight gain entirely on these foods. I still believe that a properly balanced whole foods diet is a big part of staying healthy. My problem was with the ‘balanced’ part of the equation.
When I started eating whole foods, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot. I’d been pretty restrictive for about a hear and a half while I tried to lose weight but I always knew I couldn’t sustain that kind of diet in the long run. So I did some research and decided to focus more on eating whole foods and less on counting calories and removing entire food groups (read: carbs).
At first, it was the answer to all my prayers. I had my food freedom again, but in a way that was still healthy. I started off small, by reintroducing some foods I had cut from my diet e.g. potatoes, pasta, rice etc. And eventually, I started adding snacks and treats back into my diet, limited to things I made using whole foods and healthier ingredients.
This was around summer of 2014 when I believe I was at my healthiest, both physically and mentally.
Then the weight gain began:
After that summer, 2 things happened in quick succession that I believe led to my ‘downfall’.
- I moved and stopped going to the gym as often as I used to. I also stayed indoors (and in bed) more as fall approached and it got colder
- I started sharing more recipes on the blog and all of a sudden had tonnes and tonnes of baked goods lying around with only me to eat them. Obviously, I ate them.
The first one, while worrying, wasn’t exactly a surprise. Clearly, if I wasn’t working out, I couldn’t expect to maintain the same weight and physique. That’s a no-brainer. I was just too lazy to do anything about it at the time.
The real problem, however, was with the plethora of healthy foods I was eating. Sounds like an oxymoron right? But hear me out.
Somewhere along the way, I started buying into the misconception that I could eat anything I wanted as long as it was healthy or whole foods based. Serving sized ceased to matter because everything I was eating was OMG so healthy.
- An entire avocado with breakfast, lunch and dinner? No prob, cuz #healthyfats
- A whole batch of chocolate granola for breakfast? That’s cool cuz I made it myself and the chocolate is vegan
- Pancakes for dinner every night? Of course, cuz I used coconut oil instead of butter and real maple syrup instead of Aunt Jemima’s
Looking back, it’s clear that I went from counting calories to believing that the calories in healthy foods didn’t count at all. I did a total 180 but my new mindset wasn’t really any healthier.
I started to balloon really quickly after that but it still took me a while to figure out what the problem was. I was so determined to break the stereotypes about healthy people being restrictive or healthy food tasting bad that I lost sight of what healthy eating really was. All things in moderation.
Couple that with my lack of exercise or any real physical activity and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
So here I am, one year later having finally admitted that there’s a problem. Now I just need to figure out how to get back to where I want to be.
What about you?
No questions but I’d love to hear your thoughts, whatever they are.
p.s. I’ll be sharing more about my journey over the next few weeks, so don’t forget to subscribe so you can stay up-to-date.