Muscle doesn’t grow out of thin air!

One of my biggest struggles and challenges throughout my fitness journey has been making sure that I am eating enough. (I know, I know, you are probably rolling your eyes and wanting to punch me in the face, but read up because there’s a big chance that YOU might be doing the same!)

When I first met with a trainer back in February 2010, I was appalled at the amount of food that he wanted me to eat. My goal was fat LOSS and he was asking me to eat more than I had ever eaten before. It felt so wrong, but I had tried everything else and nothing was working, so I figured I would give it a shot. Well what do you know?….IT WORKED! Our bodies NEED fuel in order to function properly and while it matters a LOT what type of fuel you are using, not giving your body enough food can completely counteract all of your efforts and hurt you immensely in the long run.

There has been a lot of negative talk about carbohydrates, and I feel like it was engrained in my mind at a very young age that carbs are BAD. BAD. BAD. I always avoided carbs, ate “naked” burritos, lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches, and so many salads that I could open up a spinach farm. After speaking with the trainer I was working with, he explained to me how essential carbs are in building muscle and changing your body.  Sure, you can consume too many carbs, and eating an excess of ANYTHING will make you gain weight.  You could gain weight eating carrots if you really wanted to (I do not advise trying that BTW) but the bottom line is that carbs are good, protein is good, even fat is a good thing.  I am here to break the stigmas you have attached to so many types of food in your life and make you realize that food is your friend. Food is something that you should enjoy and use to nourish your body.  Food should not be a reward, but lack of food should also not be a punishment.  I can’t tell you how many times I have binged or eaten something that was outside my “diet” and then starved myself the next day in an attempt to overcompensate for my binge.  The sad fact is that by restricting my calories so much as a punishment for overeating one day, all I was doing was slowing down my metabolism and making it harder on my body to burn through calories when I finally fed it what it needed.

This whole nutrition thing can be tricky and confusing and hopefully throughout some of my own examples of success and trial and error, you can get a better idea of what will work for you and find a happy medium.  I am still learning, and I experiment with food every single day. It is amazing to me to see the things I can do with my body and the changes that I can make with diet and exercise.

Above all, remember that being STRONG is sexy and healthy and wonderful. But you don’t get strong by eating ice cubes and celery. Being strong takes fuel and hard work, but muscle does not grow out of thin air. You have to give your body what it needs in order to create the masterpiece that you will become.

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