Did you ever have that friend who was super dramatic and codependent in her dating life? Like you just expected that every time you hung out with her and her boo that the night would end in screaming, tears or angry walks home? And everyone else could see it was totally dysfunctional but she couldn’t see it at the time?
This is kind of what the relationship between eating calories to burn them doing cardio is like. Or, put another way, this is what it’s like to overeat and think you can make up for it by doing two hours on the elliptical.
This is toxic thinking and creates a cycle of shame and punishment. And, if you think I am sounding dramatic like my friend on the phone yelling at her boyfriend at two a.m….well, I kind of am. I wish I could yell it out to everyone! Exercise is not a punishment!!! Eating should not hinge on whether you did a spin class and then ran three miles on the treadmill!! A little ticker that counts off calories burned does not dictate what you’re allowed to eat or how you are supposed to feel!!!
People who do my program for the first time experience a lot of difficulty breaking up with the idea that cutting calories and doing hours of cardio is the way to their goals. But please consider me that friend who hands you the box of Kleenex, puts on a cheesy rom com and empowers you to walk away from that craziness. I’ll even play some sad love songs as you come to grips with the fact that you do not have to, nor should you, undereat. You also should NOT be over exercising. Time to say “it’s not me, it’s you!”
Instead, I encourage my clients to believe that nourishing their bodies with proper nutrition and focusing on strength during their workouts will create their healthiest self. Mainly because I have seen this proven time and time again! Also, many of the people who I coach are surprised to learn that I advocate eating the same amount of food on the days they workout as they do on recovery days. They can’t believe that they don’t have to “starve” on rest days. In fact, science proves that it’s quite the opposite, rest days are vital for replenishing and to do this you need to EAT!
Let me put it this way. Undereating and cardio are like Romeo and Juliet...sad and tragic. Rihanna and Chris Brown. Ross and Rachel. Ike and Tina. You get the picture. So, instead, let’s be all Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively about our health...happy and altogether. Or Will and Jada. Oooh, or Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. Fueling your body properly and focusing on strength is sustainable and sets you up for success! Now that’s a relationship worth fighting for!