Before launching into recipes and food this and that, I think I should give you some background on my diet and what role nutrition plays in my lifestyle. For a long time I ate healthily (think whole, unprocessed foods) and in such a way that I believed was universally appropriate for someone trying to be lean and, well, mostly just lean. I thought health was a great body and with that would come confidence and comfort within my skin. To achieve this I ate high protein, moderate fat and low carb, and was tired, bloated and felt uncomfortable with my body most of the time. I began doing Kayla Itsines’ BBG workouts in February of 2016 and while that completely changed my mindset and enabled me to love my body, I still suffered from bloating and lethargy and wasn’t achieving some aesthetic goals. While I now know that some of those symptoms likely stemmed from bacterial overgrowth that I just discovered, tracking macros helped considerably.
I started tracking ten months ago and it was life changing. (For those who don’t know what the F I’m talking about, read about macros here.) I held out as long as I did because I thought counting and tracking every gram that I consumed seemed overly compulsive and finicky, and I didn’t want to put that much energy into what I ate. What I discovered imminently was that I had it backwards; tracking macros was incredibly freeing and I came to see that when left to my own devices, I ruminate about what to eat, when, why, how, am I hungry, is this bad for me, is this enough, will I be hungry soon, should I stop now, what should I eat next, and so on. I understand that some people really don’t give it much thought but it was astonishing to realize I.Am.Obsessed. For anyone considering tracking I do want to point out that initially, there is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into planning meals, but as with anything there is a learning curve and it becomes second nature within a few weeks.
For several months I was militant about hitting my numbers and rarely exceeded my allotted macros, and while I noticed significant changes in my body and energy levels, it was simply not sustainable. Now I adhere to an 80/20 approach, though I have weeks when it’s 60/40 or when I don’t track at all. As I blather on about in social media posts, I consider my healthy lifestyle to be everlasting and evolving, therefore I have room to experiment. In other words I don’t have an end goal of washboard abs or an of-the-moment big ass, so I am not overly rigid with tracking. At this point I track because I generally feel my best when I do, and there is comfort in knowing that I can go on vacation or go out for decadent meals and know how to get myself back into gear when I’m ready.
I don’t want to get into the weeds, at least in this initial post, about what my current macros are and why, especially because they are unique to me. If you’re reading this and are interested in having your macros sorted out, I am not your girl! I had mine calculated by Paola Marquez (@paosfitworld) and found her to be really sweet and helpful. Also, I highly encourage you speak with a professional rather than go the online macro calculator route.
If you’re still with me, I’ll leave you with this final thought. Ok these several thoughts. Tracking macros isn’t the answer for everybody. It can be time consuming, you will most likely have numbers in your head, and there will be occasional guilt if you go over said numbers. If this sounds like dangerous territory for you, maybe it is. (I do know some amazing women who overcame eating disorders by tracking and learning how to fuel their bodies.) If you have a healthy relationship with food but want to speed up progress or just feel great, by all means try it! As with everything in life, it’s about that annoying B word – balance. As I write this, I am in Fiji consuming about a weeks worth of macros per day and somehow I have abs. In fact I’m eating a chocolate croissant. See, BALANCE! xoxo