Dieting – otherwise known as self-restricting until you’re hungry and miserable, only to binge on Digestives at the end of it – is no way to lose weight.
Instead, it’s all about balance, maintaining a healthy attitude and persistence.
And few know this better than Nikki Rees, a blogger that’s proved that a lifestyle free of guilt and self-starvation will do your body far more good than one that relies on those things.
Rees doesn’t follow a plan. She doesn’t count calories.
She doesn’t even cut out certain food groups, or ban celebrating events with a glass of prosecco.
Instead, she enjoys the food she loves, exercises and balances her favourite ‘unhealthy’ foods with healthy ones – guilt free.
Posting a photo of herself at 34 alongside one taken two years later, Nikki described that it was her change in attitude that gained her her new lean, toned physique rather than fad dieting.
A body which, keep in mind, hasn’t increased in weight.
“Let me tell you about my food/diet/nutrition/healthy eating… whatever you want to call it,” she wrote on June 27.
“Most of you already know that I work out most days, and that I do so at home.
“But I get lots of questions about how I eat because it’s not something I talk about or photograph that often.”
She then explains that there’s no secret formula to her transformation “because there’s nothing really to tell”:
“I don’t follow a plan, I don’t count anything (not macros not calories) I don’t try to cut out food groups or stop eating carbs after 5pm,” she explains.
“I don’t do intermittent fasting or flexible dieting or even clean eating (any more, I did for a while in the beginning).
“I still eat cake more days than not… I still drink prosecco.
“I still can’t seem to resist stealing snacks from the kids junk food cupboard. I still love a takeaway curry… eat pizza, burger and fries and love to eat sweets.”
She goes on to say that the difference between the two pictures isn’t what foods have done to her body, but what they “do to my head”:
“Two years ago eating sweets and takeaway and junk all day would send me into a downward spiral of feeling bad about myself,” she recalled.
“All that yummy food would actually fuel my EXCUSES to quit exercise, to not bother balancing the treats out with nutritious alternatives.
“Now these same foods (and my passion for them) fuel my AMBITION to condition my body.
“I know the difference between eating well and eating poorly.
“And if a day happens where I binge eat cake and a tub of butter I leave it at just that – a day that happened.”
While a day like that used to “derail” her goals, she says that she now doesn’t see it as a reason to give up, but to continue.
“I don’t workout out of guilt – I work out to be GUILT FREE.
“Healthy bodies start with healthy minds.
“So balance the food books like the intelligent rational human being your are, eat what you love every now and then and what you NEED more often than not.
“And on those days when it all goes horribly wrong… as it inevitably will… just remove your face from the tub of butter.
“Replace the lid and continue on exactly as you were.. motivated, goal orientated and #healthyAF.”
Rees is right; too often our relationships with food are more to do with shame and an ‘all or nothing’ attitude instead of the knowledge that we can always bounce back.
Which has struck a chord with many of her followers.
“This post is just what I needed today @activelyrees thank you,” wrote one.
While another said: “It made me smile and inspired me to continue my fitness, amazing.”
And one commenter summed it all up nicely:
“You are such a inspiration,” they said.
“We all need to start thinking of everything as a journey vs an end point, acceptance vs a goal weight, love vs hate.
“Then maybe when we fix the headspace and hearts the body will follow.”
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