By Elliott Hile
It was right before I went off to freshman year of college, I was in the hospital about to get wrist surgery, and I stepped on the scale. I was shocked to see I was the heaviest, by far, than I had ever been. I had been telling myself that the surgery and breaking my wrist in multiple places were the reasons I stopped exercising and moving. This was partly true.
Exercising at that time meant running on the treadmill and doing curls in the weight room. Movements I learned in high school. Fast forward four years, it was graduation at The University of Illinois, and my friends and family were taking pictures. I remember looking at one of the pictures my roommates posted on Facebook and feeling being ashamed and disgusted. I could see how much weight I put on. Then I weighed myself and there was that number.
It was in the next following years that I began to develop a love/hate relationship with food, or simply, a negative relationship with food. I began trying all kinds of diets, including low carb, low fat, and even the infamous lemon cleanse. All of these diets were successful to a point, until I would binge eat. I am more than capable of eating an entire pizza by myself without thinking about it twice (I mean, aren’t we all?!?). And as most of us have experienced, it is incredibly easy to make a cheat meal into a cheat day or a cheat day into a cheat life….
After the lemon cleanse, it dawned on me that my relationship with food was not a healthy one. I realized I
needed and wanted to change both my approach to fitness and nutrition. Enter Illumine North.
I am continuing to experiment with different eating plans. However, I have a new point of view. A healthier one. But the former out of shape kid is still there, in the back of my head, in the form of fear. Even after successfully being in the Zone (Zone Diet) and now working with Keto, I continue to struggle with my relationship with food. Perhaps it is out of fear of regressing in my fitness and nutrition.
So now, to remedy that fear, I consistently reflect on my nutrition and how it helps me come closer to achieving my goals. I don’t work out to atone for bad eating. And I don’t starve myself to atone for not working out. I view food as fuel for my workouts, and my workouts as fuel for physical movement, overall health, and best of all, achievement!
Diets are a thing that I have puzzled over recently. We often treat diets as temporary fixes, as band aids for our poor nutrition, rather than a possible cure. The cure is what most people would describe as a lifestyle change, where simply the diet becomes what we consume on a regular basis. This is one of the most important lessons that I have learned at Illumine: persistence of one’s goals, whether nutrition or fitness related, is essential.
To summarize, in the words of Coach Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”
Who am I? Just an Ex Out Of Shape Kid who learned through nutrition and fitness that changing my body and life is possible, but changing my relationship with food is a lot harder.
Video: Handstand and Handstand Walk Progressions (IN PROGRESS)
Video: Rope Climb Progressions and Thoughts (IN PROGRESS)