as you may have read in my last post, competing was not an easy experience for me. coming out of such a strict, restrictive lifestyle is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging, especially for someone like me. 
although I'm not ready to go into great detail about my personal struggles my main focus now has been to try to start to live normally again. sounds easy right? well its actually been extremely confusing and frustrating trying to transition from such a regimented, controlled life into a more balanced one. 
So, instead of dwelling on that- I would like to share some positive points of my restriction ending! so any girl (or guy) our there who is considering going to such extremes to drop body fat, I salute you on your efforts but there's so much more to life than hating and battling to change your body! 
here's my list of 12 things that are better than having 12% body fat---

1- having energy when you wake up & throughout the day (not having to have lots of caffeine & preworkout) although I still do love me a nice coffee, especially now that I can get it flavored and add creamer if I choose to 😏

2- getting to enjoy spontaneous plans because my life isn't scheduled around eating every 2-3 hours. although my metabolism and hormones are still out of whack  so I have to be sure to snack a lot but it's better than having to time everything out strictly.

3- having more free time because I don't have to prep food for 2 hours every 3-4 days. I can actually take my dog on longer walks, I can run errands, I can read, I can do so many fun activities! if I feel like prepping I always can, but it's not a burden anymore it would be  a choice. 

4- getting to decide what I want to eat, how much and when. and having the option to experiment in the kitchen with fun recipes! I've always loved baking and when I first moved back home after college I got interested in cooking more. during my prep we had to basically cut out family dinners because I couldn't usually eat what my parents were cooking and it causes a lot of tension in our family dynamic. or I would spend extra time weighing and measuring my own portions out from everyone else's. it felt isolating and I felt guilty. now that I am not dieting I can experiment with recipes and ingredients that would have be forbidden "bad foods" to me before. I can now cook recipes for family dinners which gives us time to bond week nights. 

5- having energy to do heavier lifting and working my way up to new personal bests in the gym. it feels amazing to be able to actually put up heavier weights then I have in months because I actually have some strength. I am trying to set non aesthetic goals at the gym instead of focusing on appearance.

6- having the choice of cardio and exercises I want to do instead of sticking to a strict regiment. for the past 3-4 months my only option for cardio was a treadmill and my lifting was a set schedule. it's nice to have a break, listen to my body and get to pick what I want to do to move my body. it's me getting to rediscover what I enjoy about exercising! 
7- having the option of taking a rest day (or two) when my body or mind needs time off. this might be one of the hardest but most important things I need to relearn. while I still feel anxious if I miss the gym I know it's important for me to take at least 1 rest day a week and now I get to pick what day I want to do that depending on how I feel and my plans. 
8- learning to embrace my natural weight, figure and flaws. this is a also a really hard one, I'm struggling really badly with the process of weight gain and my body changing. although I know it's totally normal and healthy for me to gain back the weight I lost, especially to restore hormonal imbalances and metabolic function, it's still probably the biggest struggle I'm having right now. I know I need to learn how to love my body no matter what so this is a good time to start. 
9- not being irritated with everyone/everything all the time. I can actually have full on conversations with people without it feeling forced or thinking of ways to get out of it. my family and boyfriend are no longer having to tip toe around me and I can express myself more freely without worrying about judgement. 

10- feeling less isolated socially. being able to make plans with friends days in advance and not worry about having to cancel because of low energy levels or my mood. although a lot of social settings are still causing me a lot of anxiety, I know that I need to get myself out and the best way to do that is to plan ahead so I feel responsible to go.

11- getting to spend more quality time with family and loved ones. really focus on making memories and positive life experiences instead of obsessing over food and exercise. this is another one I'm struggling with. it feels as if since my life revolved around food (or lack there of) and exercise so much I don't know what to do with my extra time. I'm glad I have my mom and brothers home for the summer to help me get out of the house and experience life. 
12- focusing my energy on self growth, self love and body positivity. I know it's possible to love your body at any size. I know it's possible to have a healthy relationship with food and not have to monitor, weight and count calories, carbs, fats, proteins, sugars, fibers and blah blah blah everyday. I know it's possible to feed my soul and grow personally without worrying so much about body image. I know all these things are possible and I want to accomplish them so I've been soaking up all the information I can find. from podcasts to youtube to blogs to Instagrams, I am following, reposting and liking anything and everything that embraces the life and mindset I want to have. this includes body positivity, intuitive eating, healthy at any size, ending dieting, everybody is beautiful, challenging beauty standards and self love. I know where I want to be and I'm going to keep fighting to get there.

*disclaimer*- I'm not by any means bashing those predispositioned genetically to have lower body fat (lucky) but this is for the girls who are FIGHTING their bodies to become something that isn't healthy for their body type or genetics. instead of being at war with your body, be at war with your negativity. fight for your inner peace and positivity, not for your waistline. that's what I'm doing, and I think I'm starting to win 😊
as always xoxo mvkayy 💗

Published by Megan von Kolnitz