Lighten Up On Yourself

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I’ve been writing this post on and off in my head for a few weeks now. I’ve always been of the camp that if you put your life out there for the public, whether it be as a celebrity or politician or especially as a blogger, you have a responsibility to be a positive influence on other people. I’m really sick of all the “I can’t eat this, I can’t eat that” when really, the verb you are looking for is WON’T. You won’t eat something because you are afraid of it. And you know what? You’re teaching these young girls and boys who look up to you really terrible habits.

You might think you have great habits because you’re at the gym six days a week and you meal prep and you eschew basically any semblance of pleasure in your life because it might not be “healthy”. Stop with the “I deserve this” food and rewarding yourself with food and cheat days and all that shit. Stop with the 80/20. Just be a real person, please. Eat real food and stop waiting for an award for it because that carrier pigeon got lost in a storm somewhere.

If you haven’t put two and two together, I’ve definitely been really hard on myself in the past. I’ve went from a crazy party girl who would way overindulge to a super restrictive, absolutely miserable bitch. I’ve spent weeks eating whatever I want and lost weight and spent weeks running 40+ miles and eating super clean and gaining weight. I’ve loved my body and hated my body at basically every weight I’ve been. Yes, I do get on the scale every day, because I care about keeping myself accountable, but I also have learned to accept the number that is on the scale and know that I can only change what I do today. There is no use in being mad at Past Cassie for eating one too many pieces of chocolate the night before.

red wine and chocolate | almost getting it together

Saturday morning Cassie cannot hate Friday night Cassie for this.

I’ve read the posts. I’ve had that mindset. I’ve thought, “Eating in moderation means you have no self-control.” You know what, I do actually have self-control and maybe I will just have that frozen yogurt not because I need it, but because I want it. I look at food as food – I don’t put it on a pedestal. I mean yeah, obviously it’s fuel for your body, whatever, but it’s also basically the basis of every culture ever. Do you think people want to visit Italy to eat grilled chicken breasts and non-starchy vegetables and whatever other dumb foods are on your safe list? No. They want to visit Italy to eat pasta and drink wine and maybe have gelato twice a day (not speaking from experience or anything).

fraiche frozen yogurt | almost getting it together

Fraiche frozen yogurt definitely happened last weekend with Gina.

Do I need to clean up my diet a little bit right now? Probably, because I like being a size 0 and should be buying things for my apartment and not new jeans and I like how I look at a certain weight. Do I want to be that girl who won’t go have a margarita with her friends because OMG ADDED SUGAR? No. Trust me, being super skinny and having a six pack is super awesome. So is having a social life.

Am I eating McDonalds and donuts and junk every day? Also no. I’m eating mostly clean but not beating myself up over a glass of wine or a cup of ice cream. I know in the past I’ve been all “I don’t eat this, I don’t eat that” but you know what? I was so boring and frustrating to be around I was basically a basic bitch at that point.

Do you think a boy wants to be with a girl who can’t go get a drink with him because the extra 120 calories will put her over the edge? The short answer to that is no. Do you think a girl wants to be with a guy who eats only broccoli and tilapia and protein shakes? No, and not just because tilapia is the poor man’s salmon.

Being able to indulge once in a while is another form of self-control. I hate to break it to you, self-imposed restrictive diets are just a different form of disordered eating because you think yogurt and oatmeal are the enemy or whatever. No, you’re the enemy to your own happiness.You need to lighten up on yourself. Let yourself enjoy your life a little bit. Trust me, you won’t gain five hundred pounds. You probably won’t even gain five pounds. What you will gain is a life that is a bit richer and more exciting than heating up another bowl of brussels sprouts and grass fed beef and some avocado for the 300th day in a row.

Chat with me:
No questions, just your thoughts!

69 comments on “Lighten Up On Yourself

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GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth on November 11, 2014 7:26 am

I totally get where you’re coming from with this. When I first started trying to get healthy I pretty much restricted anything I thought was ‘bad’. I didn’t go out with friends or eat anything I didn’t make myself and it sucked. To top it off, I binged like a mofo on my ‘cheat days’ which kinda negated any progress I made with my restricted diet. I may have looked leaner or whatever, but it definitely wasn’t a healthy mindset for me. I’m much happier now that I eat a little of everything- including brownies.
p.s. Don’t knock the poor man’s salmon. It’s my new favourite fish (read: I can’t afford to buy salmon every week haha)
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:39 am

I have purchased turkey and chicken breast since I have been on my own. And the turkey from WF was probably more than salmon haha. I’m like “hmmm veganism seems like a good option for my wallet right now”. Damn SF, cleaning me out!

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Ree on November 11, 2014 8:18 am

I completely get this! When I first started blogging and joined the fitness realm that’s out there, I was so ashamed! Should I be going to the gym every single day? Why don’t my legs look that good? Am I that lazy? Then I smartened up. I’m active, healthy, and I enjoy life, which includes lots of wine and food! Could I cut back on the sugar? Hell yes. Could I hit the gym more often? Probably. But I’m happy with my weight, my health is great, and my life is awesome. I must be doing something right! Thanks for sharing!
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:38 am

I look at these “what I ate Wednesday” posts and I’m like HOLY SHIT I EAT SO MUCH COMPARED TO THESE PEOPLE. And I’m a small girl – 5’0″! But you know what, I also probably have the fuel to go run like I do and them… maybe not so much.

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Diana @sosmallsostrong on November 11, 2014 8:48 am

Oh lady I feel you! I fight with myself all the time, should I do more cardio? Eat smaller meals, bigger meals? Am I doing enough!? I’m always too harsh on my choices and funny enough I live a pretty balanced lifestyle. Still working on making it all work but absolutely have a social life and enjoy it. Life’s too short!! :)
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:37 am

You know what??? We just need more hours in a day!!!

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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on November 11, 2014 8:58 am

I get it! Nicely said Cassie. That’s why I think it is just easier not to talk to much about what you personally eat or do. We all deserve to life how we want and eat/exercise what makes us HAPPY! If you are happy then…you’re good to go.

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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:33 am

Being happy… and understanding how to be happy and that it’s okay to be happy and love yourself is SO important. No one else can do it for you.

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on November 11, 2014 9:06 am

Head down, hand up AMEN. I can be so hard on myself–I feel like I have to take perfect care of myself, and honestly, I was reminded this past weekend of why I don’t and do have to do so–I over did it. I survived, but I did break down a little. It reminded me that I have to lighten up in some areas to “tighten” in others–let up on the healthy and consistent eating, but don’t lose sleep; You don’t need all the hours of sleep as long as I eat well. This also had to do with the fact that I have my infusion today, so I was at the ends of my med’s effectiveness, to be fair. But then there are those weeks when I can just let lose, have fun, and i am fine. Sometimes, the price is worth it ;)
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:33 am

You can totally over-due being super healthy. Like if you sleep 8 hours a night, are meal prepping all Sunday, working out 1-2 hours a day… like when do you have time to have a little fun??? xoxo

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Chris on November 11, 2014 9:12 am

Yeah man. Just make healthy habits. Hopefully some of us bloggers promote legit, healthy lifestyles. Lifestyles, plural. There is no healthy lifestyle. Any of us that try to claim that our way is the right way is full of crap. If you make healthy habits, you’ll generally follow healthy habits. And generally is winning the game.

PS, I had to go up a size in pants because my legs and butt got bigger from squats and stuff. The struggle is real Cassie.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:32 am

#CROSSFITPROBS… I have girlfriends who have the same issues haha!!

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Sarah on November 11, 2014 9:21 am

This post is amazing. I think we all need little reminders like this sometimes. Thanks for sharing!!!
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:32 am

I definitely need it for myself sometimes!!

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Stephanie on November 11, 2014 9:25 am

A healthy balance is always important. It’s so nice being a certain size or weight but I feel like what’s the fun in all that if you can’t indulge from time to time? Have fun! You only have this one life on Earth so ENJOY it. Which means, loosening up some and enjoy that wine or sugary treat!

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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:29 am

YES… life’s too short to regret having that glass of wine!

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cait @pieceofcait on November 11, 2014 9:30 am

awesome post lady <3 and a great reminder. lifes to SHORT NOT to enjoy ourselves and the glass of wine with friends. Balance is where its at. I think there were the magic and happiness happens
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:24 am

YES. Balance is key! It’s so hard to find it though so when you do, it’s awesome!

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Whitney Carney on November 11, 2014 9:42 am

Thank you for posting this!!! I agree 100%. Like you, I’ve been there being super restrictive with my diet and absolutely miserable, and now that I’ve embraced just being me.. eating healthy but also enjoying life.. and not afraid to get a hot chocolate on date night with my boyfriend after eating thai food. I totally agree, what guy wants to date a girl who says no I can’t get anything from the coffee shop next door because that’s 200 calories and x grams of sugar. Like no. No one wants to date someone like that. Enjoy life and do not be a social outcast. Also, I have lost weight and am actually happy with myself instead of being miserable.. and hungry. No one likes to be hungry! Have a good one Cassie! :)

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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:21 am

Being hungry is just absolutely all-consuming. It’s freeing how much less I’ve noticed being hungry because I’m not OBSESSING over it. One hot chocolate isn’t going to make or break us! xo

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Heather @Fit n Cookies on November 11, 2014 10:56 am

I wish I even had something to add to this, but I definitely don’t. You nailed it. I remember when I wouldn’t have a social life because I had to get a workout in the next day or that day and planned my life around food and workouts, and I was miserable. I can’t believe I did that. Now? I eat the cookie if I want the cookie. I eat more bread than I probably should, but it makes me happy. Do I need dessert at night? No, but it makes me happy. The glass of wine isn’t going to put me over the edge. I stay healthy and eat healthy foods for the most part- and don’t eat fast food so yeah, I’m doing good if I say so myself ;) Hope San Fran is treating you well!
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:21 am

I realized I was canceling plans with friends to go workout and that’s about the time I realized it was unhealthy, both physically and mentally. Should I stop eating a ton of yogurt and peanut butter every night? Yeah. But I’m like you – I enjoy it and plus I eat light enough during the day it’s not going to kill me. I hope.

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Mar @ Mar on the Run on November 11, 2014 11:05 am

oh – so much this… yes!! great, great post.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:19 am

So happy you enjoyed!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on November 11, 2014 11:14 am

Love this post Cassie!! I am 100% with you – life is too short to freak out over what we eat – hating yourself Saturday morning for what you ate/drank Friday is pointless and just a waste of time. I’ve definitely had points in my life where I’ve skipped out on social occasions or been the girl munching on carrot sticks in the corner because OMG calories! And it’s not fun. It’s not fun to be that person and it’s not fun to be around her. Life is a lot more enjoyable when we loosen up and let ourselves have fun.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:20 am

I seriously would refuse to go to dinner on so many occasions… even like eschewing dates because I “hated dinner”. It was so dumb. My friends were all frustrated with me. My family was frustrated with me. I was frustrated with me! It’s so much easier to just care a little bit less sometimes.

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Farrah on November 11, 2014 11:40 am

Great post! I definitely agree with you. When I went home for vacation (oh, home…), I basically threw out my usual eating habits for the month. Did I gain weight? You bet. But did I get to enjoy spending time with my friends and family before I disappeared across the country again for the next 10 months? Most definitely. I think finding a true balance is probably the hardest part to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but being able to let go and have fun is pretty essential to keeping it going. :]
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:18 am

You seriously have to let go when you’re vacationing. I learned that the hard way. It’s better to just enjoy rather than crying every day because you ate one too many acai bowls.

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions on November 11, 2014 11:53 am

Yes, yes, a thousand million bazillion times yes to all of this. FANTASTIC post. Thank you for calling it like it is!
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:15 am

So glad you enjoyed!!! xo

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Jessica on November 11, 2014 1:27 pm

“Being able to indulge once in a while is another form of self-control.” <–Abso-freaking-lutely.

So many things I identified with in this post. I just had a baby 10 days ago. I thought I'd be obsessed and horrified with my postpartum body. Instead, for the first time in my adult life, I'm so neutral about it. I eat so I can produce milk to feed my baby, have the energy to cope with her being up every 2 hours, day and night, and still feel like it's fun and enjoy it all with my husband. I hope to maintain this feeling because this is the most balanced I've felt in years about food, exercise, and my body.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:14 am

It took so long to be able to understand that a little bit of indulgence is self-control because you have to know when to not go overboard.

AND CONGRATS ON YOUR BABY!!! I feel like that really puts what matters into perspective.

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Tianna on November 11, 2014 2:24 pm

couldn’t agree with you more on this – I see so many bloggers who dish out really horrible advice and it’s kind of scary because it can do so much harm. I love the bloggers that do promote positive outlook and happiness. That’s really what’s important in life; not how many croutons you ate with that salad.

Feel free to stop by my blog if you have a free moment at http://StorybookApothecary.com
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:14 am

Yes, I really just wish they would stop trying to give advice. Saying what you do is one thing, saying what someone should do is a whole other.

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. on November 11, 2014 4:01 pm

A.freaking.men, girl. This is definitely something I can relate to, and it breaks my heart to see so many women (and men!) unnecessarily rob themselves of happiness just to look a certain way… and then end up unhappy with that anyways. I’ve definitely been there, done that with the whole “I can’t eat this/that” bit, and while — sure — I was a bit leaner, I was also waaaaay more miserable. Totally not worth it. Life’s too short, and there’s too much good food out there.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:12 am

Too much good food is right!! Especially when I live in a city known for it’s food, how can I say no to artisan chocolates and ice cream and other deliciousness?

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Jordan @ The Balanced Blonde on November 11, 2014 4:24 pm

YESSS!! Ohh hallelujah reading this just made my DAY. We must have been on the same page today because I wrote something similar ish… except more about how I am swinging back into balance and learning the art of moderation but same sentiment. Loved every word of this. UGH I can’t wait to hang out in person (THANKSGIVING!) because I am in need of some convos like this in my life. PS… tilapia = poor man’s salmon so true and I’m lolling.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:09 am

If a boy has to eat tilapia, I’m not into it. Rich boys only lol.

I am so excited to hang over Thanksgiving!!! Can it just get here already?? xoxo

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Jo @ Living Mint Green on November 11, 2014 6:59 pm

Things I ate this past weekend: steak & frites, fried gnocchi, apple cake, a bottle of wine, fried fish tacos, tequila, more wine, a brownie, truffles. Things I didn’t eat: vegetables. And I’m okay with that! I was enjoying my time with my BF and I didn’t care that I was probably eating 20,000 calories in one meal. Hahahaha. Actually, something he said stuck out to me while we were having dinner on Friday night. “How many guys can say they’re lucky enough to be dining with a girl who’s feasting on a steak & fries right now?”

I’m back to eating healthy stuff today. Lifes too short to worry about food.
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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:08 am

I had never seen a boy so relieved as when I asked one if we could go get burgers once… he was so afraid I didn’t eat burgers and would judge him if he wanted one.

Guys like girls that eat. They don’t like when they have to force feed you. I know that one from experience lol.

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Amber on November 11, 2014 8:40 pm

yes, yes, AND EVEN MORE YES! THIS is something I preach heavily about on my instagram account because I have A LOT of younger followers as well as ED in recovery followers SO I promote a positive relationship with food. BECAUSE YOU ARE RIGHT, not being able to go out for a drink or enjoy a treat with friends, is SO SILLY AND FRIVOLOUS, some things are good for the soul. Because of my Celiac, IBS, and lactose intolerance, I DO have a laundry list of things I CAN NOT have, so it really irks me when others say “I can’t have that” when like you said, it really is “I won’t” Restrictions are silly, and deprivation is not something we should subject ourselves to. Life is too short to not enjoy good food with great friends xoxo
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Kay @ Kay Bueno on November 11, 2014 8:53 pm

I feel you. Obviously.

I’m kinda over seeing posts about why the sugar in a banana is going to make it impossible for me to lose weight. Like, when did bananas get unhealthy status? It’s a fruit, man.

I’m all about moderation. But, if super rigid dieting is what works for you, then at least lighten up on other people. I have some really lovely paleo/vegan/gluten free friends, who are great at staying on track for moral/personal/weightloss reasons, without making their eating habits the topic of every conversation ever, or making me feel like I am somehow a lesser human for not eating the same way.

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Cassie on November 13, 2014 12:05 am

I saw a sign once that was like “if a vegan does cross-fit, which do they talk about first?”. It really makes me think of what you said haha. I love our chats about this… and that we can then go get salads and discuss how we need to go get ice cream/fro yo lol. #hlbprobs

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Emily @ Sweets and Beets on November 11, 2014 11:03 pm

Wait, but my favorite line is “tilapia is the poor man’s salmon” .. haha, so true! But seriously, thanks for sharing this!. I also probably need to clean up my diet right now, but I’m working on restoring the “real person” part of me. It’s liberating, though not always easy. So glad I’m not alone!
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Cassie on November 12, 2014 11:54 pm

I need to write more posts pretty tired haha because that was such a good line :)

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Jessie on November 12, 2014 1:54 am

Can I get an amen sister!! I don’t even allow “cheat, guilt, indulgence, treat” into my vocabulary. No reason for them. If I want a burger, your bet your booty I’ll eat one. If I want to go a week without any exercise, sure! I may feel a bit lazy but it’s obviously what my mind & body wants. One of my biggest (and really only) pet peeve about HLB (and even people in general) is when they feel the need to apologize for what they ate or didn’t eat it. No one cares but YOU!
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Cassie on November 12, 2014 11:53 pm

I LOVED when you wrote the post about the words “cheat, guilt, etc.”. As long as it’s real food, EAT IT!

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Jaimie on November 12, 2014 9:57 am

You are just lucky that I love you and know how to deal with you. I love this post. You need to ease up on yourself. You have new-found a balance, and I like it . No, love it. Let’s face it, foodie (and tiny) is in our gene pool.

Love you and love this post. Xo

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Cassie on November 12, 2014 11:53 pm

Foodie and tiny is definitely in our gene pool. You’re the only one who knows how to handle me 100% and loves me no matter what. XOXO

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Pragati // Simple Medicine on November 12, 2014 11:00 am

balance applies to every aspect of life: food, fun, love etc.
It sounds like you’ve gotten to a good place. This post was awesome – thanks for sharing!
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Cassie on November 12, 2014 11:47 pm

Thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed!

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Ange @ Cowgirl Runs on November 12, 2014 5:33 pm

I’ve spent much of this summer/fall surviving off takeout, wine and sugar. Probably not the best plan and I’ve gained a bit to go with it. Whoops. But, I’m not beating myself up and I’m also not forcing myself to change NOW because it’s been a weird/rough year and I needed a bit of a break. Yeah, I gained 5 pounds. Big freaking deal. I’ll “fix” that and carryon and damn that wine was good.
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Cassie on November 12, 2014 11:46 pm

And you know what? Whenever you “fix it” it will be WAY more enjoyable because your body will be ready for it!

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Davida @ The Healthy Maven on November 12, 2014 7:21 pm

I was talking to someone today who was asking about my eating habits and it made me realize how far I’ve come in my mindset and eating. Truth-be-told, I just don’t think about it. I like eating healthy food, I eat it most of the time and usually without thinking. I indulge when I feel like it and I also don’t think about it. I guess this is what they say intuitive eating is like. Funny because I think I was an intuitive eater until I got all obsessive about things and then eventually it came full circle. The only different is that I’m more likely to go for the salad over the fries but again, without think and without guilt. I realize that I have a platform to share this mindset and it’s something I really try to preach on THM (if you noticed haha) so it’s nice to see other people doing the same. I’m glad to hear you’re lightening up on yourself too :)
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Cassie on November 12, 2014 11:44 pm

TOTALLY agree. I’m trying to eat more intuitively but honestly I just crave healthier foods! xoxo

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GiGi Eats on November 13, 2014 12:47 am

Dude I totally miss fro-yo! I think the last time I ever put it in my mouth was 13 years ago and that’s just kinda sad! I will create a version I can eat one day and then SELL IT AND MAKE BILLIONS! ha ha ah
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Jessica on November 13, 2014 8:49 am

Love this! “…poor man’s Salmon”

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Cassie on November 18, 2014 1:10 am

TOTALLY IS.

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Erin @ The Almond Eater on November 13, 2014 10:08 am

Ok I missed this post because I got a puppy. Is that a good excuse? I love you so much and I’m obsessed with this. OBSESSED. Being hard on yourself for enjoying life is pointless. Period, the end. We eat healthy because we like the way healthy feels, but we also drink wine because it’s delicious and provides us with memories to cherish for life. You’re never going to cherish your memory with spinach. Ever. LOVE YOUUUUU MISS YOUUUUU

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Cassie on November 18, 2014 1:04 am

LOVE YOUUU AND MISS YOU MOREEEE. AND PUPPY YAYYY!! That’s a great excuse. Can’t wait to see your face via FaceTime this week xoxo

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Anna on November 13, 2014 10:40 am

I don’t know what I would do if I had to give up wine and chocolate. These are necessities, not indulgences! ;) But seriously, yes. I agree. Building healthy habits in general is far more important than counting every calorie and obsessing over something that doesn’t deserve to be obsessed about. I also strongly believe that having a great time and enjoying life will ultimately have much healthier consequences than skipping a glass of wine or a margarita here and there.
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Cassie on November 18, 2014 1:02 am

Agreed… you can always lose whatever you gain. Maybe it sucks but so does missing out on life. #FOMO

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Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change on November 15, 2014 7:18 pm

This is the truth behind the healthy living world we are now living in. It can be hard for me to have some conversations about food with people at my gym because of how negative they get about what they are consuming. Going absolutely crazy on Sundays because it is your cheat day? Bashing yourself for having too much wine? I’m not saying I haven’t gone through this…because I have. And it was bad. The restrictive/obsessive approach I had is something I don’t want to ever have back in my life. It scares me thinking about that time of my life. So now, I’m going to just eat the real food, and even if it isn’t “whole” food, I’m still going to eat it. A doughnut every week or so? Fine by me. The focus needs to shift into the experiences we are missing because of the stress on the food we eat. Your words were so clear and beautiful – thank you for sharing the raw truth.
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Cassie on November 18, 2014 12:32 am

It’s crazy how much your perspective changes. I realized I bought something without even looking at the ingredient list… 10 months ago I wouldn’t have done that. I mean I think I’d bought it before but I’m not 100% positive… a really freeing thought :)

[…] Lighten Up On Yourself via Almost Getting It Together. A wonderfully refreshing take on being healthy and letting yourself enjoy life. […]

Bean Bytes 115 on November 18, 2014 12:00 am

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Jess on November 18, 2014 10:32 pm

Amen! I can definitely relate to all of this. Well, except for the actually being skinny and a size 0 haha that’s never happened. I really love your outlook on this topic and it is so down to earth and simply true.

Noticed you recently moved to SF! I live on the Peninsula, so welcome to the Bay Area!

xoxo Jess
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Cassie on November 27, 2014 6:23 pm

Awesome!! Hi, neighbor!

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