Flexible Dieting: Are You Doing It Right?

I’ve cycled through lots of extremes regarding my nutrition.
I’ve gone years never thinking twice about what I consumed.
I’ve gone through periods of intense bingeing, only to restrict for days on end.
I have also lived on the other side of extreme.
I’ve cried when someone accidentally ate my portion I meticulously calculated and tracked.
I have hit my targets to the gram and if I didn’t I told myself stories about what a failure I was.
I have avoided friends and family because I couldn’t let anything potentially conflict with my schedule.

There is truth in acknowledging whether or not your actions align with your goals and everyday I encourage you to sit with that.
Are you doing what it takes? Are you eating enough? Are your weekends a mess? (*that’s a mental game, by the way)
Are you eating too much although your goal is to make weight for your upcoming meet?
Hold yourself as accountable as you should.
However, you should not be crying in the bathroom at Outback because they’re out of something you tracked for the day.
You shouldn’t turn down the cupcake your best friend surprised you with on your birthday.
And you shouldn’t regret skipping a workout because your partner suggested waking early to hike and watch the sunrise together.

Flexibility seems rather basic.
Balance sounds the same way.
Just like I have touched on owning your process and putting in the work where work is due, we need to talk about flexibility.
Anxiety over food is real.
Creating stories of unworthiness, self-loathing and feeling like a failure are crippling.
This is not flexible dieting and you are doing yourself a disservice by aiming for perfection day in and day out.
Perfection is a myth.
Eating to self-soothe is just as unhealthy as hyper-focusing on being on target to the gram, or whether or not you’re “allowed” to eat XYZ, or skipping a funeral because there isn’t a microwave to heat the lunch you’ve already tracked.
This side of extremism isn’t talked about as often because people commend your determination.
“I wish I had your willpower.”
“I wish I could do that.”
“I wish I could say no.”
And really, that’s not what you’re craving to hear, is it?
You wish that someone would say, “Have the glass of champagne to celebrate your promotion”!
“You never come to our monthly dinner anymore, let me cook for you”!
“It’s okay if you go to dinner on occasion even if there isn’t nutrition information provided.”
That’s because it is. 

When you seek out coaching of any kind you’re typically reaching out for knowledge, support and accountability.
Oftentimes it’s because you want to change your life and the dynamic as a whole.
I don’t demand perfection and neither should you.
We’re here to help you have a better understanding of nutrition, not to create or fuel unreasonable expectations.
My guess is that you’re wanting to take your experience and apply it to the rest of your life.
To accomplish the ability to do what it takes while being able to enjoy your process.

Cultivate sustainability in your life.
Know the difference between determination and rigidity.
Practice forgiving yourself when you’re just starting to truly understand the flexibility piece.
Then try holding space for knowing that forgiveness isn’t even needed.
Nobody defines you by how good of a Macro Tracker you are, especially not around here.

Author: Ava Truckey, BIN Coach, AvaTruckey.com