Monday, August 18, 2014

IIFYM...if em? If y em? Wait, what?

Okay so I've been making hints and mentioning changes about my diet in some previous posts so now I'm finally done writing this post explaining everything. It's a long story but I'm just going to start from the beginning.

I remember when I first started seeing all the hastags with "iifym" and I had no idea what it meant. So eventually I googled it and figured out that it meant If It Fits Your Macros. This still had zero meaning to me but I was satisfied that I now knew what the acronym stood for. So I let it go for awhile until I saw on instagram a post about it from one of the fitness girls I follow. She was talking about the opposing views of clean eating vs. iifym so I clicked on her post to read more about it. Now, I'm not saying she did a bad job of explaining anything but the idea that I got from her description about iifym was that it wasn't a healthy lifestyle. The example was that you can eat anything as long as it fits within your macros and if you wanted you could eat 2,000 calories worth of cupcakes (if it fits your specified macros) every day versus clean foods and you'll still be healthy. At first I thought that was absurd because I wouldn't want to fill up all day on cupcakes and didn't think it was a healthy option. So I dismissed iifym.

That is until I saw my one friend post about how she had just started her macro eating plan from MacroFit. At first, I was surprised because she is really into fitness and healthy eating so I didn't understand why she would make the transition from clean eating to iifym. Naturally, I asked her about it and she instantly started raving about how great it was and how well her plan was going. The more I talked to her about it the more I realized it was pretty much the idea I've been doing all along-- the 80/20 plan. I went on MacroFit and looked at their free calculator and eating plans, and when I got my own plan they even recommended doing the 80/20 (80% clean, 20% unclean). Never once did they mention about filling up on as much junk food as you wanted as long as it fit your macro plan. I had been under the complete wrong impression. 

Again, this isn't a post about criticizing someone and their explanation of something. My point is just that my original impression of iifym was that it was a food lifestyle that I didn't think would work for me. Except now it does and I love it. It's called flexible dieting for a reason because it allows you to treat yourself without zero guilt. As long as I maintain healthy eating in the long run (the 80%) then I don't have to stress so much over the little unhealthy things I eat occasionally.

I now eat Oreos on a regular basis. You can bet that if those tasty buggers fit into my macros for the day I'm gonna eat them. Without zero guilt and it's amazing because I find that allowing myself those little treats every day keeps me on track. I now eat carbs like nobody's business and I had once sworn off pasta for over a year because I thought it was a scary "bad" carb. Increasing my carbs or calories doesn't give me anxiety anymore because I'm doing it in a much healthier way now. Slow and steady so that my metabolism has a chance to properly utilize the food.

You may agree or disagree but in the end you have to find a healthy balance and I've found mine. What works for me isn't going to work for everyone else and that's perfectly okay!

I got my reverse dieting plan a few months ago and I just finished it now. The reason I decided to reverse diet was because even though I was recovering and had a healthier relationship with food, I still felt unbalanced. I also found out I wasn't eating close enough to my maintenance calories and needed help getting there a better way. When I had tried it on my own last year things turned out pretty disastrous and I wanted to avoid making those same mistakes again.

My body feels so much better and stronger because I fueled it the way it needed to be fueled. I had never really paid any attention to macros before but focused on overall calories and eating clean. Now it's the complete opposite. As long as I hit my grams for the day then I don't worry about calories. I'm eating much more balanced now and my body is thanking me for it!

The other part I'm excited about is that I started training with a personal trainer and I can't 'weight' to see how much better it gets! ;) Carbs and weights have become my best friends, and I've ditched the excessive cardio and restrictive eating habits.

Like I said, everyone needs to find their own balance and not everything works for every individual. A lot of people may think that macros isn't a lifestyle that would work for them but since I've made the switch I've been nothing but happy. I have so much more balance both physically and mentally when it comes to food that it's definitely been a change for the better!

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