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From the Trade Paperback edition.
FROM THE FBGs
What We Wish We Could Go Back and Tell Our Younger, Non-FBG Selves
FROM JENN: It wasn’t until before my wedding in 2007 that I “got” what living a healthy lifestyle was really about. In high school, I was active and worked out, sure, but did I do it for health? Eh, I did it more to fit in and be “skinny.” It wasn’t about how I felt or the energy I had--it was about looking a certain way. Or, really, not looking a certain way, as I definitely focused more on avoiding certain things (being fat) than on adding goodness to my life. By college, I was full-out obsessed with the number on the scale, the calories consumed, and how many hours I spent at the gym. I over-exercised, under-ate, yo-yoed, binged, drank too much, and was not being my own best friend.
That all changed before my wedding, though. I refused to walk down the aisle focused more on what I weighed than on what I was about to do: marry the love of my life. So I found a registered dietitian and I learned how to eat intuitively, listen to my hunger, and honor it (more on that in Chapter 2). I dropped my obsessions through lots of time and trial and error and unwavering self-love (oh, how I wish this book was around then!), and I got on track. The process and difference inspired me so much that it became the inspiration for the mission of FBG. So what would I tell my younger self? Oh, plenty:
1. Any guy who thinks you’d be great if you just lost 10 pounds is never, ever worth your time. (And probably deserves a kick in the nuts.)
2. Use your time to study, laugh with friends, and be creative--not to add up calories or fat grams.
3. You are beautiful as you are, right this very second.
4. Cultivate friendships with those who bring out the best in your true nature.
5. Enjoy the journey. Everything is going to be A‑okay.
You Are More Than the Number on the Scale
Who can relate to this scenario?
You wake up fresh in the morning and with tons of energy. You feel great. You’ve been working out, eating well, sleeping the right amount, and you are ready to tackle the day--no, you’re ready to tackle the world! So you bound, naked as a jaybird (always weigh naked, right?), into the bathroom and hop on the scale. But . . . what’s that? The number on the scale reads more than it did yesterday and even last week? But . . . but . . . You’ve been working so hard. How can it be? And then the destructive thinking starts: I’ll never be skinny. I can’t do this. I’m destined to be overweight and unhealthy my whole life. I suck. Head down, you get dressed in all black and have a terrible day.
Or how about this one: You’ve been eating healthy and working out regularly for a few days now, but then your boss comes in, drops a major last-minute project on your desk (sending you into a stressfilled panic), and before you know it you’re in the break room eating donuts. Then you spend the rest of the day obsessively calculating how many calories you ate and what it’ll take to burn them off. Later, you hit the gym and punish yourself with running, your least favorite way to work out but the only way you’ll be able to burn the calories to make up for the donuts.
Now, looking at these two scenarios objectively, can you agree with us that it’s crazy for your good mojo to be obliterated by a number that’s flashing on some metal object you probably bought for less than $30? Should your confidence be shattered by a couple of dumb donuts? It’s crazy. Instead of tying your self-confidence to things that really matter to your worth, like your character, your inner value hinges on how much you weigh or how many calories you eat. This means that one day you can be totally awesome and the next day totally suck. Not a great way to measure self-worth! Let’s face it: there are going to be days when you snack on donuts instead of vegetables; there are going to be days when the scale tells you something you don’t want to hear.
Never mind the fact that the number on the scale isn’t even the best indicator of your health or progress. In fact, your weight can greatly swing--up to five pounds in just a day or two--based on simple things like hydration, sodium intake, or even if you’ve pooped lately. (TMI? No such thing in our--quite literally--book.) So if you’re using the scale more than once a week to gauge your progress, you are not getting the most accurate picture of what’s happening in your body.
You’ve probably heard about the body mass index (BMI), too. It’s calculated based on your weight and height, but this number is too simplistic and--like the scale--doesn’t take into consideration how much muscle versus fat you have on your body. In fact, based on the national guidelines of what a normal BMI is, many professional athletes are deemed overweight while many lower-weight and unfit people are called healthy.
And don’t even get us started on those “ideal weight” charts that give a standard number for what men or women of a certain height should weigh. Really? With the diversity of bodies out there, we should all be a specific weight to be healthy? Sure, extra weight has its risks, but study after study has shown that you can have a few extra pounds and still be fit and healthy. This is why we focus on measuring progress by other means.
So stop beating yourself up because of the number on the scale or obsessing about the calories you had at lunch. There is no magic number that will lead to eternal happiness, total fulfillment, and worry-free bathing-suit shopping. When you’re living a truly healthy FBG lifestyle, you’ll naturally settle into the right size for your body. You will look good, you will feel good, and you will be able to face any dressing room without fear. Promise.