A different type of transformation with the SnS method that we are incredibly proud to share… this is a strong reminder that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition . Everything from your lifestyle, genetic makeup, to your history with diet and exercise plays a crucial role in creating the program that's right for your unique body to achieve your goals.
I have been working with Lindsay for a number of years now, so this transformation is very near and dear to my heart. Last year she was brave enough to share her story with her history of disordered eating and exercise habits which led to a 70lbs weight gain (more on that journey here https://www.snatchesandsamosas.com/post/testimonialtuesday-1). Although she dedicated ample time to eating enough to match her activity output in order to reverse the metabolic adaptation and hormone down regulation that had occurred through years of yo-yo dieting, through our weekly check in’s analyzing her relationship with food and her body image, I didn’t feel like she truly healed from the disordered eating behaviour. While food logging can be a great tool to create awareness on how your eating habits may or may not align with your goals, it is tool that is used to help clients LEARN about the value of their eating habits with the goal of building confidence in their intuitive eating habits to maintain their results for the rest of their lives. It is NOT meant to be a crutch that you need to lean on for the rest of your life because your energy expenditure varies on a daily basis and food logging IS just an estimate at best. The reason why we place so much emphasis on LEARNING rather than instructing clients to blindly follow our advice is because the ability to listen to your body and adapt your nutrition plan accordingly is what will enable you to maintain your results for the rest of your life.
Through her check in feedback, I realized that this tool had become a stressor for Lindsay as she had relied on the food logging process for so long that she lost the ability to listen to her own body. When we rely on external sources for validation such as activity trackers, scales, food logs, etc, our hunger cues go offline as we look for a calculation or app to validate how we should feel. Lindsay wanted to continue seeing body composition progress, but I knew we had to put that goal on hold until she could get to a neutral place with food. Although Lindsay had fears about detaching from the food scale, she trusted the plan and put in the work with the weekly exercises I assigned her to work on her relationship with food and her body image. This was NOT a linear progression - there were weeks where she felt great, and others where she experienced overwhelming fear and failure and wanted to quit. But she trusted the plan and kept going.
Even though she is STILL eating over 2500kcal/day (more than this time last year), she no longer experiences a stress response around her eating habits which has resulted in an optimized body composition - she eats more when she knows her body needs it, she enjoys eating out in social settings, she indulges in foods that she used to fear and label as "bad." All of these mindset shifts have led to a reduction in her stress response that have not only eliminated her use of restrictive diets/overexercise, binge eating episodes, but also allowed her to build muscle and lose body fat throughout the process of managing her cortisol levels. Hormones are more powerful than the BEST diet and exercise plan, so regardless of how well you can execute a program, elevated cortisol levels can break down muscle mass faster than you can build it and inhibit fat loss efforts completely, even aiding in body fat gain and excessive inflammation that does not allow you to see any body composition progress.
This wasn't the easy or fast route to results, but Lindsay committed to putting in the work to heal her relationship with food, exercise, body image to overcome the mindsets and behaviours that were conditioned over a lifetime of yo-yo dieting to achieve happiness with health and body composition!
“I’ve been working with Sharan for a few years now and recently we have implemented a big change in my nutrition plan. We’ve moved away from tracking my macros and I’ve started eating intuitively. For anyone who knows my past of disordered eating and obsessive tracking this was a big, scary change. Quite frankly when Sharan suggested it, I understood the importance in order to repair my relationship with food, but thought “there’s no way this will work for me” “I’m not like other girls it works for” or I accepted the fact I would gain weight in the process, but I knew I needed to trust her and committed anyways.
We started with tracking 3 days a week after the day was over to see how close I was to hitting my macros. Much to my surprise I was basically bang on every time. We slowly decreased to now I do so approx once a week so Sharan can evaluate. I must say it was very hard to trust myself and just eat based on everything I’ve learned because I have tracked my eating for the last 5-6 years basically every single day. But Sharan encouraged me and challenged me to trust myself.
Now I consistently eat intuitively and of course indulge from time to time or still enjoy my life and special occasions but I do so guilt free and without anxiety or feeling the need to binge then restrict the next day. We have NOT CUT AT ALL IN THE LAST YEAR while working on this new concept and I have LOST 17lbs and feel amazing. I’m happy with my body composition changes, am the fittest I’ve ever been and feel so free to live my life while trusting myself that I know what I’m doing. Cutting was not the answer to my fitness/body composition goals… As Sharan said it will take time and commitment, it won’t happen overnight but it’s worth it!”