They are watching.
The internet is extremely polarizing. It's an intimidating world to put yourself on display. However, I think that what I have to share could be helpful so I'm risking being "right" in order to help even one other person.
I am currently 9 months postpartum. Up 10lb from my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm a non weight-centric dietitian. I teach the principles of Intuitive Eating. I believe in the ideology of Health at Every Size. AND , I want to lose these 10lb.
How can I believe in these things and still want to change my body?
Because I am human.
I know how amazing I felt in my body before I got pregnant. I know how strong and confident I felt when I was strength training with intensity and keeping my nutrition top of mind. I do not believe it is not wrong to believe in "contradicting" things. I also want to be clear that I LOVE my body even with extra weight. I carried two babies. I can love my body now and want to continue improving it. Why not?
I think as a culture we get caught up in rules. We either need to be all "ANTI DIET CULTURE" or "ALL THE MACROS AND TRACKING"... but when has life ever been this black and white? I actually thrive a little bit in both camps. I struggle with emotional eating. When I'm keeping track of what foods I am eating and tracking that data, I am able to see when I have been choosing foods out of boredom, loneliness, stress, etc. When I'm getting the right distribution of protein, fiber, etc. I FEEL better. Tracking this, even for a short amount of time, helps me to see how much better I can feel.
It doesn't have to be either/or.
And of course, there's a balance here too. When I find myself obsessing over the exact macronutrient breakdown of foods or obsessively tracking I recognize this as my need to control. This gives me the opportunity to dive a bit deeper to really figure out what is going on in my emotional world. What needs do I have that aren't being met? Where else in my life do I feel out of control? What could I do with this energy instead?
Tracking your food intake isn't necessary. But it also can be a helpful tool. It also doesn't have to be forever. I'm a dietitian that believes in BOTH/ALL, not one way.
I am currently in a season where I am finding it helpful to track my food intake. I have a dietitian that I am working with to keep me accountable. Yes, I am a RD working with an RD. Even when we "know what to do" it helps to have someone on your side - sometimes taking the thinking out of the equation for you.
I want my message to be clear. I personally believe you can live in multiple worlds. You can love your body and have goals. You can believe in eating intuitively and have self-discipline (IE does not mean not having discipline). When you have a specific goal that is in alignment with the highest version of yourself you may have to do hard things.
This is what I want my girls to see/know. I want to show them that it's possible to love the journey and be excited for the ever-evolving destination. It's okay to have physique goals. Yes, we are more than our body - and yet, we only get one! And hey, I want abs and a tight butt ;).
Do what works for you. At the end of the day YOU are the one that has to be okay with the decisions you make.
Even if the others are watching.