Why Bodybuilding and Fitness Youtubers Appeal to Me (But I’ll Never Compete)

Hello, hello!

I have something a little lengthier to talk about today, but first I wanted to touch on a few eats!

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Monday night, we had grilled pear and grilled chicken salads with goat cheese. You can definitely grill pears, and they’re definitely delicious! On the side was roasted sweet potatoes (I could seriously eat these all day, every day).

Leftovers became my lunch salads two days in a row, but with champagne vinaigrette and fig goat cheese.

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Wednesday night, we had to break out the champagne one last time for vet school applications because I got called off the wait list at Cornell. I ended up declining (brrr), but I had originally stayed on the wait list because I wasn’t sure what I would decide if the choice came. Excuse the interesting outfit, it is courtesy of the need to change out of scrubs after work.

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For anyone interested, I do plan on talking about my vet school application process at some point, in case some pre-vet runs across it.

Dinner was BBQ chicken salad with guacamole.

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Aaaand onto today’s topic. This was something I’ve been thinking about for the past few days, and finally decided to touch on it.

I was at a party with college friends I hadn’t seen in a while last weekend, and one of them commented that I look fitter. This was really interesting to me. Because honestly, I feel like I look fitter, but it’s really hard to judge myself, you know? This had me thinking about some changes I’ve made. I mentioned about a month ago that I was stepping up my diet, and I do think I’ve made some progress since then, and it’s honestly been really easy.

If you followed my transformation story that I posted last year, after gaining weight in college, I lost around 20 pounds over the course of my senior year. One of the biggest reasons I was able to do this was I had a shift in mindset; after dealing with stomach issues, I now had to eat to feel good and feel healthy (which I discuss in this post).

I think one of the most significant changes in my mindset was taking the emotion away from food. Suddenly, my health and how I was feeling was more important that looking a certain way, or weighing a certain amount. I also got to the point where I was comfortable with myself and I trusted my body to not freak out after overeating here or there, which took away a lot of stress. Sure, occasionally I emotionally eat. But it’s not every day that I feel the need to stress eat, so when it happens, I let it happen (or look for a slightly healthier alternative) and accept that as part of life, and know that one day or one meal won’t change anything in the long run. *That being said, if you find yourself stress eating every day, I think it’s important to look at the root of the problem (why are you constantly stressed?) and change something, because constant stress is not sustainable.*

In the last year or so, I started watching fitness youtubers. I watch them for meal ideas or workout inspiration, but it turns out, a lot of them do bodybuilding competitions. It seems like every youtuber has done a bikini show at some point. I find body building incredibly fascinating. It’s science and the knowledge of the human body in its purest form: you eat xyz, you do xyz workout, and these changes happen as a result. I think it’s so cool. You make changes in your input, and the body changes as a result. The current trend is to track “macros” or the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and eat them in a certain ration to achieve results. I think this is a really cool manipulation of the human body. That being said, I can confidently say I will never count macros because 1. that is way too much effort and 2. I don’t have any goals serious enough that any of that really matters.

One thing I’ve been enjoying lately is listen to fitness podcasts while walking Chloe. The only one I’m really listening to now is Amanda Bucci’s podcast, and it’s interesting to hear some of these discussed in more detail, as well as to hear more background about other “fitness personalities.”

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(As seen on today’s walk.)

The podcast I listened to today was about building muscle and losing fat. It got me thinking about my own food and fitness direction in comparison. In terms of “goals,” I can’t say I have any desire to do bodybuilding, no matter how trendy. Nothing against it, but I really do what I do to be athletic. Some of these body builders consider low intensity cardio versus HIIT and talk about specific training splits. I’m just not that serious, and really just have the goal of being athletic (and i guess look athletic as a byproduct?). In my line of work, I have to be able to hold a 100 lb dog and be in weird positions restraining animals for long periods of time, and contort myself to something with an animal such that the animal is more comfortable and less stressed (our comfort never matters, haha!). I like to be able to run fast (relatively) and lift heavy things and feel strong. That’s my goal. Training for life, right? And it’s totally fine to have different goals!

What I was bringing this back to was that I like the bodybuilding approach to food and fitness in the way that it takes the emotion out of food. It’s science, which is what rely appeals to me. While I don’t count macros, I do count calories. And because I’ve gotten to the point where there’s not as much emotion attached to food, they really are just numbers to me that I can manipulate. I’ve learned what numbers (and at what time) work for me, and I can objectively shoot for those. I’m OBVIOUSLY not perfect, but the numbers and data driven approach really does appeal to me.

That all being said, another thing that I think helped me progress a lot was being honest with myself. The last couple of weeks, with a new and funky eating schedule, I tried one approach but felt blah, and often found myself craving more things. I took a step back and said, “hey, this isn’t working for me, knowing what I know about my body, how can I change things?” I think in the past, I might have thought, OMG I’m overeating, what’s wrong with me, let’s do this extreme! Versus now, I unemotionally analyze what the problem might be and try to solve it.

Anyways, those were just some thoughts for me on this Wednesday. I’m off to get my allergies retested, which should be interesting! You know I’ll share that later!