Food for Squat: Open Letter Part 1

Lately, we sure have been seeing a lot of open letters floating around the ol’ interweb, am I right?!

“An Open Letter to the Mother On Her Phone at the Park..”

“An Open Letter to the Man In front of Me in the Grocery Line..”

They’re so addicting to read, don’t you think?! I CANNOT HELP but open nearly every one of them that is plastered all over Facebook, even when the content doesn’t apply to me in the very least. Totally a guilty pleasure! I love them, and usually there is some sort of good moral lesson… something to remind ourselves to be easier on ourselves or more forgiving/understanding of others or less judgmental in the world. It’s usually a “Hey you. You KINDA look like a shit-show over there, but I want you to know that I’m really rooting for you.” Ya know?

Well I have my own Open Letter to You, lady or sir who is trying to stick to your eating plan. Now, I still want to let you know that from my vantage point, you still look like a shit show. You’re trying hard but you’re not getting anywhere (and if we’re all being honest over here, this is more or less a letter to myself!). But instead of just writing the typical “Don’t be so tough on yourself! Have a cookie, you stud muffin!” I actually have TWO open letters to write, and you must decide which side of the spectrum that you land on at this time in your life. 

Now, if your detective instincts have told you that this is a two part blog entry, then you are correct (or you read the title of this blog). Part One will be revealed today, and you’ll have to come back for my next blog entry to read Part Two. Without further adieux…

Part One: An Open Letter to You, Lady or Sir Who is Trying to Stick to Your Eating Plan:

I see you over there. You’re sitting in the corner at your friend’s backyard barbeque, quietly sobbing directly over your lettuce and tomato salad that you brought just so you could stick to your diet. You long for the burgers that everyone else is eating… Your mouth waters as everyone else scoops mountains of potato salad onto their plates...  You love potato salad.

You secretly call your friend a B-word as she skips around the yard, with a FULL CALORIE beer in one hand and a giant double cheeseburger in the other, all while wearing a skimpy bikini, and of course, looking like a freaking movie star. B-word. 

As you’re sitting there in misery, the thing you fail to see is all of the progress YOU have made! You’re losing weight in the trenches of summer gatherings (or at least not gaining!!)! You have made it to 5 days of your CrossFit workouts each week for the past 2 months! You’ve hit a new P-FREAKIN-R on your deadlift, you wondrous being, you!!  But all you’re focusing on in this moment, at this BBQ is all of the things that you aren’t. You aren’t at your goal yet. You aren’t skinny enough. You aren’t strong enough.

Well, let me tell you something, sister (or brother)… You are way more than enough. You are amazing. You are fantastic. And even if you think you may need to lose 10 lbs. you’re still a freakin’ rock star, and you know why?? Because you are YOU. YOU are not defined by how much you weigh or what size of clothes you wear. Let me be honest here... your friends PROBABLY won’t even notice much if you do happen to lose those last 5 lbs. unless you specifically tell them. You know why?? Because they love you no matter what and your weight is not the biggest thing they focus on when they see or think about YOU.

OF COURSE it is always awesome to be working on improving yourself, and I’m certainly not tell you to stop doing that. But I do want to tell you, if this is something that you need to hear, that it’s okay to sometimes be easy on yourself and to enjoy life and to HAVE THAT FREAKIN PIECE OF PIZZA at your friend’s birthday party.

It’s okay to relax about that one meal you’re having and then get right back on track tomorrow. You will not die. Your weight loss will not be sabotaged for all time. But if you spend ALL of your time worrying about weight loss, then you will risk missing out on experiences and time with friends and family. Trust me, I’ve gone through phases in my life where I’d avoid going out to meet friends for a drink because I was trying to lose weight, and I had put SO MUCH pressure on myself to lose weight that the number wouldn’t budge.

Do your workouts. Eat healthy on the norm. Enjoy yourself when you decide to splurge.

You decide if this is the kind of pep talk you need today. If you’re looking for a different kind of pep talk, come back and read my next post. It’ll be a doozy.

Until then, here’s one of my very favorite side dish recipes.. I could eat in every. Single. Day.

Shaved Brussels with Bacon and Pecans

  • 4 c. Brussels sprouts, shaved/shredded (you can buy these shaved!)

  • ½ lb. bacon

  • ¼ c. chopped pecans

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and carefully toast the chopped pecans in the dry pan for a couple of minutes. Remove the pecans.

  2. Put the pan back on medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel.

  3. Keep a few tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan and add the shredded Brussels. Turn the heat up to medium high and season the Brussels with salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

  4. When cooked through, stir in the cooked, crumbled bacon and the toasted pecans.