• Jessica Kilinski

Ditching the Diet, Rules, and Guilt

Years ago, when I first embarked on my journey to a fitter and healthier self, I jumped in headfirst. I purchased a nutrition plan and joined a community of women who were also participating. I joined 8-week challenges where I would push myself, completing the assigned workouts (twice a day, almost every day) and eating "clean." If I didn't get in a workout or I ate something off-plan, I beat myself up about it and punished myself with more cardio or less food the next day. I put myself through monthly "slim-downs" where I would spend 5 days being extra strict with my food intake, waking up starving in the middle of the night and feeling guilty for sneaking spoonfuls of peanut butter because that wasn't part of the plan. I found myself with jaw pain from grinding my teeth so hard at night, stressing over every little detail of my weekly meal planning. I would have nights where I would mindlessly eat and eat and eat. Not quite a binge in the sense of the amount of food, but in the sense that I felt I had no control over what was happening and would immediately feel an immense amount of guilt afterwards.

The photo on the right was me during that period. Yeah, my abs were flat and I had very little fat on my body, but I was miserable inside. I practically starved myself leading up to that beach trip and was exercising for hours a day. I was anxious, stressed, and full of guilt any time I didn't follow the "rules."

The woman on the left is me now. This year I took a beach trip without feeling the need to starve myself and bust my butt to get "bikini ready." I no longer have "rules" to follow. I know how to listen to my body and fuel it with food that helps it feel good, while enjoying the occasional treat because it makes me happy. I'm stronger than ever, both physically and mentally. I exercise four days a week, for about an hour to 90 minutes each day. I stay active during the days, I honor my hunger, and I stop eating when I'm satisfied. No more "losing control" and no more guilt. I feel happy in my body. I don't look like a fitness model, nor do I want to.

I became a personal trainer and nutrition coach so that I can help others find their way to a healthier version of themselves without feeling restricted or stressed about the process. I want to help people realize that they can feel and look better with a sustainable, realistic, and holistic approach to food and exercise. That they don't need rigid rules our hours of exercise a day to feel happy in their skin. That they are amazing human beings and they don't need to look like the Instagram star or the models on covers of the fitness magazine.

Contact me if you want to break out of the rules and find your happy place.

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