Today is National Donut Day and you better believe I’m celebrating. Why? Because I love donuts and because I can, without it hindering it my progress. 
I don’t diet. I live a healthy lifestyle that allows me to continually chase my fitness goals without the misery of not being “allowed” to eat certain foods. I swear by IIFYM and I use this method with all of my clients. 
I was once very skeptical of IIFYM. I swore it was a hoax – how could people reallyyyy have such banging bodies and prep for competitions while eating donuts and pop tarts and ice cream and cookies? HOW?! When I started my fitness journey, I cut out all processed foods and only ate “clean” foods. I dropped a bunch of weight and got into unbelievable shape. Thus, I became a firm believer in clean eating. No sugars, no chemicals, no processed foods, no fun. But “it was worth it”. Or so I thought…
After following such a strict diet and being in such a deep caloric deficit for 3 fitness competitions within 8 months, I was burnt out. I wanted to indulge, I wanted the foods that I craved without feeling guilty about “cheating” on my diet. I found myself binging a lot in my offseason and I ultimately gained 30 lbs, putting me at 163 which was even more than I weighed when I first started my journey in April 2014. I had lost motivation. I was embarrassed. I cried a lot. I would eat and eat and eat and not be able to stop even when I told myself it was time to stop. Finally, I got fed up with feeling so insecure and uncomfortable with my heavier body.
I decided to make the switch to IIFYM in May 2016 when I started prep for my most recent WBFF show in November 2016. It was the best decision I’ve made. Going into it, I wasn’t sure how I’d handle being able to incorporate the so-called “junk foods” because I’ve always had a problem with overdoing it, eating more than I should, having one bite and not being able to stop. Fortunately, it was much easier than I thought. Granted it took quite a bit of discipline to stop myself at, say, one Oreo or one bowl of ice cream or one tablespoon of peanut butter, etc. but all I had to do was remind myself that there would always end more of those things tomorrow – I didn’t have to eat them all at once. 
There were no cheat meals because anything and everything could be a part of my diet as long as I made it fit my macros for the day. With no cheat meals, there were also no binges. The way I see it, a cheat meal opens the doors to a binge because you typically only get one per week and in that one meal, you try to eat everything you possibly can and oftentimes you go a little overboard. You end up consuming more calories in that one cheat meal than the caloric deficit over the course of the week has allowed for. 
Now, I can eat ice cream and cookies and peanut butter and donuts and whatever the hell else I want because there are no “off-limits” foods. I track the macros in all the foods I eat and at the end of each day, I hit my target numbers and stay on track for my fitness goals. Sometimes I eat eggwhites and chicken and vegetables but sometimes I eat cake. So what? I can. You might argue that the sugar in junk food makes it an unhealthy lifestyle but I balance it out with healthier options as well. My diet isn’t strictly sugar, although it would be if I could make it work, but that’s not realistic. 
Food is bae, and eating the foods I love brings me happiness. IIFYM has helped me achieve health in all aspects – mind, body and soul. So here’s to National Donut Day, and to all the delicious foods this world can offer!

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