Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Hayden and I work as a management consultant in the life sciences industry (pharma and biotech companies).
When did you start flexible eating?
I started FYF and flexible eating in January 2017.
What’s your why?
Admittedly, I started right around the new year kind of as a new year goal to work towards.
Also, I had really wanted to change how I was eating for a while, but don’t think I would have had the motivation and know-how to stick with it by myself. Being part of FYF has helped keep me motivated and given me the knowledge to change how I eat.
What is your personal definition of flexible eating?
It helps give me freedom of eating what I want to eat. If I really want something I have it. Flexible eating has helped me realize it’s ok not to be 100% perfect all the time and still get results.
What was your diet like before flexible eating?
I was afraid of carbs but would eat so much fat! I thought as long as I didn’t have carbs, I could eat as much as I wanted. I also wasn’t eating nearly enough protein.
What has been your biggest breakthrough since flexible eating?
I can have pasta and do NOT need to freak out about eating it.
The biggest breakthrough I’ve had has been more mental than physical. I’ve learned that everyday is a new day — just because you go over / under your macros one day, isn’t the end of the world. You have the next day to be better and start fresh (I still need to remind myself of this). It was hard for me at first to not freak out if I went over — I thought all my progress would disappear instantly, but it doesn’t!
I’ve also learned what a proper portion size is and what it takes for me to feel my best.
What are your goals regarding flexible eating and beyond?
I want to continue flexible eating because it makes me feel my best and will hopefully enables me to continue improving in the gym and running!
What are your three most important guidelines you give yourself?
Enjoy what you eat. I tend to be a creature of habit so I eat the same things everyday. However, sometimes these foods just don’t appeal. If that is what happens, I don’t eat it and have something I’d prefer instead. When I eat something that I don’t enjoy, I usually wind up over eating because I am not satisfied. Ultimately I have found that this approach keeps me satisfied and happy.
Don’t freak out about the numbers (try not to at least). If I go over one day or have a weigh-in I’m not happy with, I have to let it go. This is easier said than done, but I really try to internalize and follow this guideline.
Plan ahead. This can be tough because it’s often the last thing I want to do but it’s so much easier to have a good meal that fits your macros if you have food prepared and ready to go.
What is the best piece of advice you wish you had when starting flexible eating that could help newbies?
It’s ok to not be perfect with your numbers; I have yet to get the “0-0-0”. Also, weigh-ins are not the end of the world — it truly is about how you feel.
If you are considering flexible eating or just want to change the way you eat and think about food, give flexible eating a try! I was nervous at first that I wouldn’t be able to do it, let alone stick with it after the initial 3 months. However, I’ve really learned to love it and would never have known if I didn’t try!