I knew I was a fan of Stephanie Buttermore the first time I ever watched one of her videos. Not only was it clear that she was a kind person, but it was clear that she was an all in kind of person.
I have a massive appreciation for the art of video editing, and Stephanie takes this to another level. Each one of her videos is crafted in such an accessible, viewer-friendly manner, and her speaking voice has such a pleasing ring to it. She doesn’t have hundreds of videos as many fitness YouTubers of her career length do, but it’s because each and every video is crafted with such intense excellence. All-in excellence.
Stephanie demonstrates this all in attitude in each one of her workout routines too. She doesn’t go half-in on anything she does– or at least, anything she puts out within her business. Her mindset is reflected in everything from her beautiful merchandise to her truly informative videos, ones I always learn a lot from in a concise manner.
So, when Stephanie announced that she was going “All In,” which for her meant eating about 5000 calories every single day (not counting them or measuring food or anything, but eating this amount because it’s been what she’s been hungry for), I wasn’t surprised, but was incredibly excited.
Stephanie explains the reasons behind her “All In” Journey more succinctly than I could, but, essentially, the diets and methods of eating that had previously consumed her way of eating have put her body in an energy deficit that has caused severe mental, physical, and emotional hunger. It also caused her to lose her period.
While it is easy for a person in this situation to believe that most of the hunger they feel is mental or emotional, leading them to believe that they should not consume food to the point of full satiety due to fear of weight gain, research proves that the physical hunger is likely the reason for the mental and emotional hunger in patients who have lost their period, or restricted food for long periods of time. Even if the person didn’t have an eating disorder, or wasn’t eating a “crazily” low amount of calories, but still actively restricted certain food groups, labelled certain foods as “off-limits,” or forced themselves to stop eating before full satiety, an energy deficit is present. The physical repercussions are very dangerous.
Stephanie is very popular on YouTube for her “Cheat Day” videos, in which she eats “everything she wants” in a day, which usually ends up amounting to something around 10,000 calories. She always emphasizes that she never eats past the point of discomfort– but, for most people with average appetites, this amount of food would likely be past that point. This is just one sign pointing to Stephanie’s energy deficit.
Steph’s recent “All In” recap video has seen over one million views, and gained a lot of interest in the media.
Now, here is why I love what Stephanie is doing.
She has not let her former platform sway her from doing what she believes is right (even when it’s hard). Going from bikini-competitor leanness to gaining 30 plus pounds in a couple months in front of a large following could not have been easy, but Steph didn’t let that stop her from doing what she knew was right. In fact, showcasing this change, including ups and downs with body image and her mood, has been something she hasn’t shied away from. All that she has shared as been real and raw, and I have seen countless followers take insight from her story. She has helped people in the trenches of anorexia find motivation to recover. She has given people who have yo-yo dieted for years a vocabulary for understanding their hunger. She has put her health and wellness– mental and physical– above her aesthetic.
She has not positioned herself in any “niche”– she’s just a relatable human with incredible credentials. Boasting a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D., in medical sciences, biology, and more, Stephanie went from being a unique member of the fitness community as a passionate foodie, to simply going on the journey that was right for her in this time– and sharing it for the benefit of many. She isn’t in the “recovering from an eating disorder” niche, necessarily, which only makes her content more accessible, and might help someone in a similar position recognize that, just because they’re not dealing with an eating disorder doesn’t mean they don’t need to go “all in” simply because of restriction or dieting, two things society has convinced us are “normal.” Or maybe, like Steph, they’ve never fully recovered from an eating disorder, or given it the “all in” attitude it deserves.
She is eliminating the “cheat day” mindset, making a statement about the reality of our society’s skewed relationships with food. Many people in the fitness industry promote food restriction coupled with massive “cheat days.” Others promote fad diets, obsessive macro counting, labelling foods, etc. But, here is my question (and the common question of another of my favourite YouTubers): was obesity a thing before the billion-dollar weight loss industry was?
We all have naturally different appetites based on genetics, activity level, hormones, etc., and simply living according to these (not obsessively “intuitively eating” according to the trend of it, but just eating, a concept that is difficult to understand for many who have been rewired by the weight loss industry for years) is, wow, the best possible key to our health. It doesn’t make a weight loss guru any money, though.
I have worked in “healthy food” environments selling great products and with great menus with employees who, without even thinking about it, would write “Cheat Day Choices” on top of our baked good selections. Whether we realized it or not, much of our culture has been influenced into thinking that this is normal.
I underwent an incredible journey to healing in which I radically discovered just how amazing my body and mind are at knowing what they want and need. I also went through an “all in” journey in which I was eating at least 3000 calories a day just to feel somewhat satisfied.
If you relate to any of this content, or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me as a friend or helping hand.
Has “diet culture” influenced you in any way? Has this article debunked any of that for you? Let me know in the comments below.