So a friend reached out to me thanking me for being so open and starting this little blog.
She asked me a great question and I decided to turn it into a blog post because it’s a heavy and loaded question that deserves more than a few sentences as an answer.
“ …question (bc so many other people are gym crazy and I feel like they work out bc they hate their body) how did you lose weight while being mindful and appreciative of your body? This is something I am struggling with!”
Let me first start by saying that my mindset wasn’t always great…There were/still are days where I hate my body and become so frustrated. There are days when I want to eat all of the things that give me migraines and stomach aches. But those days have become few into comparison to the days where I have a healthy mindset and positive body image. My first tidbit of advice is to really focus on what you’re putting into your body and pay attention to how it makes you feel after you’re done eating it. Read the ingredients, learn what food you use to cope, do some research on what additives are actually terrible for you…(just because something is organic or gluten free doesn’t mean its good for your body because many of the times there’s loads of cane sugar or aspartame in it). Sugar is everywhere. It’s in things that it doesn’t even need to be….like pasta sauce? Why would you need it in there? IT MAKES NO SENSE. Learning to love your body doesn’t just pertain to how you see it on the outside, but also what you put inside of it. Being mindful takes practice, and being mindful of what’s in your food may take a little extra time, but it will completely change how your body reacts. You’ll find you’re more awake and energized - which can be motivating and push you to exercise - , you’ll see weight shed off little by little because you’re not intaking random and huge amounts of sugar or other additives. People also think this is more expensive, but my friends you can buy fruits, veggies, meats, whole wheat breads/crackers, and La Croix all at a very affordable price….ANYWAYS…
Exercising is so important because it releases your endorphins and gives you a natural high…and you feel amazing about yourself. Every time I complete a run or workout, I:
1) feel awesome about my body and what it can do
2) feel motivated to eat Whole Foods, not processed foods
3) don’t feel guilty about that glass of wine at the end of the night
Now I know exercise isn’t everyone’s favorite word, but it doesn’t have to be crazy intense! Go for a walk with someone you enjoy spending time with, take the stairs, do a 15 minute yoga routine at night before bed (Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube is AMAZE!), or clean your house! Just get yourself moving. Set a step goal, an exercise time goal, etc. You’ll be amazed at how much just 20 minutes of movement will help you feel so much more motivated. If you want to love your outer body, you have to first love the inside and take good care of it.
One of the hardest things I’ve encountered is the feeling of “falling off of the wagon” but I want to let you in on a little secret…There is no wagon to hop on in the first place. Thinking of a wagon means we’re riding it to an end point, and that’s just not the case. This is a lifestyle change that will last, well, your whole life. So don’t feel like you’re finally going to arrive at a goal weight and be done…because that’s not sustainable! Giving ourselves grace, developing new habits, and rethinking your relationship with food are all things that need to last your entire life or you’ll just be stuck in the cycle of weight gain/loss forever! Uhm no thanks! Treat yourself, and then keep pushing forward? Falling back into old patterns? Have someone hold you accountable. Feeling down about your body? Go move. You have to take the initiative, but you will thank yourself.
Y’all…food is just food. It isn’t your master even though sometimes it can feel like it is. Reframing your relationship with food is so vital to this whole thing. “I’m on an eating plan, I have to work out, I can’t have this, can’t have that”... It happens sometimes! You should never feel guilty when those thoughts come up. What you CAN do is turn around and ask yourself what it is you want out of this journey. You COULD deprive yourself and feel forced to do this, but that’s not sustainable. You want the outcomes, you want to feel great in your own skin. Some things to remember.
1. What does eating healthy do for you? What will your life look like when you eat healthy?
2. What does movement do for your body - why do you want those benefits?
3. CAN you have anything you want - yes. Would moderation and balance and enjoyment of the process get you closer to your goals? For sure. Do any of you feel this way sometimes? How can you reframe those thoughts?
Set a big goal and then develop little ones that will help facilitate you to that goal.
BIG GOAL: I want to maintain a healthy body weight to prevent future health issues
Smaller facilitating goals: I will work out 3-4 times a week, I will cut my dairy intake down to 3-4 times a week, and I will commit to logging my calories for every meal
I hope this helps you all!