I've wanted to write this post for a long time now. I've written it over and over and I still can't really find the words to make it what I want it to be. But I attended a three-day workshop last week and one of the lessons was basically just to DO IT. Stop thinking about it. It will never be perfect.
THIS is something I feel very passionate about and I know it's a big problem for a lot of people. THIS is why I started a blog. If I can help you by telling my story and/or showing you how I fix this problem and that problem, then I have done my job. I feel so completely grateful for this platform. Life is hard. But if we stick together and learn from other peoples mistakes and we truly want to help other people, then it's actually pretty damn good!
If you follow me on social media you have seen that about 75% of what I post is about food. Recipes, life hacks, dining well... etc. And even though most of what I post is healthy, I still get the occasional "how are you not 250 pounds"... even from some of my closest friends. I want to respond to this like "um hey guys, I'm not the Kardashians! I don't have a camera running on my life 24/7"... because I actually find it kind of rude. It falls into the "you have a fast metabolism" category. But if only they knew how much I fight to keep my metabolism "fast". If you're over 30 and not overweight, it's HIGHLY likely that you're working hard to maintain that. So don't make the mistake of dismissing someones hard work for a 'fast metabolism"...
Food is a huge part of my life. I love everything about it. I'm an experience-oriented person. I like to make everything enjoyable. When I eat, I want it to be the full experience. The food has to be delicious but also fulfilling. I know that I will feel exactly as I eat so I choose wisely.
I sacrifice. But I'm not miserable... not even close. I'm lucky because I actually love to eat healthy foods. But I also LOVE pizza and ramen and hot wings and BACON and beer. And I eat those things in moderation. These foods are not part of my daily habit and I like it that way. And because of that, I don't crave them as often.
I get to live like this because I know MY balance. For the most part, I'm a planner. But some things just are not planned. And since I'm a planner I'm prepared for the unexpected. ---- Friend going through a break up and needs a pizza and wine night? I'm there and I don't have to feel guilty. It's likely that I've put in an insane workout in that day and ate a kale caesar salad for lunch. But even if I haven't, that is my life and I know the next day, I will work a little harder.
My Monday through Friday consists of a lot of workouts, salads, shakes, wellness rituals, and the works. I love living my life like this and anyone who has ever tapped into their full energetic powerhouse will understand. Once you begin to make the small changes in your daily routine, your energy will be CRAZY. We all have the same amount of hours in a day but if you don't have the energy to live your life to the fullest, you won't.
In order to not go on and on (I could talk about this for days)... I made a list of things I think will help you (that helped me) find your balance with food and happiness.
- Don't strive for perfection. There is no end goal here - this is a journey.
- Sugar is a real addiction. The more you eat it, the more you will want it (this includes refined carbs). It usually takes me about three days of not eating refined sugar to break the addiction.
- Stress is the main cause of overeating. Before pushing yourself into a "diet" ... get your stress under control. Credit card bills? Make plans to pay them off and get ahead. Sometimes stress comes from other places though, things that are out of your control... try to manage your worry. Understand that worrying doesn't fix anything, it actually makes things worse. If you can't change your mind to think this way alone, there are people out there that can help you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Also, working out also relieves stress, even taking a walk releases endorphins!
- Eat the highest quality foods that you can on YOUR budget. Now, I think food should be prioritized because it's going into our bodies, and without our body, we are nothing.
- Live by the 80/20 rule. Eat well, workout, practice meditation or whatever else you can do to relieve anxiety and stress.
- Sometimes you will have to eat fast food. As long as this is not a normal part of your routine, it's OK. Let it go.
- Don't let prescriptions drugs be your end all be all. We all have to take medicine at one point or another in our lives. But ask your doctor what steps you can take to get off prescription drugs. Do your own research. A lot of these medicines have side-effects that majorly impact your life in good and bad ways. So make sure you know what you're taking and what it's doing.
- Read labels. In this day and age, there are many exceptions to this rule. But basically stay out of the "boxed aisle" at the grocery store especially if it's not a health food store.
- Don't go to the grocery store hungry. This way you won't buy things that tempt you later.
- Make a list for the grocery store and do not buy anything extra that is not on that list. Plan your meals out in advance when you can.
- Before you take a bite, observe... "what is this doing for me and my body?" This will make you powerful.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Literally remind yourself every morning that you're in control. Say it out loud if you need to. Repeat it at lunch. It sounds cheesy but it's empowering.
- Surround yourself with people that strive to be a better version of themselves. Energy is contagious!
- Consider the people depending on you. Is it responsible for you to eat foods that are sabotaging your health (every single day)?
real life I am healthy and strong. I workout hard and I eat a very nutritious diet. I don't starve or go to bed hungry and I have cocktails and wine often. This is what my body looks like when I'm happy. And I am happy about that.
remember I'm no fitness model or even close. I would never put my body through that kind of stress. When eating and working out is about feeling great, looking good will come naturally. When it's about vanity (or competition), it's stressful, and temporary.
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