For years I have struggled to figure out the perfect formula for food consumption and exercise for my body. For the body that I love, that I am happy with, that is not too thick or too thin or too flabby or too hungry or too full. But I also was very rigid in thinking that I already know and it is what it is, until I started to research some things and started to experiment on myself.
The hardest thing about it is that it’s not a quick fix, it is not a weekly or even monthly fix, I know, sorry to disappoint. It is something that takes consistency, time and most of all your own will. Below are some points on how I arrived where I am today and for many of us it’s different, so you have to get to know your own body and mind most of all.
- Start paying attention to your own feelings, what feels good? What does not? – And I mean what feels good and is good for you, I should say. Eating a bag of chips feels good in the moment but we all know it is not good for us. So yes, it is determination and it is not instant gratification – perhaps 80% of the time you can follow that and 20% you let loose. Or you may start with a different formula, depends on where you are in your journey. For someone who has never paid attention to that may start with 10% good and 90% loose, IT IS OK, if it feels good for now, and IT IS OK if you fall off the wagon, and IT IS OK to get back up again when you are ready. Remember not to compare your journey to anyone else’s, you can be inspired by someone else’s journey but DON’T compare yours to others.
- Find an activity that speaks to you. – Not what is trendy currently, or the latest fad or informercial. You may like walking, instead of running, or you may like group activity instead of activity you can do by yourself. I like walking, jogging, running, bike riding, weights at home, yoga. I do not enjoy workout classes, spinning but that can change moment to moment, it is all in aligning with your body and getting in tune with your feelings. If you do something because you should and not because you enjoy it will not last, it will be a temporary fling and it won’t give you results you want.
- Attune your meals/food to your taste – For years I was very rigid in thinking that I eat healthy and there is no more I can do. But I kept gaining weight and was not happy with my body. Today I get to eat things I love and feel good about my body, because I hacked it. So can you. It means to get extremely attuned to your own body, not your culture or upbringing or things that you think you should eat. Today you can go to the market and options are endless, experiment with you taste buds and how your body feels. I always knew that there are certain things I can’t give up – like chocolate, cheese, bread, wine, beer, ice cream. But that does not mean that I have to eat them or drink them daily. I consume all those things today and enjoy them to the max because I wait when I need them. What really has worked for me is extending the wait time – For an example, daily I get up and have coffee, then I drink protein with water only while I work out, then depending on my level of hunger I eat when I am ready, sometimes it is at 11 am, sometimes it is at 12 or 2, I just really listen to what I need. I make my first meal super textbook. Meaning it is perfect balance of protein, fat, carbs, I try to focus on high protein and lower carbs and fats, ideally 40% protein, 30% fat, 30% carbs. My next meal most days is also textbook perfect. Often I combine in those 2 first meals eggs, greens, fruit, nuts, lean meat like chicken, turkey. But they are not by any means meals that leave me hungry. Then rest of the day I let myself have what I’d like, on the weekends or Fridays that may include wine/beer as well. To get to that point I had to really experiment with calorie counting, and with different foods. I was very focused on losing weight in the beginning, but I did have a goal to lose 1 lb a month, which I think is healthy. For some it maybe to gain weight, so you may need to eat very rich foods or foods that have more fat, it does take reading lots of labels in the beginning, and maybe weaning yourself off of some foods/drinks. It is all a process, set a goal, even if it’s little, set it and try to reach it. Remember it is your journey, so search out inspiration, don’t compare and keep going. xoxo