Life + Style

January 8, 2019

Health Journey Part 1 The Overview.

Y'all ready to get healthy?  Swimsuit season here at the beach starts a whole heck of a lot earlier than it did in Virginia so I've already got food and fitness on my brain.  I've never really talked about health or fitness on the blog before but after some encouragement from y'all over on instagram I decided to share with you.  Specifically, what I did to loose baby weight, what I eat, how I workout, and overall how I try to stay healthy and fit as I head into my late thirties.  I realize that every body is different and what works for me may not work for you, but, I just turned 37 and I'm in the best shape of my life so I must be doing something right.


I'll also share what has and hasn't worked - on both ends of the extreme and finding balance in the middle - and why I truly believe that having a healthy relationship with food is the first step in maintaining a healthy body weight.  I want to give you an overview on some of my practices without overwhelming you with words so I created some bullet points that I'll dig into deeper in future posts.

  • Food is not the enemy but it's also not your best friend. It can never truly make you feel better but it also shouldn't make you feel bad about yourself. 
  • Food should not be a reward or a punishment.  "I was so 'bad' yesterday and ate all the cookies so today I'm going to eat nothing but salad."  "Work/my kids sucked the life out of me today - I'm going to curl up on the couch and eat the whole tub of ben & jerry's." Eat the salad because you feel amazing and full of energy afterwards or have the ice cream because it's delicious.  But just know that neither one will ever fix what needs fixing.  
  • We cannot nourish our bodies if we aren't also nourishing our souls.

  • You are not good or bad based on what you eat. Nothing makes me sadder than hearing women say, "I was so bad over the holidays -I ate all the things" or "I'm going to be bad and get dessert!"  Despite what you hear - you are NOT what you eat.  What is true?  What you put in your body directly affects how your body functions but you have full control over that operating system.
  • Every bite you take is a chance to supply your body with what it needs and a fresh start to make a decision for yourself.  Don't wait until Monday or the first of the month.  Start at 2:00 on a Tuesday by drinking a glass of water instead of a diet coke.  
  • You do not need to clean your plate or eat a meal because it's "time."  Learn your bodies cues for hunger.
  • Learn the difference between being truly hungry and being not full.  It's okay to feel a little hungry. 
  • If it's not amazing -skip it.  Ask yourself if it's amazing for your body (like kale or celery juice) or amazing for your tongue (like warm chocolate chip cookies or a badass charcuterie tray) and if the answer is no-don't eat it.
  • Put half of all your meals in a to-go box before you eat (either at a restaurant or at home).  If you're still hungry after eating, get out the second half and eat it.  Remember it's just food -you're not "good" for saving it or "bad" for eating it right away.
  • Plan ahead.  Bring snacks with you.  I can't tell you how many times I'm snacking on carrots and hummus or peppers in the carline.  I just take the whole bag of carrots and the big old tub of hummus with me and eat what I eat and bring it back inside when I get home.  If I have to prep it first and put in a a little snack sized container that I'll then have to wash when I get home I won't do it.  I make it easy on myself. 

  • Park at the back of the parking lot and walk the extra steps.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Stand up at the playground instead of sitting down (you can play on your phone and ignore the kids just as easily standing up.
  • Add something healthy in rather than taking something you love away.  Try adding in a green drink and then still eat your lunch; drink 120 ounces of water but still have your sparkling water or diet coke or whatever you can't live without at 3pm.  In a few days I bet you'll be feeling less hungry at lunch or dinner and drinking less of those cans without even trying to cut back.  Your body begins to crave the unprocessed foods more and more.
  • Pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods both mentally as well as physically.  One of my all-time favorite foods is pasta with shredded cheddar cheese on top but after my son was born I began to notice that I felt really down and/or more anxious almost as soon as I finished my bowl and I was really sluggish about 30 minutes later.  Is a plate full of noodles and processed cheese worth feeling tired and unmotivated the rest of the afternoon?  Nope.  The trade-off just isn't there for me. 
  • It's not all or nothing.  Allow yourself some things you truly love that have a good trade-off value.  I'm never going to give up wine no matter how much weight I could lose or how much better I'd feel without it.  But, I did give up all other drinks with sugar/sweetener and now only drink unsweet tea, black coffee, water, sparkling water, and wine.  I quit coke, sweet tea, vanilla creamer, sugar in my coffee, pineapple juice, lemonade, gatorade, etc. because drinking sugar gives me headaches and makes me tired.  Neither of which I can afford when I'm busying Moming.  I still drink a specialty starbucks latte every so often but I don't let those 2-3 hours of drinking sugar derail me from sticking to my plan the rest of the 730-ish hours in the month.
  •  Make working out a priority.  You don't need to join a gym or go to barre or start a couch to 5k program to exercise your body.  Start by taking a walk.  No matter how hard I've tried over the years- I'm not a runner or a gym rat.  But I figured out that I can maintain a healthy weight and toned body by walking my butt off.  Don't give it all up just because you can't do barre or orange theory or whatever class you'd love to do on the regular.  Those things cost time and money you may not have.  But how about once a month?  That's 12 times you'll get your body professionally toned this year which is better than zero, right?
  • You can't do all the things.   Repeat, You can't do all the things.  You need to figure out what your actual goal is for health and wellness.  Do you want to look better in your clothes, feel better in your clothes, lose weight, tone up, gain more energy, sleep better, maintain weight, gain muscle, run faster, achieve a fitness goal, or maybe just feel ownership over your body again?  Probably all of them right? Prioritize what is really the most important to you and go from there.  For me it was being able to physically make it through the day with two babies and not pass out from exhaustion or be too jacked up on caffeine to rest when I could.  The side result?  Dropping below my pre-baby weight within six months post-partem and going down two sizes.  I want to keep up with my kids, not run a marathon.  
  • Eat as minimally processed as possible.  Fat-free, low-fat, sweeteners, etc. have more chemicals than the real deal and your body doesn't know what to do with them.

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1 comment

  1. Love all this! It really is a lifestyle and it really does make a difference!

    ReplyDelete

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