The past year has been...interesting for me. I've been fortunate enough to be able to step back, take a look at myself and my eating and drinking habits, and see that there were some fundamental flaws in the relationship I had with food and alcohol. I started very slowly, gradually phasing out unhealthy items and habits I included in my diet, and swapping them out for simple, whole ingredients.
Coming up on 60 pounds of weight loss is a great feeling today. The first 30 lbs? I didn't lift a finger exercise wise. They came off naturally as I upgraded and optimized what I was putting into my body - again GRADUALLY. I changed my entire outlook on food, and have been able to quickly and tangibly see the real affect of "you are what you eat."
I have always been on the larger end of the body type spectrum. I've always enjoyed my powerful thighs and glutes, as well as having very strong arms and shoulders. I can see now that my body ebbed slowly away from "strong" and into "unhealthy" when I quit being a college athlete and turned 21 in the same year. After physical activity being mandatory for me throughout my young life, at 21 I turned my fondness for squats into an unyielding thirst for shots. See what I did there?
Post college was filled with many drunken nights, lots of poutine and Dominos to end those nights, and virtually no exercise to be seen. I've always been comfortable in my body, but it did hurt every time I traded one size up for the next. A desperate search for work pants at the H&M in Times Square at 11:30pm on a Friday night, after having ripped my pants that day, ended in the special humiliation that comes with the realization that the store does not carry your size. Sure, it took me another six months to actually DO anything about it, but I was UPSET.
Ps that kind of humiliation includes tears on the dressing room floor. Is that a Taylor Swift song?
PUT GOOD IN GET GOOD OUT
Fast food. Packaged snacks. Fries. For me, it's the salty stuff. Chips, Chex mix, french fries. French fries. French fries. Always getting the BIGGEST pasta dish on the menu, always getting a fried appetizer. Treating myself to a bacon wrapped breakfast sandwich. Honestly the majority of my incorrect diet came from pure laziness of ordering the same unhealthy things I had gotten since I was a teenager, as well as treating every occasion to eat out as a chance to 'cheat' and get something 'special.'
EVERY meal is special if you think of it in terms of "this is a time for me to nourish my body." It's no longer an opportunity to sneak something unhealthy that tastes good. It's about enjoying giving my body GOOD ingredients, the bonus is that good ingredients also taste good too!! But my tastebuds were tuned into wanting some really bad stuff a year ago. I needed to train myself - by forcing myself to eat that damn red apple even if I don't LIKE red apples - so that instead of craving the taste of a quarter dbl pounder, I crave the taste of the PERFECT strawberry, or the juiciest pear, or a FAT SaLaD. Our tastebuds need to be trained to appreciate wholesome foods, not white sugar and GMO's and salt.
Do you know how addicted Americans are to salt? We won't even go into sugar *eye roll*. Also they coat things like Pringles with stuff that stays on your tongue and triggers your brain into wanting more for like 30 minutes after you've put the snack away. We're being CONTROLLED by snack/drink companies. If you're looking for weight loss tip one - stop drinking anything but water and tea. Ok, you can have coffee too, but BLACK! Virtually 90% of the drinks that you get in a store - even "healthy" ones - contain tons of sugar! Instead of having my peach snapple with lunch, I might as well have been eating several tablespoons of white sugar.
It's funny how once you're very active in the business of taking care of your body, it seems so...easy. My journey has been a complete surprise to me. I'm in a new body that I'm not sure what to do with yet. It's thinner and leaner than my build in high school. I would actually consider myself 'kidnappable' weight which is terrifying. Watching the weight come off in different places, and at different times, has been strange. One day my pants don't fit, the next week my rings are too big, and the month after that I need to go down TWO bra sizes. *muffled weeping for my boobs* But! I will say the last two weeks I have noticed those crazy rib/ab lines!?! Like damn girl.
I didn't get here overnight. In April of 2017 I decided to do one thing - start eating more vegetables. Literally just making sure I had A vegetable with lunch and dinner, every day. A fresh bought and roasted, steamed or raw vegetable. I began to buy the crazy vegetables in my grocery store that I would never have gotten otherwise, and I fell in love with a lot of great veggies! Eggplants are THE OG, rutabagas are cool too, and you can't go wrong with kale chips. CHIPS. I can't do raw kale yet..or probably ever.
The point is, once I realized that I COULD easily include roasted vegetables in my meals, and then as my entire meal on their own - and ENJOY it - it was easy to stick to that change. Most of my mental blocks come from thinking something is going to be more of a hassle than it actually turns out to be. Once I adapted the mindset "roasted veggies for dinner is an easy, delicious, and smart option" then it became easy to stick to that. It becomes your new normal. If you think it's going to be hard, surprise! It will be. But that one little goal, that was easy! And the next little goal I set, that was easy too. And every little step that I conquered just built momentum.
BEING MY OWN FRIEND
The key part to any of this is that I allow myself to LIVE. My office has a pizza party a couple times a month - I eat the damn pizza! I also take some salad now, instead of a second piece of pizza :) I'm on vacation with my mom and sister? We're having drinks and desserts every meal, those meals will just be primarily salads. I'm not afraid to have a beer when I'm out with my friends -these days I just know that I NEED to follow each drink with a glass of water or I will be paying for it the next day. I'm not here to only eat healthy all the time, or to make myself feel bad for enjoying life!
Knowing that it's ok to enjoy myself, but to make it count, is a constant balance. Some days are better than others. The point is that I keep at it, and regardless of when I stumble, literally the very next encounter I have with food is a chance to start again, to make the right choices for my body and my health. Making conscious decisions that are in my best interests is difficult to do all the time! But consistency has seen me to this point, and I've given away all of my old size clothes now so there's no going back. I am holding onto a couple of my old bras in hopes that my boobs magically come back though :'(