Weight loss, healthy habits, exercise, we all have our own “way” of doing things and what works for one person does not work for another.
We all need to choose our own path and I respect that. Right and wrong are subjective on some levels, on other levels though, the research and statistics prove it, yet people still tend to argue such points. That doesn’t interest me or impact me… so I mostly keep quiet while people get all gung ho over the latest miracle supplement, or sip their shakes, or eliminate completely one or more foods from their menu, or starve themselves and limit calories to 3 digits or workout out so beyond the point of exhaustion that they injure themselves, then continue to work out during an injury because you know – no pain – no gain. Sore, absolutely, but pain NO.
Whoever invented that phrase needs a smack upside their head.. but I digress..
For me, sustaining a healthy lifestyle means incorporating things I love into my daily existence so that it is not a chore, so that I do not hate what I am doing, so that it is like second nature and it truly is a lifestyle, not a life sentence (a comparison stolen from a page I frequent). Anyway, to quote Sheryl Crow: If it makes you happy.. then why the hell are you so sad?
I had lost about 30 lbs and looked good for my high school reunion. Little black dress goals as I like to call it. Then slowly they pounds crept back on and I found myself tired and unhappy again. So I embarked on my journey again, only this time with a totally different mindset. My goal, not to just lose weight but to gain strength and stamina and to take care of my body as I take another trip around the sun.
This worked for me and ultimately, slower than any “diet” I lost close to 50 lbs and have kept it off for 4 years (give or take a small blip every so often). This time, I completely changed my lifestyle, I embraced healthy eating; I found things I love and made them part of my daily routine; I’ve chosen workouts and activities that I want to do because they invigorate me and challenge me in a good way. I refuse to do something I hate because it is “good for me”.. says who? The little black dress is now an added bonus and not the goal.
I am, however, still a foodie through and through. I love to cook and I am pretty darn good at it too! Menu planning is hugely important. I learned to understand my body and what fuels it well and what does not. I work on combinations so that I can have whatever I want on any given day and it will not be a cause for alarm. I have found ways to cut down on unnecessary calories on certain dishes, others I will not modify. I am aware of portion control and I plan my other choices for the day to balance it out. Do I succeed every day, nope. Some days I eat more than others, life is about balance.
I am not going to “diet” my way into healthy, I am not going to starve or deprive myself. I need real food, all day every day. I will do an occasional shake once in a while, if I’m not hungry but need protein or as a snack instead of reaching for junk food. But I choose not to live my life where a meal or two a day is liquid. No judgement, I just know I hate that and would never stick with it long term.
I will hurt you if I can’t sink my teeth into a ridiculously delicious, hit every taste bud I own, creation every freaking day.
So while I am not here to say my way is better than your way, or you should be doing it this way or that; what I am here to tell you is if you do not LOVE whatever it is you are doing, then yeah, you kinda are doing it all wrong.
Find a lifestyle YOU embrace, YOU love and then run with it. It may take some practice, but I think you will find the more you like and care about something, the harder you are willing to work to achieve it. And then one day, it no longer feels like work, but just who you are. Namaste.