Last week part of my back to blogging title included "20 pounds lost." While I was proud to share that piece of information with the lovely world I also became incredibly nervous that others would think I wasn't somehow still myself in this slightly smaller body. Most of you have been around long enough to know self-care, health, and nutrition are topics that I've dabbled in over the years. I've never been a proclaimed fitness blogger and I don't intend to start now! There are scores of women in the social media world who cover this topic so darn well and I applaud them for bravely sharing their stories! In fact, I learn from them.
Instead today I want to quickly share a few things that are helping me stay on track in this fresher, healthier me. These aren't new year's resolutions because they are things I've been tackling for the entire past year. It feels like I've started health "journeys" a million times and then slowly I go astray. This past year although I haven't been perfect and have taken a while to learn some deep lessons, I haven't strayed completely back to where I was, not even close. So what made the difference this time? For starters, I remember walking into the doctor first and then the chiropractor, a whole year ago. I was in desperate pain, hardly able to even make it through a photo shoot or day out with my kids. My head/ear/neck/back/whole left side of my body HURT. My cramps were unbearable, no matter what medicine I took.
So step one: I got desperate. I really think that has to be a key, or at least it had to be for me. It didn't matter what others told me I should do or eat. It didn't matter how many fitness books I read or IG accounts I followed. I needed to get down low enough to reach my "why". Boy, did I ever.
Step two: I decided I was going to have to put in the time/money/effort. I started going to the chiropractor and getting tips for creating a lifestyle change as well. My chiropractor doesn't just give adjustments, he also helps as much or little as you like with advice for a total change. I took as much advice as I could. For instance, he suggested I start including yoga in my week, instead of just fiercely pounding it out on the treadmill and calling it good.
I put in the time, money, and effort to go to the chiropractor, exercise, learn about Yoga online (Youtube "Yoga with Adrienne"! ), follow healthy IG accounts (this keeps me VERY motivated), cook in a new, healthier way, and make TINY, DAILY decisions that added up to a lot.
I did weigh myself during this process, but not as a measure of success. My gut was my measure of success instead. No pain head to toe? Success.
Eating too much bread, sugar, dairy? Yucky stomach for a few days, headache.....eww. So not successful.
(prepping quiche ahead of time!)
Step three: As I began to truly feel better I also began to realize how much of an emotional eater I can quickly become. You all, I just LOVE food. I am fascinated by it, could read about it, talk about it, for HOURS. I'm also a highly-sensitive, INFJ personality and this past year has been tough. Foster care is tough y'all. So there were plenty of times reaching for food was still my go-to, but they were a lot less often. Mostly because if I reached for something that would have been normal before, it now made me sick.
So I'm not saying I don't ever reach for a snack just because it sounds good, I still do! I try really hard not to do it as an emotional eating response though, and simply for enjoyment. Now instead of potato chips and peanut butter m & m's, picture me reaching for Beanitos and a dark chocolate square or a homemade, sugar-free treat.
This journey has really been about self-care, soul work, and getting my insides right. Or better at least. The outside weight loss has just been a natural result. I am now trying REALLY hard to treat myself with activities, instead of food. Sometimes I even write this down early in the day to help myself stick to it. For example, having great bath products and delicious tea in the house makes for a super rewarding evening, sans snacks.
A few last tips:
1.) Food prep makes a HUGE difference in my life! Each night I like to make a list of what I'll be eating the next day for each of my meals and then make sure any prep work is already done or thought of.
2.) Instead of following this diet or that or sticking to a long list of guidelines, I eat based off how I know my body will feel. See those quiche up there? Totally enjoyed a piece this morning with a cup of coffee! Although I don't eat much bread or cheese, I do have it in small amounts like quiche.
3.) I still choose treat days! Sometimes more than others. Friday night pizza? I'm all in.
An occasional Taco Bell bean burrito plus sour cream and jalapeños?
Count me in for that too.
4.) Cutting out snacking unless I'm REALLY hungry has given me more energy. Loading up on protein has given me more energy too! Drinking water-check. More energy.
5.) Keeping this journey fun and delicious has been a huge game-changer! For example, I shared on IG that I bought a mini milk frother. Being able to make coffee or tea latte's at home feels like such a treat! (this is the frother I bought: milk frother). I also adore healthy, beautiful cookbooks and read them like novels. Following IG accounts with people whose health ideals line up with mine keep me motivated too, as well as listening to fun music while I exercise, having some cute workout clothes, and a nice water bottle I can take with me!
Also, I eat bacon once or twice a week.
What's better than bacon? (lol)
My biggest take-away:
I'm not perfect.
No one is.
Grace is such an important component in this story of mine. (When we first had our little dude we were simply trying to survive. We ate whatever. ) Grace goes a long way.