Over the years I have had a love-hate relationship with food. I have tried pretty much every diet in one form or another. As a result my weight has been up and down and all over the place. It took about ten years and a lot of help along the way to get to the place I am today. That place is fairly consistent with a (mostly) balanced relationship with food. While I do feel good about how far I have come, I still have days when I overthink everything I put in my mouth, and then days when I don’t care at all and throw caution to the wind.
I suppose the conclusion I have come to is that it will be a daily battle to resist the diet mentality and to instead embrace a healthy, balanced lifestyle that includes the occasional treat, but revolves mainly around healthy fare.
When I am eating to nourish my body, and not to fill some kind of emotional void, that is when I feel the happiest. My goal is to continue learning which foods suit my body and help me in my journey to create the best version of myself.
One thing I know is that whatever challenge I am up against, I am more equipped to handle it if I have my physical game on straight. While I have been making important strides towards getting back into shape, I have many more mountains to climb.
In the past I have been satisfied with being just okay, when it comes to my body. I have begun to question what could be if I truly push myself. If I actually went above and beyond in my quest for health and fitness. What is my body truly capable of?
I seem to get these bursts of motivation. I go on to make a plan for eating right and exercising only to slip slowly but surely back into my old habits. Habits that, while seemingly harmless, add up to major body sabotage.
I recently went on a weekend trip to Chicago which was a blast! But also a good reminder of what I am lacking when it comes to the way I approach my health. While I have an understanding that the all or nothing mentality does me no favors, I have found that my default mode is pretty much that. It is not uncommon for people to work hard and get in shape right before a trip, only to completely undo all their hard work with a few days of indulgence.
Don’t get me wrong, enjoying a glass of wine or two and dessert is a beautiful thing, especially when you get to the point of not overthinking it and simply savoring the deliciousness. I was made aware once again of my tendency to go into a trip feeling great and by the time I get home, I feel bloated and gross. What I need is consistency. Not giving myself a free pass to eat and drink whatever I want and however much I want just because Im out of my usual routine. On the flip side being comfortable with the occasional and special treats that inevitably pop up during vacations; or really any situation that deviates from the norm and often revolves around food.
I try to keep my mindset positive when it comes to food and my body. When I tell myself that I only have to have one good day, where I make healthy choices and take care of my body, that feels doable. Then that one day leads to one more good day and eventually a good week, month and so on. The trick is to not get overwhelmed or sidetracked by the inevitable minor setbacks such as a heavy meal or a skipped workout. Keep perspective and remember you will not blow up from one cheeseburger.
My goal is to create a plan for myself that is realistic for all of the various situations life has to offer. From traveling to being sick at home on the couch. I want to know what my basic structure for eating will be and sticking to that, following the 80-20 rule. 80 percent of the time eat whole, real foods and the other 20 percent allow for eating out and any other unexpected occasions.
Clean eating and real foods is what makes sense for me and my lifestyle as well as my personal goals (more specifics about this way of eating to come in future posts). I believe that each of us has to decide what our basic eating framework will look like.
That being said, I also firmly believe that strict diets do not work and only perpetuate the inevitable ride on the food rollercoaster. Try taking baby steps and changing one small habit at a time. The overall goal is to find your version of health and peace with food.
Here are some of the Clean Eating Recipes I tried this week: