So this is an entry about my diet…during the holidays…but you can look at the bigger picture of my message below, all year round, and take away encouragement that winning today’s battle is all about your perspective! It’s up to you to see differently!!!…
In 38 days (less than a month and 2 weeks) I lost over 6 inches in my curves and over 10 pounds! Did I “hit it hard” and have a cheat day once a week? Nope. Did I do low carb, high protein, low fat, vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free, etc.? Nope. I simply took away my right to eat privately! I took a picture of every single food/drink I consumed during my challenge, made cute little collages, and posted them on Instagram! Looking back on some of my first collages, I can see how my food choices progressively became healthier as I kept going through the challenge! It’s honestly been really fun to find new ways to take pictures of my usual foods, as well as share restaurant food! Knowing that Instagram was going to SEE what I ATE really helped me consider and reconsider my choices!
Shopping: I love me some WalMart!!! For someone like me, trying to make simply BETTER choices when it comes to junk food vs healthy food; for someone who’s not super sensitive to tastes or brands, WalMart has everything I need in order to start eating better! I have discovered my favorite gluten free products like crackers and cookie mix, I buy Light Organic Agave Nectar, flaxseed, yeast, almond milk, coconut butter, olive oil, low sodium soups and chili mixes, seasonings, gluten free/no filler turkey, and all my important veggies like kale, celery, red/yellow/orange peppers, spinach, red onion, cilantro, parsley, cucumbers…All I’m saying is that I’m your average single female shopper and I FIND my beginner basics there!
Cooking: I’m not being modest when I say I’m not a good cook! This is MOSTLY due to the fact that I don’t LIKE spending too much time with food prep! However, my handy dandy chopping block, blender, microwave, and rice cooker have served me well this last month and a half! One thing I haven’t found in my WalMart yet is quinoa (doesn’t mean it isn’t there…it just means I’m not capable of locating it yet!) so I order quinoa online from WalMart, site to store, no shipping fee! I throw some quinoa in my rice cooker, set it to “brown rice”, and DONE! That stuff can be mixed with anything and substitutes fabulously for rice! I chop fruits and veggies to blend in my health smoothies every other day (I blend 2 servings at one time). My new friend Tracy introduced me to Kimberly Snyder and her Glowing Green Smoothie movement, so I started with her basic formula (not organic, cuz remember, I’m a beginner and I value price vs organic-ness right now!) and add a little honey to sweeten it just a tad…BOOM!…breakfast of champions! I microwave soups, frozen fish, leftovers, oatmeal, teas…obviously easy. Throw in some reliable Tupperware-like containers and travel thermoses and I’m good to go! I tote chopped peppers, almonds, gluten free crackers, and water everywhere I go! In essence, my cooking is less cooking and more food prep/packing for travel, but it works for me.
Portions and BALANCE: I believe the 2nd most important thing I have improved on during this first challenge is my portion control, and balancing my food groups. If I had more dairy that I should have one day, I make an effort to avoid it the next day. I LISTEN to my body more now, so that if it says “You had some heavy foods earlier. I think it’s time for veggies.”, I give it veggies! I immediately sense when I start to get hungry and have become very purposeful in feeding my body when it asks vs when I get bored or when I “have time”. This has also helped me to NOT feed my body when it’s NOT asking to be fed! It’s a balancing act that I’m better at now, only because I respond to my body instead of my emotions or my environment…which brings me to my MOST IMPORTANT improvement!…
Mentality: Yes, it’s mental! My self-perspective has improved so much in such a short time! Have you ever stepped on the scale and wished you saw a different set of numbers, either rounded up or down? “If only I could get below 200…If only I could have gotten up/down 2 more pounds this week…” I had a number in my head I HOPED I had reached during this challenge, and though it turns out I am heavier than the number I wanted, I still lost over 10 pounds! The moment I felt disappointment, I STOPPED that negative thought, DROPPED any and all kind of punishment I could have allowed to stick in my brain, and I ROLLED forward, quickly recognizing the victory standing on that scale! Losing 10 pounds is an accomplishment! Losing half of that would have been an accomplishment because losing weight wasn’t my most important victory. I have achieved THANKFULNESS! I am thankful for my first Food Post Challenge, for the priceless gift of being friends with my body and my mirror again! Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing a woman with failures in every curve, I look in that same mirror and see the same woman with VICTORIES in every curve, not really because those curves are smaller, but because I know those curves represent the day to day work I’ve put into them, daily recommitting myself to taking care of my body from the inside out!
Ladies and gentlemen, the true victory, every day, is recognizing the victory! Too simple? Considering how much I’ve overcomplicated my diets, excuses, and the resulting negative self image through the years, I believe simplicity is what I need! If you were to find the success story (no matter how insignificant it may seem to you) in each day of your journey of healthier living, wouldn’t that not only take pressure off your “end result” but also allow you to enjoy more successes than just that final end result goal?
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to focus on your victories, one day at a time, one night at a time, and hold on to that success, share it, THANK God for it, and encourage yourself into the next day! If you do that, I guarantee you will start liking yourself more and more, and punishing yourself less and less! If you’re busy cheering yourself on and highlighting your success, there won’t be much time to bash yourself, AND you may even start passing your well-practiced encouragement on to others, which would be yet another victory! Remember, starting now, whether it’s one less piece of cornbread or one more walk around the block, if you have made even one healthier choice today, if you STOP, DROP, & ROLL even one negative thought about yourself, you have won a victory!