Living Good, Eating Better
Over the past few months I’ve been easing my way into a healthier lifestyle. It’s been SO HARD. I guess I hadn’t realized just how unhealthy my habits are until I started trying to do better. Usually, these diets are prompted by weight gain; I’ve mastered the art of calorie counting and dropping a few pounds just long enough to get back where I want to be and hit my favorite wing spot like I’ve never left. This time, I realized that the inner work I’m doing to honor and cherish myself are pointless if they don’t also reflect the good I’m doing to take care of myself physically. I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism and how it can be about living with less just as much as it’s about getting rid of the things that don’t matter so that there’s only room for things that do. My diet isn’t an exception and if I’m going to eat something “bad” it needs to be worthwhile.
Also on the lowest of highest keys, I told myself that I want to be someone who was willing to sacrifice cheeseburgers to look and feel good.
While I still dabble in the occasional burger here and there, in order to do this the right, and permanent, way I’m learning to make changes that I’m okay with overall. That includes eating foods that I actually enjoy instead of ones that are healthy for healthy’s sake. It also includes something I love: trying new flavors and recipes. I definitely won’t be vegan or plant-based anytime soon, but thus far these changes in my diet have me feeling pretty great both mentally and physically. Here’s a peek into my journey.
It’s Easier to Get Back Onto the Wagon Than to Completely Fall Off
Easing into this lifestyle has proven to be much easier than the times I fall off the wagon. Sounds backwards, but believe me when I say that my body has been far from cooperative when I’ve tried to go back to eating the way I did before. Recently, I had Wendy’s two days in a row and paid for it for the entire week afterwards. There are consequences for oscillating between food choices and easing a fruit or vegetable into cheat treat meals is well worth it in the long wrong. From now on, I’m ordering a salad with my fries. It’s the best of both worlds.
Going Meatless Isn’t As Hard As It Seems
I consider myself a die-hard carnivore, but have found myself substituting the fullness meat brings with things like beans and sweet potatoes. It’s not bad at all. I don’t see myself going vegetarian anytime soon, but I definitely am here for a little Meatless Monday now and again. I don’t see myself going vegetarian anytime soon, but it does excite me to know that my palate is expanding.
Your Body Will Adjust and Tell You What It Needs
Drinking more water has been my biggest struggle. Usually the issue is that people drink other things instead. Mine is that I’m not drinking much of anything at all. If anything has felt like a chore along the way it’s been this. I’ve been making due by enjoying my fave LaCroix (try the coconut flavor and thank me later) and making my own little tracker to give me the satisfaction of seeing my water intake progress each day. The upside, as your body gets used to the changes it’ll start asking you for them. I’m always thirsty now thanks to those few days of discomfort while adjusting to my new habits.
Tackle Your Mind First
Mentally I find myself wanting to eat even when I know I’m full. It’s like I’ll eat a full bowl of salad that I enjoy and is tasty, but my mind just knows I need some chicken nuggets too. I’ve had to fight off thoughts of snacking more than I’d anticipated. It helps to combat it with a full day of packed snacks. I’ve also been leaving my debit cards at home when I go to work because sometimes the CVS across the street gets a little too tempting. This all comes back down to discipline and tackling it with my eating habits helps build my resolve for other things too.
I’m no healthy eating guru, but thus far I’m so happy with my progress. I can’t wait to see what other changes this brings to my waistline and my life.