We give so much to our relationships with our significant others, our friends and our family… but how often do we give attention to our relationships with food and movement? I learned the importance of this, the hard way.
In the beginning of my fitness journey I thought I needed to be extreme in order to see progression. I always go all in when I have a goal in mind – which is as positive as it is negative. I would hesitate going out with friends because I knew my evening would consist of saying no to tempting foods and passing on a glass of wine. I almost began to loathe being asked to attend events. I was exhausted trying to keep up. I began to question what this lifestyle was really doing for me. I reach my goals, sure… but at what cost?
I realized that this lifestyle wasn’t worth it and it made absolutely no sense depriving myself. I shouldn’t feel guilty indulging in one meal or spending time with the people I cared about. I realized I needed to learn the right ways to do this. How can I reach my goal while still having a life and feeling good? How can I still be balanced and still maintain my progress? The answer was simple: quit doing more and simply do less.
Here’s what I learned:
1. You don’t have to deprive yourself.
Realistically speaking, there is only one way to lose body fat: be in a caloric deficit (and the deficit doesn’t need to be 1000 calories). If you want that one meal on the weekend then GO for it! It wont make or break the results you have made thus far. If you want that glass of wine, drink it and ENJOY it. There is no need to feel guilty afterward. As long as you are eating well often and moving often, you will be fine. Live your life.
2. You don’t have to eat salad every day.
Don’t get me wrong… I do LOVE me a good salad, but I definitely don’t eat them all the time. We are conditioned to believe that we have to eat like rabbits and aren’t allowed to eat food that taste good. How boring of a life, right? So instead of feeling like a slave to food, I learned that it really isn’t that hard to eat healthy. I eat pasta, rice, and meals with sauces. Instead of buying low-fat this or low calorie that, I focus on the individual ingredients I put into my body (foods typically in their most natural state / unprocessed). Food is fuel. Food is not the enemy.
Everyone is different. Do your research and go back to the basics. No need to feel like you’re “on a diet.” Mindset is everything! A lot of people believe carbs are bad, when in reality carbs provide our body with energy. Your body NEEDS them. It’s all about moderation and portion control.
3. You don’t have to kill yourself in the gym, simply MOVE.
How are you feeling about working out? I mean really… Even as personal trainer, I have had moments where I was like ugh I am just NOT FEELING it. So how do I stay motivated and LOVE moving my body daily? Seriously though, I actually get excited about doing something daily to move my body. This isn’t always a high intensity workout or a heavy lift day. Sometimes, this isn’t even a cardio day. This can literally be a quick walk, or bike ride outside.
It doesn’t take much to feel amazing and just MOVE. Don’t get stuck in thinking that it always has to be intense. You will make such a difference if you just spend about 15-20 minutes a day doing SOMETHING.
Rebuild your relationship with food and movement, it’s a lot easier than working against it. Once you see the magic in simplicity it’ll be easy to maintain. For me, wellness is never just an “end goal” type of thing… it’s a lifestyle.
Written by: Jess Stadler