Aside from my major sweet tooth I’m a healthy eater and exerciser these days.
A few years back when I was in graduate school, in Boston, all by my lonesome, I took a break from my semi-healthy habits. During the day I was still eating well with oatmeal, turkey sandwiches, and salads as my go to meals but at night…oh at night. At night I worked at a pub that served awesome food so I failed there and then if I wasn’t working I was eating whole bags or tubs of whatever I felt like that night. Eh.
That year I gained 10-15 pounds.
To counteract my eating I would go to the gym. Research tells us that eating healthy is WAY more beneficial in losing weight than just exercising (unless you exercise all day long) so the weight stayed on.
I think my turning point was my engagement. I felt like crap and definitely didn’t want to feel or look like crap on my wedding day.
The first thing I did was improve my eating. I cut back somewhat on all of the junk and restaurant food. I kept up my exercising which was cardio and weights but added yoga for the first time and also swimming. The gym at my school was ah-mazing so to me it was fun to trek in the snow (I’m from FL so yeah), swim in the toasty pool, get ready for the day and then head to class. It was a nice routine for me.
All this was working. The only downfall was my calorie counting.
I think those calorie counting websites are a great tool to help you in the beginning of your healthy living overhaul. They can help you gain the knowledge you need to make the habits a lifestyle and not just a diet. BUT I didn’t kick the habit once I had gotten back to my original weight. For a couple of years I would track every calorie in and every calorie burned. Each time I gained a pound or lost a pound I internally freaked out. I probably only fluctuated 5 pounds or so which is NORMAL but at the time I didn’t think so.
Towards the end of my calorie counting I began reading healthy living and healthy food blogs. They were (and still are) great sources of postivity and inspiration in my life. Then one day it just clicked. What the heck am I doing sitting here trying to figure out how many calories my turkey sandwich has?? I’m wasting my life worrying about this stuff! I’m done with calorie counting and bringing myself down with negativity. Done and done. It was such a crazy epiphany. One morning I was calorie counting and by the afternoon I was this brand new person! I guess things finally just clicked.
Of course I still struggle with a negative body image once in a while but if I eat a whole box of mike and ikes one night, the next morning I have the choice to eat healthy again. No big deal! My life won’t be ruined because of that candy – maybe my mobility for the night will be and you’d like to think I’d learn my lesson by now! But hey, it’s okay.
Now I have to tell you I have a naturally thin frame so some might look at my before and after pictures and say ‘There’s no freaking difference! She’s too skinny!’ but I was eating terribly and wasn’t happy in 2008. I mean I cried (not from happiness) trying on wedding dresses! How sad is that? Anyways, I now know that it’s not about the scale but about how you feel overall. When I have a good, healthy, balanced system going I look like the image on the right – like right now!
Today I focus on the meal at hand and mainly how I can add veggies or fruit to it. For exercise I focus on yoga 3 times a week (per my 2012 Resolutions) and training for a 10k in March. When I attempt to stay on track with this I feel balanced, I sleep better, and I’m SO much happier over all.
You can be healthy AND happy without overanalyzing your body and everything else for that matter! As my husband says, “Just Chill.”