Health/Well Being · Thoughts

What Do I Do? More In-Depth Look At My Health and Wellness Journey

Last night, I posted on my personal Facebook page my excitement and proud moment of how I’ve lost a total of 11 pounds and a handful of inches in the last 2 months. A dear friend asked me for some motivation and healthy eating tips, and what I do for physical exercise. I started to write a novel in the comments, but I’ve decided to write about it on here instead in case I can help any other folks as well. Thank you for the inspiration, Jenna!

I will caution though that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey and that I am by no means an expert. I’m simply a woman who got tired of my outside self not matching my inside self. I am a woman who got tired of living most of my life never fully loving my body. I am a woman who was tired of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and often feeling the need to hide behind my clothes. I got tired, had a pity party for myself, and then got angry and said “enough is enough!” after this experience. As painful as that experience was, I am so thankful for it. It’s given me motivation that I hadn’t felt for years.

Everyone of us is so uniquely different and what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for anyone else. It’s about trial and error and discovering what works and the willingness to change things as needed. Our bodies will adapt and will require more or less of certain things and we need to be flexible.

My focus has been on creating a healthy lifestyle that consists of maintainable habits that I can carry with me the rest of my life. All other times, I focused on “needing to lose weight,” which stemmed from a “I’m not good enough” vibe. I was often left feeling deprived and that I was punishing myself for carrying extra weight. In my experience, the body doesn’t respond optimally if we we’re coming from that place. I’ve focused a lot on loving myself, and not just my external self, and I’ve noticed that I crave exercise and movement, and healthy foods. Our bodies know what it needs in terms of movement and food and I’ve learned to trust it. I learned that I deserve to feel and look my very best.

More specifically, I do 90 minute yoga classes 2 times a week, and lift weights another 2 times a week. Sometimes this works out to being 4 workouts in a row, other weeks, I have a rest day after 2 days of exercise. The latter usually makes me feel better. Prior to the last 2 months, I was doing strictly yoga 3 – 5 times a week for over a year and not getting the physical results I wanted so I added weight training (Body Pump Classes at Goodlife Fitness). Yoga will always be part of my life – because it’s so much more than exercise – it connects the mind, body and spirit. It’s literally part of who I am.

Most important part in terms of exercise is that I LOVE it! I already said how much I love yoga but I love lifting weights. I feel badass, powerful, strong, and I love seeing how each week I can lift more and more. I love seeing the definition it’s starting to give certain areas of my body. Hear me roar!! 🙂

Yes, I’m talking to you!!
In terms of healthy eating, I’m a strict vegetarian and I follow an intermittent fasting cycle every day. My eating window is 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The research I’ve done says that is really effective for weight loss and I believe that we really don’t need to be eating all day long. Digestion requires a serious amount of energy and I like the idea of giving my body a break, so I thought I’d give it a try and it’s been successful. I’m quite strict on this time frame. If I’m hungry before noon, I’ll eat and just keep my window to the 8 hours. A few times where I have eaten past my window and I didn’t get ample amount of time to digest before hitting the sack, I slept awful and woke up feeling like I had a hangover.
intermittent-fastingI use the Fitnesspal app on my phone to log my food, exercise, and progress, which has been very helpful! I’ve heard good things about other apps, so I’m not promoting this specific one, it’s just the only one I’ve used. It’s really helpful to keep me accountable. I’m not on any kind of diet – I just eat healthy foods, while having a treat periodically and not feeling guilty about it. Let’s be honest, some stuff that isn’t so good for us tastes really good and I’m not going to deprive myself of that experience. I do notice though that I crave those foods less and less, and food with a lot of salt and sugar have become really noticeable to me and I don’t enjoy them like I used to. I’ve read our taste buds become rewired when we change our eating habits and I’ve noticed that in myself as well.

I don’t have a specific meal plan – I eat what I like and when I’m hungry (within my window) and stick to my caloric intake according to my Fitnesspal app. I stick to water, and every now and again I’ll have fruit juice – which is only maybe a few times a year.

I don’t strive for perfection in any of this and neither should you. I’m repeating myself when I say this, but the most important piece of “advice” I can give to someone who doesn’t know where to start is find an activity you love and do it often, eat foods that you like and know are healthy, and be good to yourself. This shouldn’t be complicated. Don’t hold yourself to expectations that you know are unrealistic in the long-run. ENJOY the process and your body will respond accordingly. There’s a huge energetic/mental aspect to all of this. If you hate what you’re doing and eating, stop it right now. Your body will respond much more positively and quickly if you enjoy the process. I speak from personal experience and from my understanding of how energy and thoughts works.

As cliche as this sounds, life is about enjoying the journey so what is the point if you’re hating every minute of it? Yes, it’s a challenge to get started, but it feels so good once you do. I still get my ass kicked in the gym and at the yoga studio [and if I eat cheesecake like I did yesterday for my birthday (I felt sick afterwards)], but I still do it because I know I’m worth every bit of time I spend taking care of me. I also have much more to give my loved ones when I take care of me. Life happens outside of our comfort zones. After all, you’re only given one permanent home to live in so why not make it as strong, vibrant, healthy, beautiful and glowing as possible?  You deserve nothing less than the best. I know this because you’re alive. It is your divinely given right.

With love,
S.

I’d love to hear from you; please feel free to post in the comments below. xo

 

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2 thoughts on “What Do I Do? More In-Depth Look At My Health and Wellness Journey

  1. Thanks so much Steph !!! I loved it!! I’m going to start out with yoga twice a week and a weight training class I think that’s a great start 🙂

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