Food for thought: change the way you change.

by Melissa on January 16, 2014

Hey guys! Almost through the work week!

So, you all know I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, and I started with posting a challenge I’ve set for myself  – 100 Days of Yoga.  It’s not that I plan on stopping after 100 days – it’s more of a way for me to get into a groove and make yoga part of my daily life. I mentioned at the end of Monday’s post that I wanted to talk a little bit about my diet as well. (No, I’m not on a diet. ;) )

There have been some aspects of my lifestyle that I have been focusing on recently, especially in terms of being mindful of my body. My stress level. My caffeine consumption. How incredibly terrible I feel after eating specific foods. Things of that nature. So, after the last few years of figuring out what does and doesn’t work for me when it comes to initiating change, I’ve been focusing on what changes need to be made and how to make them correctly without crossing that line into what I call “the extreme”. Crossing that line, for me, sends me spiraling out of control and right back to where I started.

For instance, a long time ago, I decided I would suddenly make the switch to vegetarianism. With my family. Bad decision. There’s a right and a wrong what of making that decision. Haha. Then there have been the times I’ve gone cold turkey on sugar. Yes, I lost weight. Yes, I felt a difference. But then I denied myself a treat here and there, not trusting my own ability to not go overboard, and well, we all know that by forbidding things, you go nuts and it’s all over.

And then there’s the goal of weight loss…and I just need to say that while I know I need it to happen, I mentioned it before: I’m tired of making that my goal.

So I’m not.

I’m focusing on how I feel…physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. 100 days of yoga for all of the above. Taking my time with getting back into running to prevent injury. Being more mindful and taking my time. Spending more time on self love…and making the slow transition I’ve been making into becoming more what you’d call a “pescatarian”.  I don’t like to label what I am as an eater – there’s no need to. I’m on this journey of learning to eat to live, rather than eat to sooth…or eat to entertain…or anything else.

I’ve felt a massive shift in the way my body responds to what I feed it over the last few months. Specifically, high fat, high carbohydrate foods make me feel anxious yet rundown. A cheeseburger, no matter how big or small, slows me way down. I feel incredibly full and bloated. Dairy has been doing the same. But feed me a massive bowl of raw vegetables or fruits, and I feel the exact opposite. I feel hydrated, energized, and more vibrant. I can’t however, bring myself to completely eliminate animal protein – specifically chicken and fish, but more so fish. I need the whole grains to help fuel my runs, and I prefer these in the form of rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta (if any pasta at all), and sprouted grains.

And sugar…the damn sugar. I’m plagued with a sweet tooth, and I’m learning to control it. I’ve stopped buying a lot of my favorites – ice cream, cookies, brownies. If they’re here, I eat them. (Oddly enough, my husband loves Oreos, and so do I, but I can control the urge for those…why’d I have to fall short on all the others?! Haha.) Sugar cravings don’t come and go for me…they come and stay. However, recently, because I’ve been slowly turning away unnecessary sugar, the cravings aren’t there much anymore.

So, since giving up my obsession with weight loss, I’ve learned to really listen to my body. Now, it’s just about making the changes I need to make, without crossing the extremist line, so that they’re lasting changes. No quick fix detoxes. No elimination of one macronutrient. No cold turkey sugar-free withdrawals that send me back two steps. Just slow, mindful, peaceful changes I plan to maintain.

Change

Apparently, I’ve even changed the way I change.

 

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