Hi Friends! Thank you for your patience as I’ve been silent for quite some time now!
Remember we discussed being patient with ourselves and not being too hard on ourselves when we take a break from our daily fitness routines or healthy eating? It’s so important to avoid negative self talk and be kind to yourself. Celebrate the days or moments when you do something healthy and good for yourself!
PHEW! These past 7 or 8 weeks have been quite a challenge for me. I have exercised less in the past 8 weeks than I would have thought ever possible! Thankfully, I am continuing to fuel my body with healthy food. While I’m adjusting to a new work routine my fitness routine has suffered. I feel conflicted with this new reality because my job is to walk, talk, eat, and breathe health and wellness. Anyway, I’m back at it and moving forward! I felt so AWESOME yesterday after teaching a Zumba class and then going to my own gym to swim laps! Amazing how much a bit of physical activity can help melt the stress away!
I recently came across a headline about the cabbage soup diet. Any of you ever tried the cabbage soup diet? I have definitely made a pot of cabbage soup in the past. A few times, I used the cabbage soup diet to “jump start” whatever new diet I was trying. I don’t recall getting past the first few of days of the diet because it is very restrictive around what else one can eat. I believe the number of calories allowed for this diet was no match for the number of calories needed for my fitness routine. I wasn’t fueling my body the way I should have been, resulting in feeling lethargic and blah. I am curious how many others have tried this diet in the past and how it made your body feel?
I am currently practicing intentional eating, this effort is a work in progress. The idea around intentional eating is learning not only which but also the perfect amount of nutritious foods I should eat that will provide me enough energy to meet my mental and physical needs. Every day I start off with the intention to feed my body nutritious foods that will give me the most bang for my buck! To me, eating with intention seems so much less limiting than a week of cabbage soup. Intentional eating is all about the choices I make. I choose if the food is good or bad for me. How I feel after eating the food is my meter for whether or not I want to eat that type of food again.
My intentional eating effort has taken me to a place I never thought possible. Most days, I feel pretty great. I am learning that the more “whole” the food is, the better I feel. It has taken me quite some time to get to a place where I replace a fast food stop with a bag of mixed nuts and a cut up apple stored in the console of my car. Don’t worry the apple hasn’t been there for days. I have learned that food that is overly processed makes me feel unwell (ie. lethargic, nauseated). On occasion, I’ll begin to crave fast food or packaged, processed food and I make a choice to either eat it or not. When I eat it, I intentionally notice how it makes me feel. If the food makes me feel unwell, then I store that feeling in my memory in hopes that I will avoid eating that type of food the next time.
Take a moment and recall how eating sugary foods makes you feel? I bet your initial reaction is that sugar makes you feel pretty darn good! Yes, of course the body’s initial reaction to sugar is a beautiful, wonderful, and pleasurable experience. Now get past that moment of happiness and elation, what happens next? My personal experience is that my brain is like OH YEAH GIVE ME MORE but when I polish off the MORE I don’t feel like I did when I took the first bite. My body is building up a tolerance to the sugar. If my body is more tolerant then this means it takes more sugar to get that same initial feeling.
Now recall how you feel after you engage in physical activity. First, envision what activity you are doing? Are you working out at the gym, going for a walk or bike ride outside, participating in a fitness class, or swimming? How does this activity make your body and mind feel? After you get past the part of “exercising”, I bet you also feel pretty darn good?! Your brain is releasing endorphins to help squash your stress level as well as producing proteins that help reduce anxiety and depression levels and increase cognitive function.
Yesterday morning I was feeling pretty down. I was definitely in a funk and have been in one for several weeks now. I went to work to finish up some things I didn’t get to earlier in the week. I had a feeling of chest tightness and my outlook on the day and future days was very abysmal. I have felt for the past several weeks that my level of physical activity is not sufficient. Anyway yesterday, I made an intentional choice to change my behavior. I first taught a Zumba class. MAN!! do you have any idea how I felt during and after that Zumba class? I felt like I was on cloud 9!!! Then once I got home (still feeling AWESOME) I asked my husband if he’d like to go to the gym. We went swimming! Again, I felt so AWESOME! My body new exactly what to do!
How do I feel today? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Well I definitely feel SORE! But that’s okay! I will go for a run today because the sun is shining and all is right in my world! I will be intentional today for the health of it!!! Be well my friends!