Yesterday I read "Is Being Really Lean Really Worth It?" ( www.sparkpeople.com/blog
) and have been reflecting on it all day today, some points specifically.... and starting from her final point.
My diet and exercise habits are pretty good. Definitely not perfect but there are few days that I look back on, thinking that I shouldn't have eaten this and this and that and this and that... I am pretty mindful about what I'm eating as well as when I chose to not eat something I don't want or need at the moment. Some days I do have an indulgence like a cookie at the office from a tray that someone made or a glass (or second glass...) of wine at night, add some extra nuts to my salad or snack... we all know all the tricks! Would I honestly be willing to forgo these small extras, to become so strict in my eating that I might get to feel deprived, only to lose weight a little faster? I don't think so! My exercise habits aren't called into question because I would love to do more and as it is I'm going to zumba twice per week and yoga three times so I squeeze in what extra I can... the extra that I don't have to feel at all guilty about! So yes, right now, I'm pretty happy with my diet and exercise.
Two of the other points, that some of us can maintain leaner physiques and that trying too hard can be a cause of unhappiness, I kind of combined. One of the points brought up is that our bodies become accustomed to being within a given weight and composition. Rapid changes are difficult to sustain because our bodies naturally want to return to their state of comfort. I was a chubby but moderately active kid and teenager... my body likes to return to that. In line with that, I have to say, however, that even when I lose weight and keep it off for 6 months to a year, my tendency is still to go up. In fact, I was thinking about it today, and about 2/3 of the times I have managed to lose weight have been when I'm rather depressed or in a bad state and the act of controlling my food intake brings me a little bit of peace. When I'm happy, it seems, I tend to not track what I'm eating and I must overindulge to some degree (it is worth noting here that I feel I'm coming into a 'happy' phase and I feel like I've gained at least 5 pounds back).
So what to do! I think the first thing to do is become more comfortable with myself, no matter how my weight may fluctuate! Definitely finding that peace with the self from within is essential. Second, I need to keep doing what I'm doing though perhaps inject some added mindfulness when confronted by a plate of homemade cookies or beers with friends. Maybe add an extra bike ride or hike this weekend too...
Third, and this may sound silly to some, but yesterday (even before reading the article) I was looking at my calendar and saw that it was a new moon. A friend once told me that a new moon is a good time to start something and a full moon should signal the culmination (I'm sure there is more to it than this). Anyhow, yesterday I decided that I would be more mindful until the full moon. This morning I was feeling gross (my gut and my skin, as I understand that may be connected) after having some yogurt and berries and sipping my coffee... I had been thinking for a while of cutting coffee and dairy and I'm going to do that for (at least) two weeks. I also decided that starting on Monday I will go to yoga at least once per day for the next 10 days (I'm waiting until Monday because I'm going to visit my boyfriend in another city tomorrow through Sunday and though I could go to yoga, my bank balance is low and I have an unlimited pass here). A good two-week plan, I think!
So sparkfriends, here I go on my own two-week challenge. I hope you are all having a great week!