A Word about Diet.
*Originally posted May 12, 2016
If you recall I did another challenge back in January where I did three diets in one month. The result was I lost 12 pounds. And at the end of January I was pretty happy about that. By the end of February I had retained none of the good habits I learned in that month. I did not gain all the weight back. I only gained back two pounds, but given my goal was to continue to lose weight that’s not the best result. I haven’t talked too much about it because after boasting about losing 12 pounds and then not being able to shed anymore was discouraging, and Heaven forbid what if I gained it all back. I don’t want to be someone who publicly gains and loses weight claiming they found the secret to health. I’m not Oprah. But as I’ve said before, I would like a little less bulk on my frame. I do believe that people are beautiful at any size, but that beauty only ever really shines through if they’re comfortable in their own skin. And, though, I’m not screaming to get out of this particular skin suit, I don’t particular love it.
The other day I met my friend Bec for a walk, and when I walked up she exclaimed how good I looked. This meant a lot to me, especially because she said it before I awkwardly asked if I looked any different. And because the last time I weighed myself my weight had not changed since I’ve started my Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge. I’ve decided instead of weighing myself everyday, which can be a real mind fuck, instead to concentrate on how I feel and what I can do with my body. When I say how I feel, I don’t just mean; do I feel energized or happy, I mean how I actually feel. I find myself poking my own quadriceps then running up to my boyfriend Tom asking, “Does this feel firmer to you? I think it feels firmer.” I assume my body is changing given my Becs exclamation upon meeting her. Also, the other day, Tom came up behind me and pinched my sides saying, “I think you’ve gotten slimmer here.” I quipped, “That’s because Half-Moon pose slims the waist line and breaks down fat cells!” He then grumbled something about hippy science and walked away from me. We’re always romantic like that.
As Bec and I walked along the subject fell onto diet and we both agreed that the secret weight loss is to eat less and move more. That’s what we’ve always heard and that’s what yields results. It wasn’t till I was scooping myself up a second helping of dinner that I realized. I never eat less. Even in January when I lost, what is to me, a lot of weight in one month I still ate like a horse. But I did eat better. I never weighed my food, I never checked the calories of things I just stuck to the prescribed diet and ate as much as I wanted of what ever was on that list. And all the lists had vegetables at the top so I ate way more of those. I don’t think the volume of the food I ate changed. (Though as I said I wasn’t weighing my food so who knows). The distribution of food changed. On both the Paleo Diet and the Vegan diet I ate no dairy, or wheat, but I did eat a lot more green stuff.
One of the reasons I stalled out after my January challenge is because I didn’t know what to do next. Though I liked both Paleo and Veganism for short term options, I didn’t want those restrictions long term. Being Paleo makes dining out at vegetarian restaurants tricky, which is something I like to do with my friends. When I stay in for dinner, Tom and I take turns cooking and he’d never go vegan. I wanted something in the middle, but I got overwhelmed with choice so I found myself reaching for comforts like chips covered in cheese instead. I didn’t eat poorly everyday, but enough to gain back two pounds and not shed anymore weight.
As I’ve started my Bikram Challenge my food choices have started to change again for the better. I’m drinking less alcohol which is a big culprit for me, and because I want to be well fueled to have good class, I’m back to drinking morning green smoothies. When I say I drink a green smoothie by the way, I don’t drink a small class, I drink two pints. As I’ve said before my appetite is big. I’m still having a drink on occasion and other indulgences but it’s much less than before. Though, I’m not weighing myself the one thing I did do is take before pictures. I did this at the beginning and end of January too. And even though I was weighing and measuring myself in January, the change didn’t really resonate with me till I saw the picture.
I highly recommend anyone who’s endeavoring to change their body composition to do before and after pictures. It makes you see what has actually changed in your body. I’ve been taking pictures of my yoga postures as well. The change in just 13 days in my Standing-Bow has had me walking on air all day.
If you wanted my diet advice (and if you don’t just stop reading here) it’s simply this: Do your best to eat moderately. Add more plants to your meals. And whatever you do, don’t ever feel like your suffering as you change your food habits. That’ll just lead to defeat.
Ok, now if we could all take a minute to admire my Standing-Bow that would be great. Thanks.