Series: My Considerable Challenges with Healthy Eating
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” -Julia Child
On Sunday, I decided that I’d go ahead and hit the “restart” button on my health journey. For the past few weeks although conscious of what I’ve been feeding my face, I’ve still continued scarfing miniature Snickers, Twix and Reese’s cups.Now let me remind you, all of this has still been logged into my, My Fitness Pal account, only to remind me of how discouraged and off track I am. I’ve found that every single time I choose to overeat, I don’t feel physically well nor do I feel happy in my decision to eat poor.
I’ve found that I am very hard on myself and in some instances, not hard enough. I’ve created this post to remind you to first recognize your challenges and second, find easy and realistic methods to overcoming these seemingly large obstacles. And of course, there’s always a funny picture 🙂 included.
Challenge 1 – The Restmobile:
Just so you know, the restmobile never came to town. For the past six months, rest has been on the very bottom of my list with school, work and a variety of other challenges taking precedence over my life. One thing I’ve found with me allowing rest to be the least important of my goals is that I so often find myself grumpy, physically exhausted and hungry. In just a few days of changing my eating regimen I’ve found that rest plays an enormous role in the quality of my eating throughout the day. While it may seem silly, I’ve watched myself make better food choices on days where I receive six to eight hours of sleep. Anything more than eight hours, I’m surprisingly a sleep-walking fool (I get a little sleep drunk).
The solution? Cut the crap – Your crap might be different from mine. Your crap could be your late night chats with your crush, or that favorite television show. For me, I often find myself stuck watching Gossip Girl, as I just began the show a month ago and it’s amazing. But cutting the crap and shutting down all technology can go a long way. I began using this feature on my phone called “Night Shift,” (iPhone), which dims your phone to a less abrasive screen lighting. I have the feature set to begin its dimming feature around 10 p.m. every night and ending at 7:00 a.m. each day. I am soon considering “Do Not Disturb,” as another great option in shutting down the notifications on my phone until just before sunrise. These minor decisions have provided a vast change in the quality of the rest I receive. I hope they’ll work for you!
Challenge 2 – The Prep-O-Meter:
I don’t prep enough. Heck! I barely prep, until recently. Prior to my more recent attempt at making serious changes in my journey, I’d stopped meal prepping. I purchased frozen Smart Ones meals and while I enjoy the quality of their frozen options, I know I also love wonderful home cooking. Since school finally came to an end, I decided that I’d make a more conscious effort at preparing my food for the week (recipes to come). I found that the less I prepped, the more often I purchased food from our cafe at work. Starbucks, quesadilla’s, french fries, I legitimately can smell and taste the food as I type. When I make the conscious decision coupled with a witty excuse to not prep my food, I usually find myself choosing poor and expensive options; “diet coke,” chicken tenders, french fries, along with a Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookie from the cafe. While all of this is extremely appetizing, it doesn’t quite align with my goals to eat cleaner, healthier and more well-rounded.
Prep OR Die – This week, I decided to make that same important decision I’d been choosing poorly for the past few months. I recognized that I will often choose unhealthy choices if I don’t have healthier choices available and prepped. I immediately turned to my mom’s wonderful tuna salad recipe (I promise that will be shared in the next few posts), I measured my Pretzel Crisps for the week to accompany my tuna salad, purchased snack size packages of white cheddar popcorn – can you tell Amazon is my best-friend? Most importantly, I prepped, measured and planned for the next four days every item I intended to consume. Please know, this has been hard. It’s Tuesday and I have two more tuna salads left for the week, leaving Friday open for business. I will admit, having my meal and snack options planned has definitely made a difference in the quality of my eating habits this week. It’s also saved me time each morning, figuring out what to take for lunch. I have taken on the attitude that if I don’t prep, I’ll die. While this may seem extreme it’s effective and fun for me! I do not, by any means encourage obsessing over food, just choosing health consciousness. I find myself with more self-control and less cravings.
Feel free to check out my previous post regarding meal prep and its importance: Meal Prep For Dummies: Why Dining At Home Can Save Your Life
Challenge 3 – The Bore:
I can’t say it enough, don’t get bored! I couldn’t provide you with my challenge of prepping without sharing how important it is to NOT GET BORED. The primary reason I’ve found myself falling off the wagon is boredom. Each week, I eat the same Smart Ones meals, have the same plain bagel with fat-free cream cheese, enjoy the same cheese sticks and ultimately find myself drowning in food boredom. When you are someone who enjoys the act of eating along with the experience, growing bored can drive you to binge eat and later feel like a failure. Know, you are not alone in these emotions…I think I’ve found a way to combat this!
Don’t get bored, get even! – Remember, food is fun and it’s great to have a positive relationship with your meals! Get even with fads. I never recommend following a diet, unless it is for health related reasons. In one of my earlier posts, I highly encouraged my audience to utilize the My Fitness Pal website and application to achieve your goals without implementing too much stress on constantly following fad diets and living a life of perfection. While I grow to develop a healthy relationship with food, I’ve found MFP to be one of my greatest friends. Remember, My Fitness Pal is one of the best resources if you want to have a well-balanced life, filled with the joy of quality meal options and a few fun cheats. Keeping a variety of foods on hand, changing it up and using this application is extremely important. This week, prepping my tuna was wonderful and the right change of pace, protein and flavor.
My challenges this week can be your successes tomorrow. Take my advice and embrace your strength to create the life you want to live. You might be happy to know that my series will continue and I hope you will find tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goals.
Oxxo (Because You Are Only As Strong As You Believe You Are), LUV,Tay