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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What's the Trick? Part 2

So, I guess there is a second part to my thoughts on this question.  And probably even a third when it comes to exercise and fitness.  First, I thought I would give an example of what I mean by completely changing my lifestyle.  And my nutrition is definitely the largest piece of that change.  I mentioned in my previous entry that I have altered everything I put in my body.  Here's an example of what I used to eat vs. what I now eat in a day.  And, for anyone wondering, I don't remember the food from last year - I have a food journal that is electronic that I've kept all year and I looked back at it.

What a day used to look like for me:

Chocolate cheerios w/milk
small plain bagel w/peanut butter

Peanut Butter & Jelly 
goldfish crackers

Graham Crackers

Lean Cuisine meal
Salad (I piled it with cheese convincing myself that it was still healthy...)
Some kind of dessert (probably ice cream!)

Not the healthiest, right?  Hey, I thought I was doing great.    This list is actually from the first day I started trying to watch my food last January but about a week before I met with Renee' so I still had no clue what I was doing.

Now, this is what a typical day looks like for me - 

Scrambled egg w/a little shredded cheese
Green tea

String Cheese

Salad/w plenty of veggies, almonds and avocado (instead of cheese)
green tea & a couple york peppermint patties

KIND plus protein bar (before I workout)
Piece of fruit & a protein shake (after I workout)

Small piece of steak (last night was sirloin) grilled or baked (or chicken)
sweet potato w/spray butter
green tea & a couple pieces of dark chocolate

What a difference, right?  I try to not eat all the same stuff every day so my body doesn't get used to food.  But, I definitely get stuck in a rut and have to find new things to try.  I'm not very good at that but I'm working on it.  If you really looked at what I used to eat, you'd see that I didn't get much protein throughout the day which, now that I know more, helps me understand why I was always so hungry.  Also, my sodium levels were super high which would result in water retention.  Not to mention the dessert.... I probably went through a package and a half of oreos in a week.  Now, I can satisfy my sweet tooth with healthy options.  And, I get plenty of protein throughout the day.  Amazingly enough, by eating the right stuff, my sodium levels are now under control on an almost daily basis.  I drink tons of water which I think makes my skin look healthier.  

You'll also notice I eat often throughout the day.  Some days (like today) I feel like I never stop eating.  But, that means my body doesn't have the chance to get hungry and, therefore, I don't overeat.  I also don't starve myself.  In fact, I never could.  I love food way too much.  But I've learned to love healthy food just as much, if not more, than I used to love junk food.  It fills me up and doesn't make me feel lethargic.  In fact, the way I eat now gives me more energy than I ever thought I would have in my life.  

Getting your nutrition right is really the biggest "trick" there is, in my opinion.  I've been on so many different diets throughout my life.  I had always heard the term "lifestyle change" but never really bought into it.  Now, it's become a way of life for me.  It's why I felt comfortable giving away all of my clothes as they got too big.  I'm never going to let myself get back to that person because the junk food isn't worth it.

On another note, as I've mentioned before, the weight loss was a catalyst for all of my changes.  And of course I get excited about the way I look and feel about my body now.  But, for me, it's never been about being thin.  It's about being healthy and feeling good about myself, inside and out.  I love that I am building muscle now.  That I can lift more weight than I ever thought I would be able to.  That I can sort of do 3 normal pushups and, someday, maybe I'll be able to do more.  That I have the ability to laugh at myself.  I think the self-confidence I've found is the greatest gift I've ever been given.  Being healthy is an amazing feeling.  

Take a chance and make a change.  You won't regret it.  And you'll find you had "the trick" inside you all along.