Living in this world with Instagram we are taught to strive for this unattainable perfection. Even when I was in high school clothing sizes, the size of your “thigh gap” and the number you saw on a scale was somewhat of a competition. Being a dancer myself and wearing very form fitting outfits for calls I was exceptionally difficult on myself and the way I looked. I would even go as far as to skip lunch for two years not to gain weight. In college, I went the opposite way and became very unhealthy not worrying about what I was eating, there was so much temptation between drinking and all the food options I didn’t eat healthy which lead to somewhat of a downward spiral. I then reverted back to my old ways of restricting my food intake and starving myself in a desperate attempt to bounce back to my pre-college weight.
It took me so many years, and a lot of research to really learn to understand my cravings, listen to my bodies needs and actually enjoy cooking and feeding my body the right foods. It’s been a really long journey but I’m finally becoming proud of the person I see in the mirror today.
Make sure to listen to your cravings and know what the underlying need is. Then keep healthy alternatives around to satisfy those cravings. Cravings for chocolate might mean your body is craving more magnesium. Keep some dark chocolate chips in your freezer and when you get the craving give yourself a couple of pieces. If you’re looking for other sweets just keep some fruit in your fridge. Right now I love putting grapes and blueberries in the freezer for the perfect summer snack.
As a vegetarian, getting enough protein or iron is something I need to be conscious of if I start to crave a burger I know I need more protein. Instead of indulging, I will satisfy myself with leafy greens, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Eat when you’re physically hungry
As opposed to when your brain tells you you’re hungry, make sure your body is also hungry. When eating take your time to sit down and enjoy your meal. We are always on the go and I’ve even been known to take my meals on the run to my next event or appointment. Not rushing through your meals also allows you to know when you’re full. When you become acquainted with these two feelings again it will help tremendously.
Going off the last tip taking care of portion control along with knowing when you’re hungry and full will help you not overindulge. Another way to keep your portions and snacking under control is to, instead of bringing the bag of chips to the couch pour yourself a small bowl that way you know when you need to stop and aren’t tempted to continue eating,
Eat what you want!
Now don’t take that last few tips too literally. If you want the pizza, eat the pizza, if you’re craving the slice of chocolate cake, by all means, enjoy it. Just remember portions and that feeling of being satisfied.
Don’t Punish Yourself For What You Ate Yesterday
Something I did to myself for many years was to feel guilty for indulgences
and I would punish myself with calorie restriction or a long session at the gym. Using the gym as a punishment doesn’t allow you to really enjoy your workout and it becomes more of a chore and less of something your body needs to be healthy. Along with being guilty of a previous meal you also shouldn’t use don’t use an extra long workout as an excuse to overindulge. No matter what make sure you enjoy the food you put into your body and the exercise you give it to be healthy.
If you remember anything from this blog post please let it be this. Your body is an incredible vessel that bends and twists and brings you to places and people you enjoy. You should be grateful for the amazing things your body does for you every day. Feed it right, exercise and like any good relationship listen to what it needs to grow.