On my journey to absolutely love my body I have come across a few revelations that have made me dig a bit deeper into my soul. I tried numerous times to go vegan but couldn't understand why my body wouldn't take to it. Or I should really say my mind. I watched documentaries that would scare the shit out of most people, switched most products I used to vegan based products and would actively try to do better. But then I'd have a super long day at work and come home to my mom cooking chicken cutlets. And well, I was too tired and cranky to cook my own food so I gave in. I have tons of stories just like this.
For a few months I had changed my diet over to vegetarian/pescatarian. I did it more for weight loss purposes and to see if it would make any difference. I generally eat fish more than poultry or meat so it wasn't difficult. What was difficult was to eat foods other then shrimp or plain pasta when I couldn't find meatless options. So no, that didn't work out great either.
I listened to my body. Ive always been very in tune with how I'm feeling. As a kid up until present day, I've battled having a weak stomach which meant often getting the stomach bug. My mom would joke how I could tell an hour ahead of time when I was going to get sick- and it's true! I was so in tune to my body I knew exactly what was going on in my tummy. With that being said, you would think I would listen to it with eating! I knew and know that whenever I eat a decent amount of dairy I feel sluggish, I instantly get bloated and just overall feel gross. When I have a lot of white carbs I feel very similar to dairy products. When I have a lot of sugar my skin will almost instantly break out and I start to get spots of eczema again. Not to say it's always bad foods, because any time I eat broccoli my stomach blows up like a balloon. But I also know by listening to my body, that that is how it initially reacts when I eat a lot of fiber. Doesn't mean my body can't take it, as the way it can't handle dairy!
So to go along with this theory-hear me out. I often would flip flop diets and not eat dairy for a couple weeks or carbs, or meats or just vegetables. I've tried it all and clearly nothing has stuck. Why? Because diets DON'T WORK!!! Let me repeat myself just incase you didn't catch that, DIETS DO NOT WORK!
Have you ever been told not to do something and then you instantly want to do it just because you were told you cant? Like when your mom tells you not to touch any of the buttons in the elevator and now all you want to do is push all 30 of them. Similar theory with food. When you tell yourself you absolutely cannot under any circumstances eat that slice of pizza, that slice of pizza is as valuable as a million bucks. It's all you can see and think about. And then you cave in and eat the pizza and shame yourself all night for ruining your diet. It's a vicious cycle we all get stuck in.
The truth is we don't want to be told what to eat and when we can. And when we are told what to eat or what's good and what's bad, we usually break the rules within a few days if not weeks. That's why meal plans and diets are such bullshit! I have spent so much of my own time and money purchasing other plans for myself and making plans for past clients until it hit me. Why am I making plans for people that I wouldn't even follow? Telling them which foods to eat, how many times a day and how many grams of each? No thank you.
I wasn't aware that my way of eating was starting to take a toll on my body. I would yo-yo from vegetarian to regular dieting to no sugar to taco bell binges to clean eating again. My body was happy then sad then happy then confused then pissed off. And the best part was in my head, I couldn't understand why I wasn't losing weight! Well hello dumby! You aren't being true to yourself. It's not rocket science. If I know that cheese makes me feel gross then I should stop eating it. Simple. So why do we over complicate it?
Knowing that my body reacts better to certain foods compared to others isn't a talent. Anyone can become in tune with their body, if you just listen. But ignoring your body is what most of us do. I am so aware of what my body hates yet sometimes I eat those foods anyway. Why, right? Why would I do that to myself? Well, the truth is also pretty simple. Emotions. Feelings. Life. When your emotions and feelings of what is going on in your everyday life, get in the way, it plays tricks on you. When you have a fight with your boyfriend or a bad day at work, do you come home and crave a salad or a big bowl of ice cream and a few glasses of wine? We like to tell ourselves that it's okay for whatever excuse we make, like it's just two glasses or I'm allowed because I had a bad day or fuck it I don't care. But really, you do care! Because if not later that night then the next day you'll feel the guilt kick in and want to get back on track from your little binge.
My simple solution isn't something you can change over night- BUT you can absolutely start today and carry it into your life, for the rest of your life. Listen to your body and to your emotions. When you're having a tough day, don't rush to fast food because its easy. Become in tune with how you are feeling and think of things that will truly make you happier and not just a quick fix. Cooking for yourself and your family can not only be a way to relieve stress but it is an act of self love. Nourishing your body with foods that are whole and nutritious are absolutely better then a quick meal you can pick up pre-made.
All weight loss aside, this is so much more then just losing weight. This is allowing yourself to form and cherish the most important relationship you will ever have in your life. And that is with yourself. I challenge you to start today. Start to listen to your body more. Start today and take it one day at a time. I promise your future self will thank you for it.