I woke up on the first day of 2014 and, guess what, I was unafraid of the numbers on the weighing scale! Yeees!
You may be thinking: “What’s the big deal?”
First thing’s first, remove that scowl off your face. Di na uso ang Scrooge. Start the year with a smile.
Secondly, it’s a big deal for me because, for the first time in my adult life, I didn’t stress over my weight during the Holidays. Truth is, I usually gain 3 to 5 pounds during the Holidays and I spend the first quarter of each year working out to death to melt the fat off my jelly thighs.
But, this time, I was pretty confident that my weight was stable not just through Christmas but all throughout the entire 2013! What did I do differently? I finally made peace with food.
I would say 3 things helped me to maintain my weight and change my eating habits:
1) QUIT DIETING.
All my life I would go on periodic diets in futile attempts to drop a few pounds. I tried the Cabbage Soup diet, Skyflakes and Skim Milk for dinner diet, Nothing after 6pm diet, fasting on bread and water (like a true Catholic school girl LOL), and even diet pills. I would cancel out entire food groups—no carbs, no meat, no dessert—for weeks. I even tried Cheat Day Sundays last 2012, which only taught me to deprive myself all week and binge on weekends so much so that I’d wake up with a migraine on Mondays. I lived many many years in fear of food thinking it was my biggest enemy. Worse, I would lose weight then gain it back…or even more.
In 2013, I didn’t diet AT ALL. But, before you think I could eat everything I wanted, it was more of just adopting a healthy lifestyle so that I didn’t feel like I was dieting. I ate healthy food most of the time, but I allowed myself to eat junk—Cheetos, soda, brownies—once in a while and in moderation. (Hey, life is short and I believe we all should live it fully!) By never feeling deprived, I realized that I rarely even craved for junk and, on the rare occasion that I did, I wouldn’t even devour the entire pack like I used to.
REMEMBER: It’s not about what you eat sometimes, but it’s about what you eat most of the time.
2) EAT CLEAN FOOD.
I had a paradigm shift with food. I stopped thinking about what I shouldn’t eat. I changed my focus on all the good, nutritious, delicious food that I could nourish my body with and those that could help fuel my running and triathlon. This is called “crowding out.” By filling myself with nutritious, wholesome food, I didn’t have much space for the junk.
REMEMBER: Food is fuel.
3) EXERCISE 4 TO 5X A WEEK.
I worked out 6 days a week with Monday as my only rest day. I would run 2-3 times a week, swim twice a week, bike twice a week. Earlier in the year, I would also do Bikram Yoga. After Ironman Cebu 70.3, I enjoyed my workouts immensely as I focused more on fitness rather than a particular race.
Working out isn’t about dropping pounds anymore (unless I overate the night before LOL). It has become a regular activity that is as routine as brushing my teeth and showering.
If you’re too busy to commit to 5x a week, then 3x will do. Just make sure they are efficient workouts so as not to waste your precious time away from work or family. Workouts should also be fun.
REMEMBER: Don’t think about it. Just do it.
So, in case you woke up this morning fearful of the numbers on that scale or fitting into your favorite jeans, don’t stress. You are not alone! That’s exactly why I shared my learnings above for you. Just like you, I’m still a work in progress. I also have a lot of healthy resolutions and goals for the New Year. I’m also taking up a course on Holistic Nutrition and Wellness and I try to practice everything I learn to nourish my own body and mind. I would say what I learned was one of the key factors that helped me adopt a healthier lifestyle…and also the fact that I’m aging haha.
In my next post, I’ll be launching my TBR Clean & Mean Routine for 2014. It’s a plan I initially made on my own for myself. But, I realized I could share it with all of you and invite you to join me on this.
It’s a very simple plan on how to live a healthier, happier life without over complicating matters. (I hate diet plans that have you making baon fruits while everyone is eating normal restaurant fare or those that have you counting calories before you dig into dessert.) I’ll be sharing with you weekly tips on how to eat well and live well and you have to agree to work on the tip for the entire week. I’m hoping by the end of the entire program, you would have at least kept one of those tips and practiced it as a habit. This is a plan that can get you to lose weight and get fit in a simple way without taking too much time or causing inconvenience with the rest of your life.
Are you game? Watch out for it!