The Truth About Weight Loss, And Your Journey Towards A Healthier You.
About three or four years ago, somebody who had witnessed change in me asked if I had ever thought about writing a success story — something I could turn into one of the many health and wellness magazines to be read by others for inspiration.
I could have done that. I certainly fit the criteria. I had lost nearly 80 pounds during that year through a heavy shift in lifestyle habits. I moved more and ate less.
I explored various workout regimes, diet fads, and even trained for and ran two half marathons. I made friends with similar goals, and quickly absorbed myself into the fitness community.
I kicked my addiction to alcohol along with my nasty smoking habit, and I became a cycling instructor and Yoga teacher along the way. I changed it all slowly, for various reasons, over the course of many years.
Sometimes I just wanted to be skinnier and hotter.
Most of the time I just wanted to be healthy, and ensure I could live a long time in this body.
Other times, I just didn’t give a shit and ate that pizza anyway. With a large piece of chocolate cake for dessert. And loved it.
What is real is this: As we evolve as humans, we must be ready and willing to evolve our lifestyle habits to follow suit.
Frequent shifts are only a sign of your rapid evolution of self, and should be embraced with new opportunity and fire in your soul. There is no one-size-fits-all health regime.
I could tell you what worked for me at different stages of my life, but what good will that really do for you? Instead, I’ll take a new approach.
Whether you are embarking on this for the first time, or for the 100th time like some of us, here are some healthy reminders to get you on your way:
1. Shopping for a fitness regime is like shopping for a new pair of jeans. Within the health and fitness world, there are a wide variety of paths you can now choose from.
Group fitness classes, kickboxing, swimming, running clubs, sports teams, dance classes, Yoga — you name it. Each of these with their own sub-categories to even more fine-tune your movement of choice to your liking.
Pick something that sounds interesting to you, and refrain from picking something based on the gains you think you will get from it.
Give it a try, and just like a pair of jeans, if it doesn’t fit, oh well… go back to the rack and find something else to try on.
And keep going back until you find something that lights you up inside and fits you in a way that has you feeling like the best version of yourself… right in that moment, while you’re doing it.
Note: And quite literally, you will be shopping for new pairs of jeans several times throughout your journey. I once had jeans in my closet ranging from a size 12 to a size 6.
Without dropping a pound I was into a size 4 (briefly, during a time when I used a bicycle in Germany as my mode of transportation). Point is, as you find what fits best, your body will change. Let it. Embrace it. Play in it.
Your strength, will, and determination are your beauty.
2. Persistence and Consistence. Not every day will be the same… or every week, or every year. But, it’s important that we stay consistent and persistent in our goals to be healthy.
Make an attainable weekly goal — at a minimum, a 30-minute walk four times a week is sufficient in terms of overall health. Preferably outdoors, in nature, and disconnected from our various other obligations (i.e. leave the phone at home).
Forgive yourself if your schedule gets too crazy and you miss your Thursday morning kickboxing class, or weight-training workout with your friend — this will only discourage you.
Instead, accept those ebbs and flows, and carry on accordingly. With persistence.
3. Enjoy what you’re doing. If you hate it, why would you continue doing it? This may be the most important piece of advice I can give. In our world of schedules, goals, and deadlines, it is all too easy to forget to have fun doing it all.
Otherwise, what’s the point? Whatever you do to be healthy, ensure that you enjoy doing it. If you don’t, go back to the drawing board, healthy reminder Number One, and try something else.
Perhaps you don’t particularly feel up to forcing yourself through the motions of a Zumba class, so opt to go out and have a booze-free dance night with your friends instead.
Or maybe you want to get creative in the kitchen with a new delicious healthy recipe at home, and take your furry pet for a long walk outside (rain or shine).
Whatever it is, if it makes you smile, lights you up, and fuels your health, it’s the right thing to do.
4. Eat real food. Look at the ingredients of what you are eating before you eat it. Know what is going into your body before you put it in there. Fuel your tank and satisfy your palette simultaneously, and be willing to get creative.
Here is a great guide to eating clean on your journey.
5. Forget what it’s supposed to look like. Thigh gaps and six-pack abs are not the epitome of what it means to be healthy and beautiful. Flawless grace and ample flexibility are not what it means to be a yogi.
Gluten-free and low-fat diets are not the only answer for health. Again, there is not a one-size-fits-all regime. Forget what you have been led to believe makes you healthy, and create it for yourself.
Listen to your body, and be genuine and unique in everything you do.
Alan Watts, a twentieth century American philosopher, says it best: “Did you ever see a cloud that was misshapen? Did you ever see a badly designed wave? No, they always do the right thing.”
He encourages you that you cannot make a wrong choice, and encourages you to give yourself the same courtesy as you do the clouds, and as you do the waves.
Now go on, get out there — find something that lights you up to fuel your fire.
Jamie Greene is first a foremost a student of this world. She currently lives in the Seattle Area, pursuing a career as a Yoga teacher and a writer. A wanderlust at heart keeps her curious and open to the world around her. You can usually find her at a local coffee shop, indulged in a delicious cup of coffee as she tries her best to jot her fleeting thoughts down on paper. Find out what she’s up to, and what her plans are next, by following her blog. You could contact Jamie via email, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.