Dieting? I think not.

It is no secret that I recently started changing my eating pattern and habits. I share it and post it on most of my social media networks especially Instagram. It seems that the question that I am always asked whether it is in person or through a private message is, “what type of diet are you on?”. My answer is almost always the same. “I am not on any diet. I just eat better”. You would think that this answer would be sufficient for most people but by the looks and follow-up questions that I get, it isn’t. People always want to know if I am staying under a certain amount of calories or eating less carbs or avoiding fat.  This type of follow-up questioning is always overwhelming for me. I can’t even imagine how it is for those that are barely thinking about or beginning their healthier lifestyle.

The thing is that everyone is different. We all have different bodies. We all have different goals. My advice to you is to do what works for you. I have so-called dieted before. You name it, I have done it all. I did the Atkins Diet. I have eaten under a certain amount of calories. I have avoided fats. I think I even weighed my food at some point. This type of diet eating was really frustrating for me. I would become overwhelmed with the tracking and keeping up with every carb or calorie. My life changed with I discovered Whole30. From what I gathered, Whole30 focuses on eating less processed foods and picking up more whole food items. There is a lot more to that healthier eating lifestyle but what I got from it is this, change your unhealthy eating patterns. More recently, I have heard a lot about the Keto lifestyle and after doing a little research on it, I like it as well. I have kind of developed something more personalized for me that incorporates the Whole30 and Keto healthier eating programs.  I am slowly doing away with a lot of the processed foods and unhealthy food items and replacing them with healthier food items or options. I still eat chips. I still eat chocolate. I still drink a soda here and there. I still eat pizza because, hello! It is my favorite food!

So to you, to the one who is getting overwhelmed with all of the diet options out there, stop. Just stop it. Remember, baby steps. We were taught since we were very young to incorporate more vegetables in our meals. We have a general idea of what is good and bad. So start there. If you eat donuts every morning and then compound it with a greasy burger for lunch and then top it off with a pizza for dinner, you know very well what body changes that will bring. No dietician has to tell you that. You know. How about replacing that donut with oatmeal or eggs. A healthier option for lunch is grilled chicken and veggies. And as for dinner, well you can go with a steak and veggies or a tuna sandwich. Just start somewhere. I have a confession. I am still working on my dinner habits. I have my breakfast and lunch down but dinner somehow always goes south. Like last night for example, I had tacos for dinner. I could have had the ground meat without the tortilla but I wanted my tortillas and I had them! Did I die? Nope. So what. I ate three tortillas. The important thing is that I will continue to modify and do better.

And yes for all of those more graduated healthy gurus out there, I know that in order to see better results, I am going to have to go harder and eventually I will. This is the difference between all of us, we have different goals. I don’t want to be a fitness trainer or a professional athlete. I just want to be healthier, mentally and physically. I am currently not comfortable with my belly fat and I will work to change that. I will continue to work to feel better about myself. So think about that. Ponder about your personal goals and work towards them. Personalize them to you. Good luck to everyone!

Discover your why

Motivation was my biggest fail of 2018. I just don’t know what happened, but I was so not motivated for fitness or even eating right. At the beginning of 2019, I told myself something has got to change. Something has got to give because continuing to do the same thing that I did in 2018 would only dig me into a deeper hole of dissatisfaction with myself and with life. I started thinking about motivation. Motivation is what drives others to do what they do. It is the reason why people go out there and conquer their greatest desires. So I started thinking about the word motivation and realized that there are so many reasons why I want to eat better and exercise more but I wanted to find my biggest why. What would really get me to make a change and stick to it. While looking over my list of reasons, I realized that there are both internal and external reasons why I want to do better in those areas.

Internal motivations are those reasons that are for the self, for you. How does whatever you want to change benefit you. I have found that when I participate in more physical activity or eat better, my self-esteem goes up, my anxiety goes down, and I can even sleep better. So my biggest internal motivation is health, physical and mental. I am tired of feeling sluggish and overtired. I’m tired of letting food control me. I like that feeling that I get when I finally lay down in my bed and my body feels relaxed. I don’t know if you are with me on this one but man I love soreness. It is a physical stimulus that lets me know that my muscles put in some work and it activates a lot of positivity in my brain!

External motivation is a little different. These reasons for doing something typically result in some form of reward such as money, an award, or just attention and encouragement from others. I love to help others. That is like a calling or something for me. So the reward that I get when I can be an inspiration or helpful in someway is everything to me. When I think of own personal external motivators, I think of my nieces and nephew. I think of my close friends and family. I think of all those people that are having a hard time accomplishing their goals. I think of the people that I serve at work that have had the worst life and cannot get started on just simple goals. And of course the biggest external reward is the girl I see in the mirror every day. The change in my body that occurs when I crush those goals. I see strength and I see accomplishment.

Currently, my motivation tank is sky high and I am totally digging it! I have friends who are just as fired up about trying to do better so that is helpful for me as well. I encourage all of you to dig deep in your soul and find your true why. That is the only way that you will be successful. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee or tea and write the word WHY in big letters on a blank sheet of paper. Then start putting down your reasons why. Then put that piece of paper on your mirror or somewhere you can see it everyday and fight. Fight hard to accomplish those goals. My biggest why is because I want to live the remaining years of my life in the best health I can be in. Also, I am 35 years old and just now highly considering conceiving sometime in the next year or two. I want to be healthy when I conceive and I want to be healthy afterwards so that I won’t feed my child nothing but fast food. Nothing against those that do that because that is your child and maybe that works for you and maybe that is all  you have been taught. I just want to do my life the way that I feel is better for me. Good luck everyone! Please comment and share your whys. Thank  you!

Food prep adventure

It was Friday and my anxiety started kicking in. I told myself, there is no way that I am going to do everything that I need to do in two days. No way. I even thought, maybe I planned too much. What if I start next week. I continued to tell myself, next week would be a better week because I don’t have much planned.  Then out of the corner of my eye, my brand new 2019 planner caught my eye. I looked over at my planner and right in the middle of the planner it read “BELIEVE” 2019. When I went searching for a planner, this is the exact reason I picked out. I felt that the word believe would be a great word to reflect on every time that I ran into a some problem with my goals or ambitions. I picked it as a form of reminder to myself that all I have to do is believe in myself and everything would work itself out. So I decided that I would believe in myself just a little and used all sorts of positive thoughts to get me through the weekend.

Today is Monday and guess what?! I have almost accomplished everything that I set my mind to do over the weekend. Okay so since I promised to provide an update of my food planning and prepping adventure, I am going to share some of what worked for me. So here we go.

  1. Clean out your refrigerator or pantry. If you remove the “bad” stuff like chips, cookies, and sodas, you remove the temptation. Once you do that, fill it up with more healthier snacks. Some healthy choices that I love are almonds, fruit, and healthy bars. If you buy fruit, take some time to cut it and put it baggies so that you can just grab and go. Your mind is used to going to what is easily accessible so guess what you are going to do?! You will grab that. I boiled some eggs and put them in zip lock baggies and today I ate two of them for my morning snack.
  2. Do not, I repeat, do not go to the grocery store on the day that you will do your cooking. It is not a good idea because you are piling up way too many things in one day. You will exhaust yourself. I told myself that I would go on Friday, two days before the prepping day, and then due to some things other things that needed my attention, I didn’t make it to the store as planned. Big mistake.
  3. Do yourself a favor and invest on some three compartment containers off of Amazon. Please do! I found some that work great. It makes things so much easier! Also, they serve as a constant reminder that you have to fill them up with food. Ah ha! They kept staring at me every time I walked by them so I knew I had to get that done by end of the weekend. Now time to be honest, I did not finish all of my cooking yesterday. As a matter of fact, I only prepped enough for two meals. But I am going to follow it up with more cooking today and tomorrow so it will get done. I will eat healthy meals every day this week. The goal for this week is no bread. No tortillas or chips the whole week. So I am pretty sure I will be in the worse mood come the weekend.
  4. Plan enough time for the meals you want to make and for cleaning. So set a time frame. For example write in your planner or schedule, from 3 pm-7 pm  I will cook and clean my kitchen. Oh, and don’t watch an awesome movie while doing so because lets just say, it might be a little distracting and three hours will quickly turn into five hours. haha.

Lastly, what I learned this weekend the most is that if you aren’t successful with everything as planned, give yourself some grace! Stop. Breathe and come up with an updated plan. Do what you can for that day and promise yourself you will do better next time. Tell yourself that you will accomplish everything even if it is in slow steps. Find the plan that works for you. That is the key to be successful. My prepping might consist of two or three days of cooking. For others, it might be better to do it all in one day. You have to start somewhere so just take the first step. Hope this helps! Thanks for reading! Good luck with your healthy eating goals for 2019!

Meal planning. The devil or what!?

So today I found myself at a little cozy sandwich shop for my lunch hour. I opted for the club sandwich which is not as bad as my typical greasy pizza or taco lunch but still. Y’all I have to get with the program! Like seriously. When you fail to prep for the week it just makes it that much easier to go with the simple fast food option. So what to do!? Ah! Meal plan of course but how do I accomplish it without quitting even before I get to the store. Because that is literally what happens to me. Suggestions are needed and will be greatly appreciated.

You should first know that I hate cooking which makes this whole thing even a greater pain. It is just not my cup of tea. And I have a whole list of reasons and excuses for why I don’t do it but man I am starting to get frustrated with myself. And please don’t assume it’s laziness because it is not. Yup, I have heard that numerous of times. Let me explain myself in a different way. You know how you people who decide on not going to college say “school is just not for me”? Well that is the way I feel about cooking. So if you can use that lame excuse then I should be able to use “cooking is just not for me”. Right? Trust me guys. I want to be that cook that you see in movies. Dancing around and singing all the while cooking up a delicious meal for her wonderful husband and cute sweet kids. But it just isn’t me. Strangely, I do want to change it. Why? Because I do want to eat healthier and if and when I decide to have a child, I would like to feed that child a yummy healthy meal. Yes, believe it or not.

Okay so let me tell you what I have done so far to attempt the whole prepping ordeal. I’ve done the Pinterest thing. I have looked up low carb healthy meals, saved them  and bam. That is as far as I got. I have gone to the grocery store and replaced a lot of my bad foods with good foods and guess what happens with that? The good food goes bad. Because I only cooked half of what I bought. then there is the whole thing that the food just doesn’t taste the same after a few days. How do people that meal prep do that. Eat old food. Ewww. What am I doing wrong?! Why oh why does cooking have to be so tedious for me. So how do I change that? How do I move past this whatever this is.

I saw something earlier today while reading another blog or something else about a meal journal. This meal journal is basically a documentation of what you will eat Monday-Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wonder if this would be too much work to put together.  I’m gonna give it a try. So I’ll commit to that. I’ll start a food journal and document what I plan on cooking for next week. Then I’ll go buy all the required groceries on Friday of this week so they will be ready to cook over the weekend. Okay guys I have a plan! Let’s see how it goes. Please drop any suggestions you may have to help me on this journey of trying to eat better and actually learning how to cook. I still believe meal planning is the devil! Ugh! Wish me luck! Oh and by the way, I only ate half of my sandwich today. Does that make it healthier!? I hope so! Happy Tuesday!