This is probably one of the areas that I’ve changed the most (and as a result, had a ton of progress), but it’s also one of the areas that I think I was most depressed about.
I guess I always thought that I was pretty healthy – I mean, I run marathons! I drink a ton of water! I don’t eat fast food!
But, no, I wasn’t. I kept gaining weight, and when I would check the BMI – as ludicrous as that tool may be – it would tell me I was overweight. It was depressing. Instead of facing reality, I would just shrug it off and tell myself that I probably have more muscle that brings up the scales.
Finally, I had a reality check. My jeans were getting tight and my I hated having my picture taken, mostly because it had to be the right angle for me to like how I looked. There’s a reason behind that.
The first major step I took in this was quitting soda. I have tried quitting soda numerous times in the past. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried and failed. I would get a monster headache, have some excuse and there I was, chugging the Dews once again.
This time was a lot different. No headache, no cravings. It was like my body was finally on board and ready.
The second? Going beyond running. Yes, running is my stress reliever and will always be my first choice for working out. But it doesn’t build muscle, which helps you burn calories when you aren’t working out. I stepped it up in Orangetheory and increased my weight and focus in the weight room, and I started to see some results. I have a ways to go, but I love what I’ve done so far.
The third? Changing my diet. For years, I always believed that I could just run it off. Pizza and beer for dinner? Skip the rest day for the week. Long run? Have to recover with a huge burger and fries, obviously.
For one, I’ve figured out what keeps me full in the morning – protein smoothie and hardboiled eggs. In doing so, I’ve been able to cut down on the snacking on sweets and other junk at the office.
Secondly, I’ve changed what I’m eating the rest of the day. Lunch is usually a salad or a PROBAR Meal Replacement bar. For dinner, I’ll either have a salad or a protein smoothie (love THIS recipe). Once a week, I’ll have a meat-focused meal like this recipe with bison burgers. I do eat out, but I try to focus more on portion control instead of ehrmahgerd it tastes to good with everything that graces my plate.
Lastly, I’ve focused on eating when I’m hungry. We have this structure of three meals a day because, why? What if you just aren’t that hungry for dinner? Or for lunch? It happens. And I used to force a meal because that’s what you were “supposed to do.” Now, if I’m not that hungry one day, I just don’t eat that much food. If I’m really hungry the next, I increase my calorie intake. Simple, really.
But it is challenging. There is food EVERYWHERE, and it can be so hard to be disciplined and say no to everything that looks so great… especially when you go out to eat. But the results are so worth it! Eating healthier has translated into my running and I am excited to see what other results I see from this.
What’s the hardest part of eating healthy for you? Do you eat a lot of meat?
Where do you struggle in fitness? I seriously have such a hard time getting to the gym for weights! I’m getting better, but I’d rather just run.
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