Seek not to Lose Weight But To Live Healthier
First thing first do not seek to lose weight, instead shift your focus to living a healthier lifestyle. I think when I focus on the latter there is a positive emphasis on my body image and mental state. Instead of focusing on flaws, I put my energy towards my health. It makes it so much easier to choose a plant based meal or go on an extra walk knowing that it’s only going to benefit my overall health mentally, physically and emotionally. The bi-product of living healthier is being trimmer and slimmer. Here are the things I’ve done since last August to improve my health:
Removed Alcohol Completely
I will be the first to tell you that this was not easy for me. I love wine. Anyone who knows me knows my affinity for the taste of a deep red Bordeaux. However, I struggle with anxiety and panic disorder. It was at a point where any alcohol increased panic attacks. Back in September I stopped drinking at my home and on a regular basis. At the time I only had alcohol on vacation or for something special. I realized that if I was going to be more focused, alcohol wasn’t going to help. Over the course of the past year, I’ve now removed it all together. I found I felt best when it wasn’t apart of my diet. Whether you choose to cut back or maybe eliminate it from your own diet, you will find so many benefits and improvement to your well being.
I’ve probably harped about the importance of walking way too many times, but without daily long walks I do not maintain a healthy lifestyle. I use to use the Steps app from Adidas prior to my Apple Watch. It’s one of my favorite fitness apps and works with any mobile device. Now I aim for 11k steps a day, but I started out by just seeing what I was currently doing then slowly increasing the activity. Let’s say you already do 4k steps a day you can set a goal for a 30 minute walk and add another 3k steps. You’ll quickly almost double your activity by adding a scheduled walk in every day. Try taking a walk for 15 minutes at lunch or park at the back of a parking lot when you grocery shop. For more tips about getting steps in see this post!
Add a Fitness Class
From October to January last year I actively took 3-5 yoga classes a week. It was such a beneficial decision and allowed me to work on focus, toning and flexibility. Attending classes also pushed me further to master moves and challenge myself. Whether you choose something with high intensity or more relaxing getting involved in a class breaks up the monotony of working out alone.
Move to a Plant Based Diet
Now I understand not everyone is interested in eating vegan or vegetarian. There are so many benefits on our digestive system when you choose to eat more green leafy vegetables instead of bread, cheese and meat. Eating a plant based diet doesn’t mean you have to go rogue and eat only salads. You can start off by just having a vegetable first with every meal. Fill your plate with as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible. Then, after you eat them have meat, gluten or dairy. I will tell you, you will be so much more full on nutrients you’ll find you will eat less of the latter. This helps so much in processing your food. Your body can’t burn stored fat if it’s working on processing all the food you just put in your body. The easier your food moves through your body the more nutrients will be absorbed and your body can free up energy for other things like restoring your skin or losing weight! You can read all about this philosophy in Kimberly Snyder’s Book The Beauty Detox Diet.
Well, there you have it. This is exactly how I lost weight over the past six months. My skin is clearer, my mental focus is better and my body feels lighter. I did take pictures throughout the journey as a reminder of my progress and the proof is there. I try not to step on a scale often (maybe once a month) since I tend to get a little obsessive about scales. Instead, I took a picture and would reference the success when I felt like I wasn’t making progress.