When I first started out with the whole fitness journey, it was like everyone else....to lose weight. Period. End of story. But I did want it to be permanently gone, and not creep back in a few weeks.
After a few months of struggling to see many if any results my boyfriend (my now husband) said, "I think you are an emotional eater. You need to get a handle on that."
I was immediately offended. Me? An emotional eater? Nope.
I just liked dessert. I loved ice cream. The movies are for warm, buttery popcorn. And a life without those things are not worth living.
I only had 10-15 pounds to lose, only severely overly weight people are emotional eaters. I had just gotten busy lately. Or so I thought.....
Changes I Needed to Make
I don't remember at what point I realized he was right but the reckoning of that emotion changed everything.
I had to train myself that feeling sad or emotional is not solved by going for ice cream! It just shoves that emotion to the side--it doesn't get rid of it. It took daily constant action and reminding. I would ask myself, "Why do I really want this? What am I feeling?" Then I would actually deal with that issue instead of pretend it wasn't there.
I had to realize that the movies are for movies! Skipping the popcorn does not make the movie more dull, in fact you can actually focus on the movie. Not too mention, popcorn is ridiculously expensive! So I started saving my money for new fitness endeavors instead.
I then realized I had been planning all my "fun" activities around food; so I started planning different "fun" activities; active events like hiking, biking, running, or playing cards became a focal point of my life. At first I didn't enjoy these things but after a while these are all my favorite past-times. My husband and I have our best conversations while hiking and enjoying nature.
My Current Attitude and Habits
It wasn't easy! It took daily action to correct my behavior and I'm still not perfect at it but once I actually admitted that was my issue everything starting changing for the better.
These general guidelines that help me which food choices:
1- If it wasn't a living plant or animal, I generally don't eat it. i.e. Is there a Dorito tree? Or a soda-pop animal? Then I'll pass.
These two simple questions eliminate about 85-90% of food in grocery stores so just by answering two question you are well on your way to healthy food!
2- Avoid white and refined flours and sugars. White flours and sugars are void of any nutrients so... I opt for other sweeteners such as honey/pure maple syrup. I love to use whole wheat flour, oat flour, or a variety of nut flours instead of all-purpose white flour.
3-Hydrate with nourishing beverages. Skip the fruit juice, soda, and Crystal Light. Instead reach for for water, probiotic rich Kombucha, herbals teas, grass-fed whey protein shakes, or even an occasional glass of milk!
4- Have the occasional treat, but make it special. Years ago, dessert for me was needed/wanted after every meal....or just for fun. I loved an abundance of sweets. I would eat cookies by the five or ten. I have learned the skill of moderation (yes, it's a skill that can be learned!). I may have a homemade cinnamon roll once a week, or once every other week. Or a cookie for a dessert but I only have one! I don't feel guilty and I enjoy every bite.
5. Don't be afraid of calories, rejoice in them! I try to eat plenty to fuel my metabolism and body. It's not uncommon for me to eat over 2500 calories a day. Calories are what nourish you and help your body function! Learn how to make your body a fat burning machine, it's worth it.
What Surprised Me The Most By Changing
When I learned to how to nourish my body, not only did my body look better but I felt like a new person. It took a lot of time and dedication but I function better, I have more energy, I feel happier and younger. Through nourishing my body I fell in love with all the joy life has to offer. You can do it too!