The past few weeks or so has been all about challenging myself to make better eating choices. I love my food. In fact, carbs have a special place in my heart – but these same elements have also wrecked havoc on my body. Somehow when the thirties kick in, our bodies are far much more resistant to the instructions we give them. Even a few trips to the gym a week seem to yield little to no visible results, a revelation which brought me to the realization that if I can’t shed the excess from the gym, it may mean that I may have to make some changes to the stuff I’m putting into my body.
And so the journey started in mindset at the top of the year, and manifested in the physical in mid-February. It was going to be no to burgers, no to fries, no to those sumptuous pasta dishes I love so much, no to those two or three Fantas per day, Mars Bars and Snickers Bars in between – in exchange for blended raw vegetable smoothies, bottles of water, nuts and raisins mixes when I was craving the taste of sugar in my mouth and turning my back away from the pastries. The pastries people, the pastries!
To complement the reduced intake of carbs and sweets, I took to running at least three times a week, for a minimum of five kilometers on each session. It hasn't been easy but admittedly, I'm feeling so much better for it. So to anyone tired of feeling how they feel and pinching at that belly fat that's fighting so hard to stay, herein lie my three critical revelations so far, which I do hope will help someone else etching closer to forty and going hard to get back their sexy, and loving the skin they are in:
1. You matter more than what they say. The minute I started to value more of what I felt was important for my body more than the current trends on the same topic, the easier it became for me to stay committed to the changes needed for me to do better on the wellness tip. We love to see hot bodies on Instagram, green with envy in some instances on how one can be so well toned when we are struggling to make a dent on the scale. My current quest is more about learning how to love myself enough to value the importance of being healthy, so I can, should GOD grace me with a long life, live it to the fullest and enjoy it with those I love. Looking good is great, but feeling great because of the results you see for your efforts is even better – and something we should all go after vehemently.
2. Being of good health gives you better lifestyle choices. I remember how ugly I felt when I was overweight post the delivery of my second child. At my heaviest, I was 92kgs heavy, wore a size 18 blouse and suffered from highly detrimental levels of poor self-esteem. It took me three years to lose the weight, going down to a size 12 in pants (the hips don’t lie), and size 8 for tops and blazers. It was a hard journey, one in which I almost quit on countless occasions. However, a huge win for me was when I could finally walk into my favourite stores and actually pick out something to try on and it would fit. Then, I celebrated that as a win, but now I love that I can actually jog 5km without stopping or needing my asthma pump to help me get through any kind of high-cardio exercise. Flying economy isn’t nearly as uncomfortable for me now as it was for me either, and for that, I am thankful.
3. Being sick sucks. No-one likes being sick. Studies continue to show the countless ailments caused by poor diet and lack of exercise, which if left unaddressed can lead to such issues as high cholesterol, hypertension, arthritis and so on. Like I said earlier, the older we get, the more resistant our body becomes to taking orders. This is even more reason why we must be intentional about how we treat our bodies, if we are to have any chance of enjoying a decent bill of health in our latter years. More walks, less fatty foods etcetera. We know the rules, yet so many of us aren’t exactly pressed to do better until our health fails us. 2019 is about doing better on this front, and playing an active role in moving more towards natural food intake than all the less expensive, highly processed stuff that’s out there.
There are a million recommendations out there on what makes for the best diet and exercise program. If you are reading this post, you aren’t a stranger to any of the recommended programmes out there, however the decision on what to take on is really up to you. Pick one that suits your schedule or routine so you can actually stick to it without finding the whole work out thing and inconvenience, find some accountability partners that will encourage you to get back on track when you fall off the wagon a little bit, and spend more time in the veggie section of the store than the pasta and potato chip aisles! Know that with every decision comes a set of consequences, which we can only hope please us in the long run!
On an ongoing quest to personal reinvention, and to making better choices so we can live in bodies we love,