Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Nourished Life

I was browsing through Pinterest this weekend and found a link to an article on the blog "A Nourished Life."  The articles was a letter to the authors former self about dieting, exercise and health fads that she wished should could have stopped herself from partaking in.

This articles proved to be very beneficial to me. I think about every bite of food that goes in my body. I may not act like it sometimes, but I do think about it. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that I examine it, calculate the calories and approve or disapprove of it, but I do think about it. If it is something that maybe I should not be eating then I often feel lots of guilt for eating it. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to diet and exercise. I can hound myself to no about how I shouldn't have had that sweet tea for lunch, that pie for dinner or that extra serving of beans. It can truly be exhausted.

This article helped me to put a little more reality into my daily struggles with food and exercise. You have to find a balance and enjoy life rather than hounding yourself daily about the foods you eat and the exercise you do or don't do.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

"What I'd say to stop you from flushing your health down the drain."
By: Elizabeth with "The Nourished Life."

Dear Former Self,

You’re fresh out of your teens, and I have a hunch you still think you know everything. And you’ll make some pretty bright decisions in the years ahead (lovin’ the acreage you found in Alabama by the way!), you’re also going to do some dumb stuff. You’re going to do it because it’s “healthy” (and in your mind “healthy” means “skinny-like-on-TV”). It’s not. You’ll figure out the “why” later, but for now I’ll just try to keep these tips short:
Eat. Yes, I know. This three letter word is loaded like a shopping cart on Black Friday. But for Pete’s sake, just put the dang fad diet book down and eat. I know the title sounds catchy, but seriously: any guru that’s telling you that you can exercise like a beast on 1,500 calories a day and suffer no ill effects is selling you a pipe dream. Your body likes energy. It needs it to breathe, to move, to think. You’ll realize this down the road after starving yourself on and off for half your life… but you’ll be way happier if you figure it out now. Trust me.
Sleep. For real. Why do you think mopping the floor at 9 pm is more important than resting?! Honey, you’re nursing a 2-month-old and getting up at 5 am to do the mandatory 50-minute exercise video that will make your legs feel like the cherry-flavored jello you won’t let yourself to eat. You’re totally going to burn out within a month and have trouble even standing without feeling lightheaded. So put the mop down, turn off the alarm clock, and catch some flippin’ zzz’s. You’ll thank me.
Don’t low-carb. Just don’t. Some people say it works, some say it doesn’t. But it doesn’t really matter. For you, low-carb dieting is just another adventure into disordered eating–another way to sort foods under “good” and “bad” labels, another way to punish and reward yourself based on what you ate that day.
“Whoops, had too many carbs. Better go run for an hour to burn them off!”
“Woo hoo, I followed my eating plan–now I can have a piece of chocolate pie sweetened with something that might send me running to the bathroom (but it kind-of-almost-tastes-sort-of like sugar!).”
Yeah. And while you’re at it, skip all the other crazy diet plans. There are no magical foods. Eat a balanced diet of mostly real food instead (and don’t be scared of dessert!).
Throw away the “motivation” pants. You know which pair I’m talking about. Those little size 4 jeans have been too small for two years but you just can’t seem to get rid of ‘em. You’ve convinced yourself those jeans will fit again one day, but let’s face it: the only reason they fit in the first place was because you starved, exhausted and shamed your body into them. Let’s just not go there again.
If someday you’re that size again through just living a healthy, balanced lifestyle… then that’s great! Head back to the store and buy some new jeans that fit. (Believe me. They’ll still be selling jeans in 2014. I promise.) And until then, wear clothes you love that fit your body right now! You’re awesome just the way you are. Treat yourself that way.
Don’t buy the Callanetics DVD. I know some of the reviews are good, but come on. The colored leotards are disturbing to the point of distraction. Oh, and you don’t actually like workout DVDs. I know you think you do, but really you’re just throwing your money away. You don’t like them, you won’t use them, and eventually they’ll end up in the purge box with those useless vacuum storage bag things.
Do not, under any circumstance, go on that cleanse. Those pills are nothing but beautifully labeled laxatives. For the love of your intestines, do not take that stuff. You can’t get back that time wasted in agony in the bathroom. You just can’t.
Be patient. I know you want to lose 10 lbs overnight. And when you start having the mood swings and fatigue–you’re gonna want those to disappear ASAP. But don’t chase your tail trying to find that magic diet or supplement that will “fix” you. Don’t stress yourself out expecting results right away (girl, you know you don’t need any more stress!). Trust that real results come from three ingredients: small changes, consistency, and patience.
Listen to your body. Before now, you’ve been listening to gurus who told you not to listen to your body. Hungry? Don’t eat! Tired? Push through that extra workout! Tell the gurus where to stick it. Your body has more brains than that (and so do you). And–take it from someone who’s been practicing the art of listening–your body loves balance, it loves flexibility, it loves sunshine, it loves swimming, it loves sleep. It’s strong, curvy, powerful and capable. Your body doesn’t have to fit a label or a box or a plan. It’s just uniquely you. So listen to it. It has a lot of good stuff to say.
Walk. You totally love walking. Yeah, it’ll take you a few more years to figure that out. But you do. You love it. I know it doesn’t require anything fancy like a workout DVD or a gym membership. And it doesn’t kick your butt like sprinting or kickboxing or any of that stuff. But trust me. Walk. Preferably outside, and spend a lot of time looking up at the clouds and listening to the wind whisper through the leaves. Don’t waste time thinking about the calories you’re burning, silly. This is life. Start living it.
P.S. I know you’re gonna do everything I told you not to, so here’s one more piece of advice: forgive yourself. You’re only human and you’ll make mistakes. In the end, you’re pretty awesome and the people in your life who really love you know that. So don’t forget to love yourself, too.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I needed that.. ..and now I am going to make some toast with lots of peanut butter - no guilt!