P: In my earlier post I shared my relationship with food. In this post, I’ll explore deeper into the actionable strategies that took me here
Notice what your eating
I think for me the first step was really just noticing what food I was eating. It was definitely the hardest & longest process of them all. However in the end it proved most worthwhile. Noticing the kinds of food I ate wasn’t a one day job.
For instance, I would see how I feel the next day. Was I feeling lethargic in the morning or energized? This was a good indicator as I usually had two options after this – either continue the food or not. This takes us to my next point of
I took my steps one fruit or veggie at a time. I knew this was a lifestyle and I wasn’t in any hurry. I wanted it to become a habit. Having a robust WHY was the common denominator in the whole process of creating a sustainable lifestyle around food. Say I wanted to add spinach into my meals, I made smoothies or combined it with a pasta I made. And voila, now I don’t have to think of it as ahh spinach. It works for me.
Find what works for you.
FUEL YOUR BODY
The first time I came across the term ‘food as fuel’, was at a Sydney Cumming workout. This was exactly what I was doing to perform my best on the mat.I knew I couldn’t possibly sustain an intense workout without fueling myself. And this could be different for everyone. While fueling my body, I observed my cravings as well because they really speak wonders if you know how to listen
.For instance, I learnt that when I craved would chocolates after a workout this was because there was a magnesium deficiency in my body. Or if I craved to eat bacon or fried chips it was a sign of dehydration. This only empowered me further on the journey.
MINDSET OF ABUNDANCE
Alongside the process of fueling myself, I found that the mindset of abundance was a game-changer. Instead of depriving yourself of food, think of adding on more good food into your life that’s what I learnt from a cooldown talk with Sydney Cummings.
Consider this example: when you are cold and you don’t put on a sweater, all you can think of is how cold you are. This also applies to food. When you are hungry and you don’t feed yourself, all you can think of is how hungry you are! Andrea Wachter.
That’s Andrea Wachter, a psychotherapist who specialises in disordered eating and diet culture. I found her on a podcast and we’ll talk more about her background in the next point
She talks about the role of hormones when we diet. There are hormonal changes that happen as a result of dieting and attempting to lose weight unnaturally. We have hormones responsible for hunger and fullness and when we diet or lose weight unnaturally, our hormones will adjust to try and get us back to our natural level. As a result, our hunger hormone will increase as it wants us to eat more and our satiety hormone (the one that tells us when we are full) will decrease as it wants us to get more food and calories because we need them! Instead, if we eat in a loving, respectful way, where we don’t starve or stuff ourselves, our hormones are able to regulate themselves.
TREAT YOURSELF LIKE YOU TREAT A LOVED ONE
That was my favourite line from my favourite podcast called the happiness lab podcast. In the episode, ‘Feed yourself like you feed a loved one’s Laurie Santos interviews Andrea Wachter, a psychotherapist who specializes in disordered eating and diet culture. They talk about how using self-compassion can actually lead us to healthier eating and loving ourselves.
Ask yourself: if I were feeding someone that doesn’t diet or riot and I love them, how would I feed them right now?
THAT’S A WRAP!
I hope you gained knowledge, and take things slowly over the new year. Find happiness in the process and practice self-compassion throughout your journey be it in fitness or nutrition.
Bibliography The Happiness Lab