Part of any journey includes your outlook on that journey. For me, changing my lifestyle has also forced me change my attitude and beliefs about my lifestyle choices. As an overweight ex-marathon runner (pre lifestyle change), I would eat almost anything, drink as much as I wanted and just lived in the moment not thinking of the long term damage I was doing to myself. So one day I realized I was making very unhealthy choices, I was always lethargic and tired. I am supposed to be the outgoing salesman but all I wanted to do after lunch was take a nap!
As a part of my journey, I had to change how I looked at food. We eat to live, not live to eat! I will say it again – we eat to live, to sustain our bodies and to be healthy. We have to look at food in a different way if we want to change. I am not proposing you eat a diet of rice cakes and water, but there are plenty of choices to choose from. We must believe every day that the choices we make will impact how we look, live and feel.
Once you start to change the choices you make it becomes a lot easier. I did not make all of my changes overnight, it was a gradual process. I started with fruit in the morning, then went to eliminating most fried foods, then left the meat off the plate, and so on. Water is key; you should drink 90% or more of water!
We are conditioned to believe the commercials and listen to our current cravings. The challenge is to change the cravings by changing your daily choices. I do not miss french fries, I do not miss hamburgers, and I do not miss a lot of sweets every day. My belief system tells me I do not have to give up these foods entirely; I just choose not to eat them today!
Our bodies will adapt to the food we eat, once you quit sodas for example, after a week or so you loose the craving for them. If you go back and have one it mostly likely will not taste the same or as good as it used to.
The other challenge we have is we are inundated with mixed messages – drink milk, don’t drink milk – eat meat for protein, don’t eat meat cause we cannot digest it and so on. My suggestion is to research and consider the best options for you! Remember advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to convince us their foods are best. In the end – think of it this way – was that food given to use by nature? Is that food minimally processed, is it natural? Also consider how you feel after you eat, if you eat a big steak dinner with all the fixings’ are you ready to go out and run – or just stay on the coach and take a nap. But if you eat a lite meal of veggies how do you feel?
We must train ourselves to listen to our bodies, eat what nature gave us and quit being so confused and frustrated.
At the end of the day, just make gradual positive changes. I did not lose 60 lbs in a month, or even 6 months, it took a year! It was gradual, it was fuel by healthy food, running, workouts the gym and lots of water!
Good luck and I hope to see you on the trail somewhere!