In my last few posts I’ve dabbled a little into self-care which once again, is any activity we deliberately do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. The last two weeks have been amazing for me due to my form of self care: eating consistently throughout the day + eating more whole foods + exercising daily. Seriously, self care is taking care of yourself. Which literally means doing everyday tasks (cleaning your body, washing your hair, being mindful of what you put in your body, and being active. Benefits include: more energy, clearer skin, a boost of self-love + self confidence!
I wasn’t always like this (although my insta story may suggest otherwise). Back in 2013, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. I couldn’t fit any of my jeans and was forced to wear leggings and oversized shirts daily. Granted, this a college girl’s everyday wear, but it doesn’t feel good when this is your ONLY option during Michigan winters. So, I decided that I needed to be more active and I needed to be more mindful of what I ate, and I’ve been in that same mindset ever since.
The reason why this concept has never stuck is because of various reasons:
- I eat the same 3-5 foods daily (no variety or switch ups)
- I never stuck to an exercise regimen (because there’s soooooo many)
- I didn’t like cooking my own food (still a growing concept, but I don’t despise it)
- McDonald’s dollar menu saves me EVERY time
- You get comfortable with the way you look and think “I’ll do something about this later”
- You don’t fully grasp that it’s a lifestyle change
Trust me. I’ve done multiple things to see weight-loss results. Detoxes, cleanses, vegetarianism, pescatarianism, MyFitnessPlan. Nothing ever stuck. However, what makes this time different is I know what works for me.
This year, I’ve done deep research into my body type and what’s needed for weight-loss, plus I’ve researched how I can continuously maintain meal prepping. For starters, I have an apple-shaped body or an android body (meaning most of my weight accumulates in my midsection, I have broad shoulders and an undefined waist. However, the good thing about my body type is that I gain muscle very easily, so it’s important for me to do cardio to break down the fat + strength training to balance my body out). But, a better way to look at weight-loss is that it’s 80% food 20% physical activity and lots of water. So, what are you to eat if you’re like me and eat the same 3-5 meals? Be organized and intentional about your meals, but remember to switch them up!
What do I mean when I say be intentional? Actually plan out what you’d like to eat for the next 3-5 days and stick to it. Each day, try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your meals and go at your own pace. My favorite green vegetables are spinach, kale, and romaine (so, each week, I try to switch it up so I’m not eating the same greens all the time). Normally, my favorite fruits are apples and grapes, but lately I’ve been consuming oranges, kiwis, and berries. My goal is to buy a new group of fruits/vegetables every other week for my meal prepping (of course, I’m not picking up fruits and vegetables just because, I’m actually getting foods I like and know I’ll eat).
Plus, Pinterest and Google were created because we don’t know everything. If you don’t practice cooking often, it’s not going to be easy. Like everything, it takes practice. But the good thing is that it’s easy to find quick and easy recipes to make with a vegetable, protein, and healthy fat. Boom! You’ve got a well balanced meal.
Personally, I don’t count calories. I don’t restrict myself of anything (I just listen to my body), and I aim to drink four 30 ml of water a day. If it doesn’t happen, I don’t beat myself up. I just know that the goal is to drink more water.
But Ambria, what about the exercise?
Do what you know you’ll do daily honestly. I like a lot of cardio (and not just because I need it for weight loss). A lot of people hate it, but I think it’s fun. My favorite thing to do is jog/run so the treadmill is my favorite! (there’s always mixed views about this machine, but I say unless you’ve been medically advised not to use it, do what makes you happy). Currently, my favorite machines are the treadmill and cross trainers (on alternate levels) or if I don’t want to be stationary for 40 minutes, I’ll do a 10 minute warm up and follow a 30 minute full body workout video (no excuses).
Let’s not forget about muscle! to gain it you need protein right? Well as of lately, my protein has consisted of boiled eggs, beans, lentils, and tuna. Next week it may be chicken and salmon, who knows? I just listen to my body and act accordingly. And side note, I think lifting weights is the sexiest thing a woman can do. Remember, you’re not trying to body build (unless that’s your goal) it’s all about toning/defining. If you want Aunty Michelle’s arms, you have to work for them. Plus, it’s not so intimidating when you can bench press, row, and deadlift just like (or even better than) the guys.
Lately, I’ve been documenting my meals on Instagram and they’ve really been consisting of fruit. But remember, a variety. And when I say I’ve been feeling so good lately! I can’t make this up.
Once again, making small changes and being more mindful of what I put in my body has been making me feel great. I challenge you to do the same. Even if it’s just one meal. See and feel the difference it brings!
Have you been making small changes in your life for self-care? Even if they’re not food/physical activity related, I’d love to know what’s been making you feel like your best self.
As always, thanks for reading