It’s taken me years of trial and error, trying “diet” after diet, new training fad after new training fad, paying off debt only to find myself back in it, and living around the expectations of others only to come to this conclusion:
Do movement that inspires you and makes your body feel good. Whether it’s zumba, crossfit, yoga, power walking, or power lifting, YOU are the only one who knows what you like and what makes you want to come back for more. Movement/exercise shouldn’t be something we do because we have to, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be something we dread or loathe.
Choosing movement that you love guarantees that you will come back and do it all over again, and consistency is the key. This is something that may or may not change over time, and that’s totally okay too! Trying one new activity often leads us to others we may have never discovered and fallen in love with. I picked up a kettle bell for the first time 3 years ago and it’s become one of my favorite training tools.
There was a time when I ate a ham and cheese lean pocket with baby carrots dipped in light Hidden Valley ranch EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for lunch. I was counting every calorie of my low-fat, processed foods and ordering salads from McDonald’s. I thought I was making good choices because I really didn’t know any better. The more I have learned about food and how to listen to my body, the more my choices have changed over time.
I was very closed-minded when it came to food, always thinking that whatever new information I had just learned was the end-all, be-all. I never thought I could get rid of certain foods from my diet and I was highly resistant to trying new things until I happened to “stumble upon them” myself.
Now, I stick to whole foods as much as possible (good ol’ 80/20), pay attention to how my body responds to those foods (energy levels, digestion, skin reactions, etc.), eat when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m full. Learning how to mindfully consume whole foods that fuel my body and support my activities has changed my entire relationship with food.
In 2016, after spending years in a cycle of accumulating consumer debt and working hard to pay it off. I changed my awareness and behaviors, creating a plan for my money, to truly become and remain debt-free. Now I apply intention to my spending/saving habits as well.
Several years ago I started to ask myself why I had so many insecurities. It turns out I was so worried about people judging me all the time because I was walking around judging them. As I started to judge others less, I felt the judgements I placed on myself fall away as well. I started embracing my weird, and guess what? I am EFFING AWESOME!!
I learned to stop taking things personally which allowed me to understand that I’m not for everybody, and that’s okay. More power to ya, keep on keepin’ on. But those people that I AM for? They love me for all the weirdness and craziness that I am, which allows me to live with authenticity and intention, creating a life on purpose! I no longer feel like I have to do things because of the expectations I feel placed on me by others and I can’t even begin to explain how FREEING that is!
Every person is different, mentally, physically, and chemically. What works for someone else might not work for you, so it’s up to you to listen to and trust yourself and your body when it comes to the choices that affect YOUR life.