We Are Aware of What We Choose to See: How Consciousness Affects Our Health

Whenever we embark on a fatloss journey, it all sounds easy in theory.

I just have to eat less.

This won’t be THAT hard.

I can totally eat 1200 calories a day.

But then once we start, it can suddenly feel like the world is against us. We’re hungry, there are less choices, and who the hell actually follows those meal plans with turkey bacon and a bazzillion ingredients for every meal!? I don’t have endless dollars and turkey bacon is gross. That’d be like eating a mound of broccolli and calling it veggie cake. Get OUT of here, it’s not the same!

mindful-eating-lessThe reason why it seems so hard is because we suddenly have to become conscious. All of this time we’ve just been eating. I don’t know about you but when I’m not on top of my health, I’m not sitting down planning out how many cheetos I’m going to eat. I just find myself covered in orange in front of the TV wondering how I ever found a boyfriend. You know, where the cheeto dust is so thick on your fingers that you have to use your teeth to truly lick it off? Yeah. It’s OK, you’re not alone.

The point is, being conscious and aware suddenly makes us feel trapped, obsessive, and super observant about all aspects of our lives. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves about what we’re putting into our bodies. It’s a GREAT thing but it can also be hard to find that balance of caring about what you’re eating and not obsessing. It’s ok if you don’t know every single calorie in every thing you eat. It’s about changing your lifestyle, not doing jumping jacks because you ate a tic tac.

030413p42_clip_image002Think about it this way. What color shirt did you wear yesterday? The day before? What color are you wearing now? Yeah. I have no clue because I’ve never actually cared about this part of my daily routine. I just wear clothes. If you suddenly decided to figure out what color you wanted to wear every day and became conscious of it, you’d notice it more. It’s a lot like when there’s a recall of a product or an influx in the hype about some movie or show. Suddenly you see that stuff EVERYWHERE! And you think, wow, is there more of this? How long has this been going on? The fact is, our lives are determined by how conscious and aware we are of things. Quite frankly, things don’t exist to us if we don’t pay attention. But as we all know, our health will catch up with us if we don’t pay attention to that. I will continue to choose to ignore Miley Cyrus but I won’t ignore what food goes into my body.

So if we all take a deep breath and realize that it’s less about this shift being extremely difficult and more about us just being aware of what is happening, it starts to seem a little more bareable. Ok. I got this.

Make a plan for yourself. Don’t just leave your success up to fate. Set daily goals and changes for yourself. Soon things will become habits. Say no to the cookies in the breakroom, or just don’t go to the breakroom. Every time you make a positive choice for your health instead of a bad one, THAT is progress! And those are all huge and important steps.

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Progress Update: Focusing on More Than Numbers and Appearance

I’m dripping sweat as I write this. Just finished another shred sesh of level 3. Today was the first day I was able to do it all without taking any breaks and pushing it harder than I ever have before.

Today is only day 24 and oh the results I feel. Granted there’s been 3 days throughout this 30DS where I didn’t make the time to do it. One of those being over the weekend when I spent 4 hours floating a river and then had a bacon burger, fries, AND froyo after. Not my best fitness day. But I did bring my leptin levels back up (a hormone responsible for keeping your body out of starvation mode). Having a cheat day can help reset your metabolism.

I’ll post a pic of my progress below (3 inches of the waist in 3 weeks ain’t bad). But today I want to focus on results beyond looks and numbers. Today at the gym I was running, doing the cross trainer, and did some lifting. I haven’t felt this strong in a long time! I may only be using 3 and 5lb weights in 30DS but it IS making a difference in my strength and overall endurance.

I can feel the strength in my core and underneath that layer of fat I have left. I’m getting strong, I WANT to workout. I even missed the shred on the days I took off. It can take 21 days to create a habit and I’m getting there!

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Progress Update & Finding Ways to Measure Success

We all reach those points where it can feel like we never made any progress to begin with. You know that feeling where you’re pretty damn sure you never lost any weight, in fact, you probably gained it all back in 15 minutes with that cheesecake you splurged on. False! Keeping our mentality in check is the biggest key to making progress and staying happy, healthy, and fit! I had this realization the other day and decided to run with it. I was going through old photos on Facebook and ran across a photo of me from a year ago in June 2011. My jaw nearly hit the floor. It was as if I didn’t realize I’d lost weight since then.

I truly believe that there is a gap of time we all go through where our minds haven’t caught up with our bodies. Our friends and family see our results, especially people that haven’t seen you in a while. But it takes some time for us to see it ourselves. Losing weight and changing the shape of your body can also sometimes make you feel MORE insecure. Sounds silly but I’ve definitely felt this way from time to time. Suddenly you’re more in tune with your body, your muscle mass, the tone and shape of parts of your body you would have never dreamed of exposing before. It makes us more aware which can sometimes lead us to over-analyze our own bodies, maybe even be more critical. It’s so important to be patient and loving every step of the way. To realize we aren’t machines, we’re human.

It’s also great to find other ways to measure your progress BESIDES the scale! I HATE THE SCALE! Stay tuned for a rant about that at some point. Besides what you weight and even the numbers you will find doing measurements, think about other things that PROVE your progress. Here’s an example. At work while back I looked down and noticed something strange. The boots I’d bought about 8 months ago suddenly were looser…around my calve! This has happened with multiple pairs of boots/shoes. Even putting on an old sweatshirt the other day when I was moving boxes, I realized how lose it was. These little moments of realization are big reality checks.

Ever go to the store in search of new clothes and keep finding yourself picking up sizes that are too big? Why aren’t these fitting? After a while it’s almost like you have to train your brain to see what everyone else does.

Starting the journey for better health and fitness can be tough. Even staying on track can be tough. But if you take the time to see all of these little things and think about how you truly feel after eating healthy and working out, you’ll be surprised at the benefits of all of it!

Also – a picture I found on Pinterest that has really inspired me to start doing more resistance training. This woman did an incredible job with the 30 day shred!