Hello NutraFam, Tracy here!
It's been awhile since I've checked in with an update, and to be honest: that's a part of my problem. I'll be the first to admit I've been way off track. Between moving at the first of the year, the pandemic, and now an 8-week visit back home? My food plan has been out the window, and with it - some of my confidence.
I've done some soul searching lately and have come to the realization that I need to find a healthier state of mind for these highs and lows. I've been creating a vicious cycle of eating off plan, berating myself and feeling the guilt, eating well for a few days, and then repeat cycle. It's exhausting and not at -all- the way my healthy lifestyle used to feel.
When you've been losing weight, either publicly or not, there's a certain expectation you place on yourself that once you start your journey it means that you'll always be losing weight. This couldn't be further from the truth. Not only is it just unrealistic, it's setting yourself up for repeated failures and disappointment.
The truth is... there's no such thing as on/off track. There are just choices.
This is something that's taken me literal years to understand, but it's true. Once you create a better relationship with food, you never lose that knowledge. You'll forever know that eating copious amounts of sugary, starchy foods will cause weight gain, while eating a well-balanced meal packed with protein and veggies will keep you feeling full, and healthy.
You don't easily forget the way you feel when you're at your best and eating well-balanced meals packed with nutrients, protein, and fiber. Just like you don't easily forget how lethargic and ill you'll feel after binge-eating all of your favourite sugar-laden treats.
The knowledge isn't always enough
Having learned and understood that knowledge doesn't automatically mean you'll always choose the protein and veggies though! Let's face it, you're human and some days you're going to want the delivery. Some days you're going to want a bowl of your favourite store-bought ice cream. That has to be okay.
Especially given the year we've been having, we all need to be a little more understanding of our choices and stop beating ourselves up. We need to show ourselves the same love, acceptance, and compassion we show our children and our friends when they come to us feeling low.
Life is too short to constantly berate yourself for going 'off track'
If you break it down, going off track just means you've made a choice that isn't a part of your meal plan. It doesn't mean you're going to continue to make that same choice, and it also doesn't mean you're ready to get back to your usual healthy foods. Humans are complex, emotionally-driven beings.
You may indulge in something sugary and then tell yourself, "Okay, that's IT. No more." You mean it when you say that, too. You're not lying to yourself, that's pretty much impossible. But when it comes time to make that choice again, you may not be feeling as strong about your choices, and you may have already eaten something that fires up your hunger hormone, grehlin.
Did you know? Sugar automatically lowers the effectiveness of your leptin hormone, which is your 'feel full' hormone, while simultaneously increasing grehlin - your hunger hormone! Learn more about why and how we gain weight here.
It's really, really hard to fight against hormones.
Those of us that suffer from PMS also know how hard the cravings and hormones can hit during our monthly visitor (Shark Week, as I call it). When you're riddled with cramps and all you want is a chocolate bar... sometimes you just have to have the chocolate bar.
But again, it's important to accept that as a part of your journey and not use it as leverage against yourself. Avoid talking negatively to yourself, about yourself, and to others about yourself. Your food choices do not define who you are, or what you're worth. The numbers on the scale and your clothing tags don't tell your story, YOU do.
How to stop punishing and start living your best life - the healthy way
As you can see, I'm still learning how to do this myself, but I've come up with a few helpful pointers and I'd love for you to join me.
- Join NutraTalk on Facebook -- We've just started a brand new month in our Accountability Group. This is a fun, interactive way to get in touch with other like-minded folks. If you surround yourself with people working on their healthy lifestyles, you're more likely to stay focused on yours. Not to mention it's the most supportive, understanding, helpful group of folks!
- Start a food log - This is something I haven't done in too long. I just grabbed a new notebook yesterday and I've already entered in my daily foods. This isn't about punishing yourself, it's just about honesty and accountability. Write -everything- that goes into your mouth. The good, the bad, the ugly ;). If you want to take it a step further, try tracking your moods too. You'll learn a lot about how certain food days affect your well being.
- Water water water - We talk about it ALL the time, and that's because it's so important! If you're not drinking enough water, you're setting yourself up to have to fight harder to ignore those cravings. Staying hydrated will help keep your hunger at bay.
- Have your Nutracelle every day. It's easy to put it in the cupboard and say, "Ah I don't feel like a smoothie today." But trust me when I tell you - your Nutracelle products are your strongest tool for staying on track and feeling full. Here's why: protein is the most-filling macronutrient. However, your body can only process so much protein at once, and it will digest it fairly quickly, too. Here's where our prebiotic fiber comes in and saves the day. Prebiotic fiber actually slows down your body's digestion of the protein, which means you get to enjoy MORE of the protein for longer! You'll feel fuller for longer, and naturally eat fewer calories. Prebiotic fiber has also been proven to reduce cravings! Win win, all around. Learn more about prebiotic fiber here.
- NO MORE NEGATIVE TALK - This is my newest point and one that I'm working on, too. I don't want to think or talk about where I 'could be' or 'should be' if I 'would've just stayed on track' - it's not helpful thinking. Instead I'm going to be proud of where I am, and where I've come from. I will give myself credit every day for making better choices, and on the days where my choices aren't great, I will be understanding and write in my journal about it.
We can do this, together, the right way
I'm grateful that I can still celebrate the transformation I've had, but I'm looking forward to feeling strong and confident again. This year has been a challenging one for many reasons, some personal and some obvious (hello covid-19), but I don't want to lose sight of the good, or the things I should be proud of... nor should you.
Today I am proud that I started my day with a delicious bowl of yogurt with frozen berries. I added 2 scoops of Vanilla Nutralean to my yogurt and I'm now sipping on some sparkling watermelon water. What are YOU proud of?
Thanks for reading, and thank you for being awesome!