Friday, February 17, 2012

Change the Way You Think about Food and Fitness

Guest post by Shara Leverette of Fit Chicks

Change the way you think about food and fitness

Achieving your weight loss goal not only requires you to change the way you eat, and increase you physical activity. It also requires you to change your thinking.  Your thoughts are pivotal on your journey to wellness. Your way of thinking is just as important as eating the right food and working out.

Change the way you think about food

Changing the way you think about anything takes practice especially things that were ingrained in us since birth.  Take me for example; I was raised on southern cooking.  If you aren’t familiar with “down home” cooking let me give you a quick rundown on the down home cooking food pyramid:  Lard, Butter, Bacon, Biscuits, Gravy, Meat (almost always fried) veggies smothered in butter salt and sometimes cheese.  I was raised by the black Paula Dean.  Growing up we used to food to celebrate, comfort, love, and to fill the void sadness, loneliness, and depression left.  Everything revolved around food.  My mom told me and other female family members that, cooking like her is how you got and kept a man.  We would joke (out of mom’s earshot) that the reason why she kept Dad for so long was because he was always in a food induced coma, and when he was awake he was too chunky to get off the couch.   In hindsight, looking back, I was doomed.  I was destined to be overweight and a compulsive eater.
The way I changed my thinking about food was to start a food journal. I wrote down everything I ate along with how I felt before and during my meals and snacks. I kept a very detailed account. After a month or so I was able to see the patterns. I ate bad foods when I was lonely, bored, and stressed. By looking at my journal I was able to see that I was a compulsive eater. I used food to fill my void. Once I identified my triggers, I was able to replace food with more productive/healthy alternatives.  I would grab a book, drink some herbal tea, go for a walk, workout, or call a friend to vent. I would find any healthy outlet I could to distract me from stuffing my face. In time I learned how to deal with the real issue instead of using food to give me temporary relief. Changing the way you think about food takes practice, but it can be done. Breaking this cycle of compulsive eating will help you get control over you weight loss.

Changing the way you think about exercise

If you were anything like I used to be, fitting exercise into your daily routine meant making some sacrifices.  I remember thinking how am I supposed to juggle 3 kids, 4 pets, cooking, cleaning, school, and a husband? Easy. You make time to exercise.  You make exercise a non-negotiable part of your day.  “Fitting in exercise is a matter of how you think NOT what’s on your schedule.”  When you begin to think like a fit chick, you look for ways to exercise, not excuses.  Exercise becomes a priority not an afterthought. You shouldn’t view exercise as a chore or a nuisance. Exercise should be thought of as brushing your teeth, and combing your hair. It should be so ingrained in you, that it becomes part of who you are.  Besides, exercise isn’t just good for losing weight; it improves your overall quality of life. So changing your thinking about it can be your first step to change how you live for the better.

Suggestion: Take a few moments to do some self-examination, dig deep. Ask yourself; am I holding on to beliefs that may be keeping me from achieving my fitness goals?  Make an effort to change the way you think to benefit your journey to wellness. This is a lifestyle change. So start with small changes. You will have to be patient with yourself. The way you currently think did not happen overnight. It took years to get to your current mindset.  Habits good or bad are difficult to eliminate, change, or add. Every journey begins with a step. Focus on the individual steps and eventually you’ll achieve your goals and change your thinking.

Shara Leverette is a 32year young married mother of 3. She’s passionate about fitness and helping women achieve their fitness goals. Currently studying for BS in physical therapy at Texas Christian University, she is also the author of FitChicks, one of my favorite fitness blogs, be sure to check it out.

 I also love her definition of a Fit Chick: What is a Fit Chick? It's a woman who makes healthy decisions, not only in her diet and fitness, but also financially, in her relationships with her children, lovers, and friends. It's a woman who strives for health mind, body, and spirit.

No comments: