Let’s tread a bit carefully today. InWestern society, the subject of weight loss has become very perverted and now carries thousands of negative, harmful connotations of which it may never be completely rid. So when you read the words “weight loss” throughout this post, try to imagine the unhealthy sub categories that are usually linked to losing weight as balloons. Think of things like “diet fad”, “lose ten pounds FAST”, and “juice cleanse” as balloons attached to weight loss. Then cut their strings and watch them disappear, if only for the next ten minutes.
There are few ways to talk about weight loss without sacrificing a newfound healthy relationship with food. This kind of character is a form of weight loss that operates on self-love, not self loathing. Is it possible to lose weight without losing a sense of self love? To lose weight while counting blessings rather than calories or macros?
I am of the belief that rigidity, above all else, is what allows eating disorders to gain speed and causes weight loss to become unhealthy. Rigidity by my definition includes, but is not limited to…
– making certain foods off limits
– creating “rules” about what time to eat instead of eating intuitively
– going along with the previous one, not eating when you’re hungry if it’s not the right time
– not eating when you’re hungry if you’re “out of calories” or “out of macros”
– not eating when you’re hungry. period.
– avoiding social situations for fear of eating (or drinking)
When I decided I wanted to lose about 3-5 pounds so that I would have better energy throughout the day and get in the habit of eating more wholesome foods with lots of vitamins and nutrients, I knew the only way I could make it happen is to set flexible goals that are realistic and I would actually enjoy accomplishing. Enjoy losing weight? If that sounds crazy to you, remember that we already cut off all those negative balloons from weight loss and watched them soar out of our lives. The only weight loss that we’re considering is one that is motivated by health, not vanity, and never body shame.
1) Buy fresh veggies every week
When I buy fresh vegetables, whether it’s from the farmers market or the produce section of my market, I’ll use them throughout the week. If I don’t have them on hand, I’m more likely to eat processed, pre-packaged foods instead of making my own.
2) Continue choosing sugar over 0 calorie sweeteners
I will not sacrifice my digestive health. I once abused diet drinks, diet cheese, diet chips, you name it. And because of my poor choices in this area I deal with stomach issues every day. I will never put 0 calorie chemicals into my body again. It’s so not worth it.
3) Be aware of sugar I’m consuming daily (that is not naturally occurring in fruits etc. )
I’ve got a sweet tooth, and I’m never going to deprive myself of things I love like chocolate, cookies, candy, etc. That being said, I do want to be more aware of how much of these things I’m putting into my body, not only for weight loss reasons, but for my overall energy and wellness. I will still enjoy my favorite treats, but I will try to have most of my sugar come from fruits and vegetables – unprocessed sources.
4) Add more 20 minute cardio sessions to workouts
I don’t plan on doing cardio every day, nor do I think that’s necessarily healthy, but I’d like to increase my cardio from where it’s at now on a weekly basis. Why 20 minutes? I don’t want to get bored or over-exert my body. I feel like 20 minute sessions are a great way to get my heart rate up whether it be a HIIT session, a jog outside, or spin.
5) Remember that all I do, I do with self love
It should go without saying that this is the most important number on the list. It’s the only one that’s not flexible. For me, self love is non-negotiable. With every added veggie, spoon of sugar in my coffee, bite of ice cream after dinner, and cardio session I will remember that I love my body and it does not determine my self worth, now or ever.
Cayanne Marcus is of HealthyEzSweet.