If you’re looking for an article filled with tips that tells you to revolutionize your diet plan and exercise regime, you’ll be quite disappointed.
You won’t find any advice in here that requires you to challenge your willpower - like cultivating time-restricted habits i.e. only eat between these hours or ensure that you exercise for xx mins, x times per week; or implementing rigid food consumption practices i.e. eat more of Y, eat less or stop eating Z and only eat this amount.
I intentionally unintentionally lost 10 kgs in 12 months. You’ve read that right - my weight loss was an accidental by-product of what I purposefully did to remain in my comfort zone. Yep, you read that right again, I remained in my comfort zone where my authentic self can show up without reservations.
This was how I did it.
1. Identify your passion
What do you enjoy most about being healthy?
I enjoy variety in everything that I do. Hence, as a self-proclaimed foodie, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I relish in having an assortment of food for my meals. Additionally, not only do I enjoy the eating, I equally love the creation side of being a foodie. In 2020, during the Covid pandemic lockdown, I experimented with over 200 new recipes of various cuisines from around the world.
I know that in order for me to keep savouring this passion for food, I need to maintain my clean bill of health for as long as possible. This was why I realised that I had to do something when I started to notice that despite carrying out my daily workout routine (30-45min), I felt sluggish instead of energised from having all these hearty meals last year. Not to mention, the numbers on the scale were the highest I’ve ever seen.
So, I re-evaluated my relationship with food. Keeping to the theme of enjoying my meals but wanting to make them healthier, I stretched my creativity in the kitchen to have vegan or vegetarian meals on alternate days. Interestingly, within the first couple of months, I discovered that the portions I’m taking for myself had somewhat reduced.
2. Clarify the true motivations for your purpose
With my original intention to eat healthier resulting in having smaller portions for my meals, I soon realised that there were now other things worth ruminating over. Pun intended! 🙂
The snowball effect of buying less meat and eating smaller quantities meant that I spent less on grocery, minimised preparation time and helped save the environment with lower energy usage and fewer waste disposals - organic and inorganic included. This got me considerably excited.
So, I recontracted my objectives. Asking myself, what else can I do next to increase my excitement levels in these areas yet maintain my love for food? I went from eating two cooked meals per day to one where the other meal (dinner) was simply fresh produce. This meant that I now only cooked on alternate days as I continued to cook enough for two meals - saving me more time, effort and money as well as reducing my carbon footprint.
Seeing the benefit of having more resources available to me and in the process, caring for Mother Earth for the enjoyment of the next generation became my true motivations to eat healthier. I have since moved on to only eating when I’m hungry - this sees me typically having merely one meal a day (lunch) and snacking on seeds, nuts, fresh vegetables and dark chocolate when required.
3. Align your actions with your values
One of the things I cherish and am highly passionate about is people and nurturing relationships. No prizes for guessing what my love language is when it comes to connecting with another person. Food, of course!
My core values of accountability, achievement and adventure encompasses the notion of unconditional love, conscientiousness and fulfilment respectively. So, what can I do to ensure that the actions I take align with my values? I adjusted my feeding routine accordingly to meet the expectations of the various social engagements that I attended. How this plays out is, when I have a dinner appointment, depending on my energy levels, I might skip or have a tiny lunch to tide me over and only consume the amount I require at dinner without needing to overcompensate.
Consequently, as I was more focused on living my values, realising my true motivations and thriving in my passions, stepping onto the scale was more for fun and curiosity than being the goal. So, I only get on it sporadically. Further to that, if I were to seriously track the numbers on my scale, they would be the fat % and muscle mass % digits. Seeing the figures of the former in a declining trend and the latter going in the opposite direction give me a rush. Observing my body weight measuring at lower integers each time was just an icing on the cake.
Speaking about cake, I’d add that throughout this journey, never once had I felt the need to test my willpower - like starving myself or stopping myself from eating something, especially desserts. Although, I did notice that I do seem to not have them as much as before. I suppose the body has recalibrated its sweet-cravings over time.
I hope that I have given you some food for thought. May your passions, true motivations and values empower you to achieve your health and well-being goals!
What do you enjoy most about being healthy? Drop me a comment below.
Need help in clarifying your true motivations or aligning your actions with your values?