This past weekend I went to two very fun events with two very awesome friends. We started out our day with a 9AM fitness class on the end of the Santa Monica Pier. The class entitled, “Hey there, muscles”, is run by Ferrigno Fitness. It’s a 4 part series occurring every Saturday on the pier. They provide everything : boxed water, mat, towel, resistance band, weights, etc. It was a FANTASTIC way to start the day and if you’re in the LA area, I highly recommend checking out the last class this coming up Saturday (August 8th)! Next, we headed to Orange County for the 2nd Annual Vegan Faire by Healthy Junk. So many goodies from local vendors. Free samples everywhere AND I finally got to try one of those infamous and glorious pop tarts from Life Is Sweet Bakeshop. Oh, and did I mention both events were FREE?
It was a healthy and adventurous Saturday to say the least. Now, I could write an entire post about the day; however, I’d rather just provide you with photos and talk about something that has been weighing on my mind lately : diets. A worn out topic that has been misconstrued and confusing people for decades.
I can’t tell you how many times growing up that I thought “Oh, no! Beach trip coming up, better start my diet.” I would cut out anything in any meal that didn’t seem worth the calories. For instance, I would only eat the sandwich meat — no bread, cheese, or mayo. I would eat dry cereal and forego the milk. There’s no way you would catch me eating a crumb after 6PM. And of course, that worked. I would lose weight and feel ready for whatever event I was preparing for. However, after the event, I would just go back to “normal” meals and I would gain the weight right back. It took a few years before I realized, that’s not a diet, it’s deprivation.
As I got older, I educated myself on how to actually build a healthy lifestyle. What foods are good for you, what foods are bad — the basics. For awhile, I became a vegetarian because the book Skinny Bitch provided some pretty persuasive points as to why I should. I stuck to these “lifestyles” because I knew they were healthier and to me, that meant skinnier. With that said, I would eventually fall off the wagon again and end up right back where I started. It was a mind game.
Fast forward to a couple of years later, I grew incredibly sick due to various health problems with my thyroid triggered by acid reflux. I couldn’t eat anything. I was so weak and miserable. Anytime I ate, I had to do so very slowly and make sure that it wasn’t going to send my body into a panic attack. It was by far the weakest I have ever been, but I believe that I had to go through that to get to where I am now. Because I was so nervous every time I ate, I became incredibly cautious of what I was eating, how much I was eating, and how my body reacted to it.
For the first time ever, I was letting my body dictate my diet. I wasn’t choosing my diet based on what I had read in some book on how to lose weight. I just simply wanted to feel good. I wanted to feel healthy. I wanted to feel present. I wanted to feel alive…
That was four years ago. Today, I can truly say that I have never felt better than I do. I never want to purposely feel horrible, so I don’t. I eat greens everyday. I drink water all day. Not because I want to be skinny, but because I want to feel good and full of energy to live my life.
I recently had the realization that I have become a vegetarian. I never made the decision to, but somewhere along the line, I stopped eating meat and just haven’t wanted to eat it since. It wasn’t something I mulled over, it just happened. I don’t like how heavy I feel after I eat meat and I don’t want to support the U.S. meat industry as it currently stands. Simple as that.
When you put extreme restrictions on your life for a shallow reason (losing weight) it’s just not going to work. It’s not going to stick, because there’s nothing keeping you healthily attached to this lifestyle. It’s torturous. That’s not what leading a healthy life is supposed to feel like. A healthy life is listening to your body and nourishing it with the food and exercise it deserves. It’s not about looking good, it’s about feeling good.
My biggest piece of advice to anyone who is looking to start their healthy journey is to keep a food journal. Everything that you eat, record how it makes you feel afterward — good or bad. This will help you weed out junk food by firsthand experience. It will also encourage you to educate yourself on healthy options and their individual benefits. From there, you’ll be making all sorts of delicious and healthy meals because you simply want to! Furthermore, record anytime you do physical activity. How do you feel afterward? It is so liberating when you realize that you truly and genuinely are in control of your body and the way that you feel. It only takes about two weeks to cleanse your system to rid cravings. Once you pass that, it’s smooth sailing. Forever.
You owe it to yourself to live your life to its fullest potential. So, start. Start recording your food intake and physical activity today. What do you have to lose? Take it from Shia Labeouf!
Some Of My Songs For Motivation:
“Grow” – April Start (Totes from Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off)
– Naturally inspired. Locally aware. Universally beautiful. With love, Whitney.