As a woman under the age of 40 I had always watched my weight. If my clothes started fitting too tight I would just cut calories or go on a fat free diet to lose a couple of pounds. When I hit 40 all that seemed to change. Cutting calories, cutting out fat, basically starving my body no longer worked as it once did. As a matter of fact, I started to gain weight; 10 pounds in a month was my breaking point. I felt yucky, unhealthy, and depressed. I was struggling and needed help, and that’s when I started working with Charity from Balance Health and Fitness.
Learning to be Healthy
Being over 40 you realize life is shorter than it use to be. With this realization came the question on how to be your best self and live the longest, healthiest life you possibly can.
Charity started teaching me the fundamentals of food nutrition. I learned that reading labels is a must; you need to know what you are putting in your body. In doing so, I learned there's a lot of added sugar in most pre-packaged items. Sugar has a lot of empty calories and it’s best to cut back on that as much as possible.
I learned to listen to my fullness cues, and to stop eating at about 80% fullness.
A hard lesson for me was learning that fats are healthy, and when you buy "fat free" items you are just putting other unhealthy ingredients in your body. I learned to never say no to my favorite foods. In doing so you just put your body and mind in a state of craving; instead I learned about proper portion size, and to use healthier alternatives; they’re usually just as satisfying.
Small Changes I Made
Along the lines of alternatives, I took steps to learn to bake using healthy sweeteners like dates, real maple syrup and honey.
I began limiting high calorie drinks. I used to drink a pot of coffee with high sugar, fat free creamer each day. Now I drink only two cups with half n half, and a little maple syrup.
Breakfast is important. I never used to eat a true breakfast, but now I enjoy oatmeal with fruit to start my day of healthy eating.
I do not say no to my favorite snack, Goldfish. I just watch my serving size and allow myself to have it occasionally.
Along with learning to eat well, I made a commitment to be consistent with my workouts. I do strength training three days a week, along with cardio five days a week.
Over the last four months I've gained muscle, lost 10 pounds, 5.5 total inches in my waist and hips, and dropped 6% body fat. However, the biggest and most important result I've noticed is my overall feeling of strength and wellness. Also, I don't feel guilty for the food choices I make, and I don't obsess over the number on the scale. I feel good about making my health a priority.
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