Wow, what a journey it’s been over the past 2 months. Reflection is one activity I’ve grown fond of engaging, and it’s even better when I can compile my thoughts and put them out to the public and to anyone on a mission to stay fit, physically and mentally. The sun is hot and difficulty is ripe, but that’s a fruit that is slowly becoming stale. I can’t wait for the real fruit to bear, so that I may pick and eat from it. Until then, I’m going to share some insights I’ve had about food, nutrition and how it relates to your fitness.
I recall sitting in the dinning hall in Fall 2006, this memory always stands out to me. The image of myself seated, hunched over a plate of vegetables and meat with little to no carbs on my plate always seems to be the example I go too when thinking of a change in my nutrition and eating. That was the period of my life where I realized I had gone to college, gained 20 lbs of muscle and fat and needed to make a change. That semester my body fat was as low as 4% and it was due to the new mentality I had adopted when it came to food.
“I don’t need this, I think I need this, but I can survive without it, so why do I crave it ?” That’s the question I asked when I saw pizza and walked past it. I hated pizza, I hated anything fried, anything with lots of sugar and dough was the enemy. No soda, no coffee, no whole milk, no cereal, no pizza, no fried food and the list went on. I ate more vegetables, fruits, chicken (seasoned or unseasoned), got into drinking green tea and water. I worked out regularly with weights and did what I called “fat burning” cardio. That semester I lost my baby fat, I was never a runner and if you knew me before college you knew all i did was calisthenics and martial arts. I had never set foot in a gym, I had never lifted weights, 2006 was my 1st time…but when my time came, I learned a ton, burned a lot and earned my respects in that arena and i’m still growing…
I want to break down the statement I made in my mind; ” I don’t need this, I think I need this, but I can survive without it”. To this day, I speculate to myself how I got to this point and I’m unraveling the way in which it became so tightly wound in my system. I do this for good reasons, reasons that would allow me to share it with readers like yourself. I realized that I didn’t need certain foods, cravings were mostly mental and that I could really survive and feel pretty good without them. I didn’t need the list of things I cut out and If there were nutrients in those foods that I lacked, I knew I could acquire them from other, healthier sources. I reduced Ice cream and chocolate, but once in awhile I would have them. I also realized I don’t need to have 10 cheat foods, I could have 1 or 2 and let that be my satisfaction.
I preach moderation and to this day I still adhere to it. A lot has changed, I’ve come to a place where I feel I’ve achieved a sense of balance. Those days are behind me and are honestly difficult to get back too at this moment in my life due to some circumstances that are in my control and many that are not. I’ve learned to adapt…sometimes we don’t have access to the foods we need to have and so we may have to eat certain foods to get by. I remember eating cereal because that was all I had a few months ago; I also remember eating sausages and sardines, on separate occasions. I would be lying to you if I told you that there aren’t times where we go through difficulties and we have to find the best way to adapt.
Have you begun thinking about the way you eat ? have you begun thinking about the way you may have adapted to eat based on your past ? Life changes, we get busier as we get older, we have more responsibilities. With time, age and life experience, unknowingly, many mindsets and beliefs are deposited on the inside and we don’t realize it until it’s too late. Do you eat everything on you plate just so it doesn’t waste ? Do you throw things out because you were taught too ? Do you drink a certain way because of your peers ? Think about it, reflect for a moment on the way you eat…use this time to slow the gears and look into the machine and the way it works.
I’ll tell you what Reader, I eat ice cream, chocolate and junk food very rarely; I have pizza either once or every two weeks (baked, vege pizza). Some weeks I have about a pack of 5 cookies as dessert (God they are good >.<), but they are semi sweet and are not made with unhealthy ingredients. I’ve learned to balance myself, I eat healthy and I don’t even realize it anymore. Even when making sausages, my mom has a method for getting rid of some of the salt and If I have them it’s limited to maybe once a week in a moderated amount. Sometimes, you’re hungry and all you have is…all you have, but the important parts are, you guessed it, moderation, learning to bounce back after you’ve stumbled, working hard at working out hard and paying attention to the way your body responds to food i.e. how do you feel after a particular meal and do you want to continue feeling like that every time ?
I hope you take the time to think and reflect reader, instead of beating yourself up, if you’re in the game of making lasting, positive changes then pat yourself on the back. Pat yourself on the back if, and when, you reflect on your current patterns because your mindset is SO powerful that it dictates the way you eat, the foods you’ll continue to like and dislike and the way in which you see your body. Hate is never cool, so self hate is even worse; love what you have, adapt to your environment and work toward changing it if you need too.
Remember, you don’t need that soda, you can survive without it, you can survive without ice cream, chocolate, beer, cakes etc. Think about it really, what is a craving ? what is this feeling, this thought of eating this particular food and do I realize that I can say “No” to it and move on ? Do I realize whatever I’m craving has a better alternative that won’t make me feel bad after I eat it ? I want to feel good right ? I’m in the business of feeling great so I need to feel great and let that thought be my focus, I am in control and I decide what I crave.
Do it for yourself more than anyone else, you’ll be surprised at how amazing it feels, to feel great and stay there.
Self Discipline is key. Cookies can’t stop me…This Body is Built by Moderation
This is Nick A. Titley and i’m on a mission to keep you Fit.