Springing forward is crushing me a little bit right now. Coming off of a teacher training weekend and going straight into 5:30 a.m. clients this morning was brutal. I also somehow managed to never get around to having coffee this morning because I was rushing around. By the time I realized it was nearly noon and I decided to just skip coffee. Bad idea. I ended up laying down around 3 and taking a quick catnap.
I made myself get up and take the dogs to the park to get some fresh air and sunshine. Zoey was happy about that.
I’m also trying to drink a ton of water. I made myself a snack when I got home from the park. Lately I’ve been stuck on apples with a duo of cashew and sunflower seed butter. I eat this pretty much every afternoon around 4 since our dinners are usually after 8. I have totally fallen for cashew butter but it’s pretty pricy (double the price of almond and sunflower butter) so I try to ration it. 🙂
So I want to switch gears and have a check-in on the food and fitness front. Yesterday in teacher training we ended up having a long group discussion about nutrition, exercise and fueling your body. We covered so many important topics but the overwhelming sentiment that came up was confusion.
I think the confusion comes from two places:
- Conflicting information. You can drive yourself absolutely bonkers keeping up with the new latest diet trends, workouts, super foods and “scientific” studies. (Someone asked us yesterday if it’s true that you don’t burn fat for two days if you drink red wine. God, let’s hope not.)
- Comparison. Whether it’s trying to mimic what someone else does when it comes to diet and exercise or just letting the comparison trap get you down.
I wrote a post last year about the importance of figuring out your own personal path when it comes to fitness and nutrition. If you haven’t read it, please take a moment to do so because it’s still something that I feel very strongly about.
This statement should be your guiding light. YOU DO YOU. I deal with this every single day in the industry I work in, both fitness and blogging. Would you believe that I have never told a single client or student exactly how I think they should be eating? I am happy to dialogue with them about food choices, cooking, recipe/meal ideas and their overall diet if they want to chat and to share my experiences but I have never prescribed a diet or meal plan to anyone.
I share my recent eats here on my blog and if you’ve been reading for a long time, you’ve probably noticed it’s been an evolution. If not, let me give you a synopsis. I ate a 90% vegetarian diet for several years in my mid- to late-20’s. Then I started working for a CrossFit gym where it was all Paleo, all the time. While I never truly got hooked on Paleo, I experimented with it and started eating a lot more lean protein. The last couple of years have been a free-for-all up until my recent Whole30 and I’m still trying to swing the pendulum back to whatever the next evolution is after that. I’ve gone through overnight oats and oatmeal stages, lunch bowl stages, started eating a lot more red meat and went probably 2 years of having a green smoothie nearly every day. Now I don’t drink smoothies often and eat sweet potatoes for breakfast most mornings. (One thing has stayed constant through the years…there’s always been nut butter. Ha.)
On the workout front, when I started this blog I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon. In the six years that I’ve written this blog I’ve segued between running, CrossFit, teaching BodyPump, yoga, running partners, working out on my own and now working out with a trainer. Also an evolution. Was one of those workouts better than the other? No. They’re just different.
Our bodies were designed to feel good and I think that diet and exercise can have a lot of impact on how good they feel (in both good and bad ways). The important thing to keep in mind is that you have to honor YOUR body. What feels good for someone else might not feel good for you. What felt good for you last year might not be your jam this year. And sometimes, something you’ve been doing for your entire life might quit working. You have to be open to changing your ways and sometimes that can be tough when we have super hard-wired thinking patterns.
Stay focused on you and these two things.
- Food is fuel. It should bring joy and not create fear. Nourishing your body is a really special thing to do. This is part of why I so enjoy cooking at home and preparing meals.
- Workouts are to make you feel strong and healthy and to promote longevity, not to punish yourself.
Your job is to get to know yourself really, really well. What makes you feel good and strong? Do more of those things. Do less of the things that make you feel frustrated or like a hamster on a wheel. This is YOUR LIFE and you only get one of them to live. Love yourself and treat yourself well.
So try things on. See what fits you but don’t get attached to there being any one right or wrong way. This applies to everything you see on this blog too. This is my journey and I’m just sharing it with you. I in no way expect any of you to jump on board with exactly what I’m doing. I think we can learn from each other but it’s also so important to learn to think and feel for yourself.
Tell me about your food and fitness evolution? How have you learned about what works for you versus getting stuck in conflicting info and comparison? And if you’re still stuck, what kind of support do you need to get un-stuck? I’d love to hear your questions and thoughts.