All my life, I never worried about my weight. I was lucky, blessed with a physique like my father’s, slight and lean. I could eat whatever I wanted (and I did), and I exercised not to lose weight, but to get toned and fit. I took for granted that my body would remain the same, forever.
And even when it changed because of motherhood, I took it in stride. I was confident that the weight I’d gained after my second was born, would melt off, just like the first time.
I was wrong.
Not only did I not lose all the weight, I didn’t even make it back to pre-pregnancy weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been, not pregnant. This did not happen overnight. I did very little physical activity, and I ate all kinds of crap.
As much as I think women have to be less critical of our own appearance, I had come to the point where I could not deny that the excess weight I was carrying, went beyond how I looked on the outside. It was affecting how I was feeling inside. I was despondent about how I’d let myself go. I hated how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin. I flinched when my flabby belly pushed against tight waistbands. I felt depressed at the fact that I could no longer fit into my favorite clothes.
About two weeks ago, I was in a bookstore, and on the way out, I happened upon a book (not an affiliate link) even though I wasn’t really looking. On a whim, I bought it, and read the whole thing the same day. I decided to try the 5 day eating plan recommended in the book (which was part one of a 30-day eating plan). It seemed easy to follow, there was very few ingredients I needed to get, and there would be very little cooking involved.
I finished the plan last week, and am starting a somewhat modified version on the rest of the plan (due to the lack of some recommended ingredients and personal preference) for the next few weeks. Here are 3 things I learned about clean eating.
1. Be prepared
I gave myself 5 days to mentally prepare myself to do this. I’ve never been a fan of diets, and generally loathe the thought of depriving myself of my favorite food. But I reminded myself why I needed to do this every day before my designated start date. I also had to prepare my meals for the next 5 days, by shopping for the ingredients and portioning them out as specified. It made prepping all my meals during the plan, far easier and less time-consuming (and made me less likely to give it up halfway).
2. Drinking water regularly is hard
You’d think that such a basic daily requirement would be easy to do. It’s not. I’ve never been a heavy water drinker. I got most of my liquid intake from tea, coffee and juice. I discovered that by leaving a 2.1 litre (71 oz) bottle of water on the kitchen counter with a drinking cup next to it, I found it easy to pour myself a cup to go with every meal and snack, and in between meals. Now, it’s a habit that I enjoy.
3. Healthy food can be delicious
I resisted healthy, clean eating for a long time because I thought it would taste bland. I was wrong. From the 5 day plan, I learned to use seasoning properly. I also realized how much I love the natural sweetness of tomatoes, berries and fruit in general, and I don’t need processed sugar in my food.
The first 3 days? I won’t lie, it was hard. My body was adapting to the dramatic changes, and I was hungry all day. It made me want to reach out for my usual snacks. But I resisted, and I’m glad I did. By day 4 however, I felt a new energy, a spring in my step. I felt good on the inside, for the first time in a long time. I’ve also learned that I really didn’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, and all the crap I was eating, was not because I loved them, it was out of habit. I’m so glad for my new, healthier eating habits (and the 5 pounds and 3 inches I lost!).
Have you ever tried a clean eating plan?