I’m going to dive into another area today on this journey of living more intentionally. Today let’s talk about diet and exercise. A lot has changed for us as far as food choices and working out this past year. It all started around the beginning of the year actually. We decided to cancel our family membership at the YMCA. We loved going but we never consistently got to work out without being called back to the childcare area. Finley hated being left there. It also took a huge chunk of our night to get everyone packed up, drive there, drop off the girls in the child area, work out and then drive home. It seemed like a whole night affair. For Christmas last year Kev got T25 from my parents. Between T25, Insanity, a few yoga videos, some Tracy Anderson videos and running we decided we were better off just canceling our membership. 80 bucks a month saved! It’s been working pretty well for us ever since. We have a little area set up in the basement with weights and a tv to do videos. The girls play area is down there as well so most of the time they just play while we work out right next to them.
I will be the first to admit I don’t love to work out. I think it’s sort of a myth and honestly an excuse when people say they don’t work out because they really don’t love it or they aren’t an athletic person. I think very few of us really LOVE working out. I know some people definitely do. Kev is one of those people, I am not. I work out because I know the benefits far outweigh my excuses. I am not a natural runner either. I’ve run a lot of races and talk a lot about running but I always need to force myself to sign up for a race, pay the stupid amount of money to register and then tell everyone about it just to keep myself accountable to sticking with it. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can’t do it. It’s such a mind game. Also, don’t trick yourself by assuming that you have to go so hardcore to even make it worthwhile. A mindset like that will be so intimidating that you’ll likely just give up before you even try. You don’t need to work out everyday. Start where you are. Take a walk, try some stretching. Just make it consistent and stick with it for at least a month. I promise it will become a habit you will miss when it’s not there.
I think we should all get rid of the idea that we consistently have to be losing weight or that the only reason to work out is to lose weight. I decided this year that I was going to work out without an end goal. Because really, once you reach your end goal then what? you stop working out? I wanted to make it a lifetime habit. Something I do to feel strong, healthy, and happy.
Around March last year I decided to go on a food cleanse for Lent. What an unknowing turning point in our life. Through those 40 days I read a ton about food, ingredients, diets and really did a 180 degree turn with how we approach food in our house. We all love to eat but through the cleanse I realized just how important the food we choose to eat is. I hate diets. The word makes me cringe. Diets are fads. They don’t last, are hard to stick with and are crazy restrictive. What if we looked at food in a completely different way? What if we chose to eat wholesome, real homemade food and didn’t have to worry about calories or intake? What if instead of “I can’t eat that” it was “I don’t want to eat that”? A light switch went on in my head during Lent. This was so much more than restricting what we were going to be eating from now on. Do we honestly realize how much processed food we eat in our culture? It’s mind blowing and sad. In the book Notes From A Blue Bike, Tsh talks about a slow food way of eating. How it’s important to take your time when cooking meals — that we should be involving our kids in the cooking process, spending more on an emptier cart, being informed on what our food choices mean for others in the world and the importance of farmers markets and eating what’s in season. The whole chapter (THE ENTIRE BOOK) really spoke to me. I want my girls to grow up with a healthy body image. I don’t want food to be an issue. Our culture overloads young girls with this idea that food is the enemy to looking your best. I don’t want this for them. Of course balance is key but I want to teach them how to think differently about the food we eat.
We made some major changes to our pantry and fridge. I really do try to make everything now (granola, granola bars, salad dressings, sauces, sweets, etc…) that we use to buy and was processed. There are, of course, some great choices out there for you when you need a quicker option but you have to look. Not all packaged food is created equal even when it’s organic or “all natural”. The biggest thing is just how important label reading is. I read every label of everything we buy. I really try to make sure things have 5 or less ingredients and that I can pronounce them and know what they are. I challenge you to take charge of what you eat. Learn what all those ingredients in the food you are eating are. I know it can sound overwhelming when someone starts talking about this. But really any little change you make is a start in the right direction. Find the balance that works for you and your family.
If by chance you are looking for some new workout gear to give yourself a boost of confidence to start working out or to kick it up a notch, I would highly recommend the new activewear line from Boden. I have a lot of running gear but these items are by far the softest most comfy pants, tank and hoodie I own. Boden is offering 15% off any of their activewear line now until Nov. 9th with code: YOGA
Would love to hear from your guys how you approach eating and working out??
*I am in no way a doctor or dietician. Everything I wrote in this post simply reflects my own personal thoughts. There is of course a time and place for diets and working out to lose weight.