You are what you eat...

And what you drink - she writes while having a cider and some snacks after her run...

When I began this blog, it was in response to reaching a weight threshold that I didn't really want to contemplate. In the meantime, I have been up and down over that threshold on a pretty much weekly basis - but I am not as bothered by that as I thought I would be.

There are a couple of reasons for that:

Firstly, although I haven't lost any weight at all, I am fitter and more in shape than I was when I started back into all of this. Where I struggled with with a 4-5km slow jog, I am now able to go out and run for an hour and a half to two hours, and although I am still definitely walking up the steeper hills, I feel good when I get in at the end of it, not knackered.

I feel that I am healthier than I was as well - apart from the not-actually-asthma, and also not-bronchitis with a bit of not-laryngitis added in, that totally knocked me for a few weeks there, I haven't been sick all winter. My body feels like it is working right. I am not skinny, and I never will be I think, but just now I am really happy with how I am, because fitness and health, and feeling good in myself, are far more important to me than the numbers on a scale or the wibbly bits that just won't go away. (I did try skinny once, I even managed it for a while, but it was hard work!)

Secondly, I like food. I know that there are things that aren't physically good for me, so I try and be gluten-free most of the time, but because I'm not actually coeliac, I'm also okay (haha, more than okay) with having some of the wonderful yummy stuff that comes out at this time of year (and my Mum makes the best Christmas mince pies!). I'm also not one to go out for a nice dinner and be careful what I'm eating, except in terms of being careful to choose something that I really want. I appreciate good food, and especially given that one of the things the husband and I do as us-time is go out to dinner at nice cafes or restaurants, it would be silly to not enjoy the experience. I also like the odd drink. Mostly I drink fizzy water or ginger tea, but a nice glass of wine or a cider of an evening, for me, does add to the occasion. And again, I'm not going to say no just because of the vague possibility of skinniness.

I think it is important to appreciate food, to be mindful of what you eat. I'm probably not being mindful in the same way as all those gurus, but what I mean is that I don't eat just for the sake of eating. Whatever I have, whether 'good' or 'bad' for me, is a conscious choice that I am making. That is far more significant in terms of my well-being than denial would be, in my own opinion.

So, there are a couple of things to consider:
  • Know what you are eating. I try to prepare as much food for myself and my family from ingredients as I can. That doesn't mean I make everything from scratch, (life is far too short and the small people have far too many after-school activities) but I do try to cut up and throw everything together myself, or to use jars and tins that have actual things in them, not a whole meal. I use sachets of stuff for flavours and sauces too, because there isn't too much of whatever crap is in them. I don't do packets, because I know that those are going to be way more processed and have way more random things in. It's a very broad brush to make choices with, but I think it works because I have thought about it.
  • Know the effect of food on your body. I know that if I eat gluten my digestive system will lock solid for a week. I know that if I eat carbs, particularly with dinner, I will weigh at least half a kilo more in the morning. I know that if I have more than two coffees of a day I will totally spin up, but if I don't have any I will be grumpy all day. A lot of my knowledge is through noticing things happening and working backwards to a cause, but having done that, I can make more of those conscious choices about what I want ... and sometimes that third coffee is totally worth it.
  • Be balanced in your choices. The most important thing, I feel, for me, is to remember that it's always a compromise, and there is no definition of 'right' or 'good' that fits all situations all the time. I value my sanity too much to add another stress factor in, and if eating 'healthily' is stressful, then the physical health benefits may be completely outweighed by the mental health disadvantages. I like running and I like work morning teas, and you know what? I can have both. And Christmas cake. My Mum makes awesome Christmas cake too.
So, although 'you are what you eat' is one of those cliched old phrases, and I'm not sure I even mean it in the same way as whoever made it up back in the day, I am in fact what I eat and drink, and as long as I am happy with the choices that I am making, then I must be happy as who I am. 

#healthgoals #fitnessgoals #healthandfitness #christmascake


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