The Most Important Part

I’m sure if you’re wanting to lose weight or change your lifestyle you’ve seen hundreds of quotes and images about needing to love yourself. If you’ve hated yourself for as long as you can remember like me, this is a really hard one to get your head around.
Every time I thought negatively about myself my boyfriend would tell me to stop thinking about it and start thinking about positives and I would get so mad at him for not understanding that it wasn’t possible for me to do that, not in that frame of mind.
Now I’m finally starting to get it. No switch went off, there was no defining moment of change, it just slowly happened. I don’t stand in front of the mirror and tear myself down anymore and more importantly I don’t understand why I ever did. Did I enjoy it in some sadistic, self sabotaging way? I have no clue.
The first step was realising that I needed to change my way of thinking, despite being told over and over, I needed to realise for myself. I knew I couldn’t become fit and healthy by hating myself. I just didn’t know how to start loving myself.
One day, for no reason in particular, I googled “how to love yourself” and I found this page:
http://www.abundancetapestry.com/how-to-love-yourself-in-17-ways/
It’s nothing I hadn’t heard before, but everything started to change. This won’t work for everyone struggling with themselves, but the point is, you have to find something that will work. You have to try and try and never give up, because you have to. There is absolutely no point in hating yourself. Where will it get you?
I’m proud to say that I love myself, I love my body and I love who I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t see room for improvement but I think that because of this love I’ve discovered I can now more effectively lose weight because I’m not eating certain things just to lose weight but to nourish my body and do what’s best for it because I deserve it.
Quote and Illustration by Lori Weitzel

What is ‘Clean Eating’?

I am in no way claiming that I know everything about this. I’m just a beginner at the whole clean eating thing. Everyone has a different opinion about what clean eating actually is and it can be a pretty sensitive topic among professional nutritionists and personal trainers and just anyone who’s up for an argument.

Basically how I’ve come to understand it is that it’s a diet based on natural, unprocessed foods including lots of fresh veggies and high quality lean meats. Dairy is a no no but there are some exceptions such as cottage cheese and full fat natural Greek yoghurt. (I think they’re okay because they are less processed and have low sugar). Only complex carbohydrates like sweet potato, rye bread and quinoa as oppose to white bread, white rice and pasta.

Fruit should be limited to one or two pieces per day and preferably eaten in the morning because of their high sugar content. This is one of the controversial points because many people believe fruit consumption should not be limited. I believe you can eat as much fruit as you want for maintenance but limited for weight loss, that’s just my opinion.

Five to six small meals per day. This is an important one to keep the metabolism going and avoid the body going into starvation mode and storing fat. Don’t skip meals!! And of course the all-important reversed triangle.

There’s some saying to go with that like, “Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner.

Only eat enough nuts to cover three fingers, almonds are the best option. Drink HEAPS of water and always pick the product with the least sugar. Try not to eat less than three hours before going to bed, but in saying that please note that I’m not too good at that one. You really need to figure out what works best for you and don’t be hard on yourself for what doesn’t.

*       In the morning eat your meals with the most sugar like fruits and make sure you include protein

*       During the day eat your complex carbs (rye bread, mountain bread wraps, quinoa)

*       In the evening eat mostly protein and greens

Make it interesting. It’s going to be harder to stick to if all you’re eating for dinner is plain baked chicken and broccoli, I’ve been there. I hope this helps.