Meet GRACE, the concept you didn’t know you deserved in your life.
Okay, so we’re back, and you’ve been eating better, and hitting the gym…YOU’RE DOING IT! But for whatever reason, something comes up and knocks you off course. You miss the gym, you eat/drink something you were trying to stay away from, and now you’re beating yourself up and getting discouraged. DON’T! Don’t allow something that’s small in the grand scheme of your goals to derail everything you’ve done up to this point. Why, you ask? Because that’s how self-doubt and self-loathing wins. It makes you feel like your best hasn’t been enough, and you wonder why you should even keep going when you’ve had a small stop on a long journey. This is the part in your journey where you need to meet a beautiful concept called GRACE. There is no such thing as perfect when you’re trying to undo years of poor eating and poor exercising habits, so it’s completely normal that you’ll have slip-ups in your eating and working out. But don’t let it deter you. Giving yourself GRACE will help you realize that it’s ok to rest your body when it tells you to. GRACE will help you understand that it is ok for you to indulge in your favorite meal or snack from time-to-time without feeling like you’ve failed and should just give up.
Now that I’ve introduced you to the homegirl GRACE, let’s discuss why we should politely usher the word ‘diet’ out of our vocabulary for a greater chance at continued success on our fitness journies. After countless hours of googling why the word diet is bad, I can officially say that I will never use the word again. Studies show that people who “diet” rarely maintain the weight loss because diets rarely teach balanced eating that one can carry forward in their health journey and life. Diet is almost always comprised of fad eating meant to be used in short periods of time for speedy weight loss. Psychologists also state that introducing the word diet into your vocabulary causes the mind to become more fixated on foods you shouldn’t indulge in frequently, leading to more temptation to eat poorly. Remember that you’re an adult and you are allowed to enjoy foods that aren’t the healthiest in moderation. You don’t have to swear off a burger and fries for the rest of your life. Rather, realize and put into practice the idea that you don’t need to. Also, don’t forget that you can find healthier alternatives and substitutes for some of your favorite decadent meals (i.e. try baked sweet potato fries over classic fries cooked in oil, replace that white bun with a wheat bun, try a turkey patty over a beef one). Getting creative with your food choices will help you in your journey to weight loss and help you find healthier alternatives to foods you love. You’ll end up with a diverse collection of meals you can prepare that not only taste good, but are good for you.
And before I get up outta here, I need any and everyone to read this last section and commit it to your memory. REST YOUR BODY! It’s okay to push yourself to the limit, but when you get there, your ass needs to stop, rest and revitalize! Yes, exercising is the perfect companion to balanced eating, but it’s not so important that you should risk an injury in the process. Also, coming up with an effective workout prevents you from spending (and wasting) too much time in the gym. Thirty to forty-five minutes of effective working out 3-4 days per week is a damn good start when embarking on a gym journey, but what’s most important is allowing your body to rest and recover. You shouldn’t beat yourself up and doubt the work you’ve been doing when you miss the gym. Extend yourself GRACE. Allow yourself the space to be human and stumble as you travel a path to continued happiness, health, and fitness. We all make mistakes, but how we recover and press forward is how we measure success.
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