Spring is upon us which means having to show some more skin, leading to an increased, if not urgent desire to look better and feel better in our bodies.
I’m in this boat with you. The idea of wearing shorts makes my skin crawl and I much prefer a cozy sweater to a tank top… but when good ol’ Mother Nature turns up the heat, jeans and a sweater are no longer the best wardrobe choices.
Instead of dreading this year’s sundress weather, I’ve decided to take action. I’m going to be proactive, grab the bull by the horns…. you get the idea. No matter how much I love cookies and beer (not necessarily together – well sometimes!) they aren’t going to help me feel comfortable and confident in a bikini.
So what can I/will I do? Sure there’s the whole consume less calories than you burn idea…. but is it really that simple?If it was, I’m pretty there would no longer be a whole table at Barnes and Noble dedicated to the latest and greatest diet fad. So what’s the deal? Should we eat less carbs and more protein? Should we only eat 600 calories two days a week? Should we reduce food to a point system? The answer is that it depends. Everyone’s bodies are different and everyone’s bodies react to different things in different ways. So is there a right way or dare I say it, an “easy” way to lose weight? If you ask me, the answer is no. It’s hard work and quite frankly it just sucks. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. (Oh look we just reached the point in the story where the name of the blog makes sense!)
Anyhoo good news…. the debbie downer part is over! I’ve yo-yo dieted for years, losing about 30 lbs each time only to gain it back within the same year. Why? Is it because I’m lazy? Because I have no willpower? Do I have some deep-seeded psychological issues causing me to self-sabotage? While all of those ideas may be contributing factors, I think a big part of it is that I’ve never actually stopped to think about, or learn about the “why” and “how” of all of this.
Trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup are bad. Got it. You should avoid the freezer section of the grocery store and only shop the perimeter. (Guess except for when the frozen food section is on the perimeter.) Fruits and veggies are good… check. Drink lots of water. Roger that.
None of these ideas should shock you, they aren’t new concepts, but have you ever stopped to think about what’s really going on within our bodies that has lead to these overarching recommendations? Do you know why saturated fat is bad? Do you know what macronutrients are and why they’re so important? Do you really understand the science behind why we must drink our daily recommended amount of water? If you do. Great! But I don’t… or at least I didn’t, but I’m learning and it’s REALLY helping me put a new perspective on making healthier food choices without struggling to resist temptations.
Tell someone not to do something or that they shouldn’t do it and what happens? It’s all they can think about, right? We all have that inner rebel that lives inside of us that’s just dying to bust out, yell, “Screw You!” and stick it to the man. That’s what happens when we go on diets – or even when we say we’re not dieting but are just going to “eat healthy”. The cookies and pizza don’t go away…. they just lurk on the sidelines taunting our subconscious – and even if you are able to put up a good fight for a few months, it’s not a sustainable way to live (at least not for me.) But the cycle ends here.
Recently I saw an interview with Cameron Diaz and she was talking about her new book, “The Body Book“. She stressed specifically that it is not a diet book. Instead, the book addresses the “why” and “how” of this whole business. Hearing her interview made me realize I had never actually really thought about why I need to get a certain amount of fiber and why I should eat brown rice instead of white rice. I had always just conceded to these ideas, assuming that since other people had done the research, I should just go along with their findings. So my interest was peaked and I bought the book.
Holy cow. While I’m only 25% into the book, I have got to tell you my entire perspective on eating has changed. Instead of just knowing that I shouldn’t eat a whole bag of Oreos, now I know why I shouldn’t. Instead of knowing that I’m suppose to drink eight glasses of water per day, now I understand exactly why it’s so important. This sheds a whole new light on things. Now instead of begrudging the fact that I should choose carrots over carrot cake, I actually understand the impact that these choices have on my well-being.
I know when I eat healthier I feel better but there’s just something more motivating (to me at least) about truly understanding exactly why eating healthy makes me feel so much better. It’s actually quite empowering to know that I can choose my own destiny. By providing myself with the proper nutrition I know that my skin will look better, I’ll feel more alert, and will be a generally happier person.
I’ve read A LOT of diet/exercise/healthy eating books and while all have had very valuable insights in their own rights, this is the first book I’ve read that’s really gotten down to the nitty-gritty of it all.
Again, I’m only 25% of the way through the book, but I’ve already begun seeing the junk food that I loved and that my inner rebel craved in a whole new light. Instead of focusing on the deliciousness and the temporary satisfaction it would bring me to down that bag of Skittles, it’s as if I’m suddenly turned off by these former temptations because I now understand exactly what they’re doing to me and my body. Now my once beloved junk food is not welcome. It is the enemy.
I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the book and I hope you will pick up a copy as well.
I’d love to go all Oprah here and give everyone who reads this a copy of the book, but well…. ya know. I can however give one away… and that’s just what I’m going to do.
I’ve teamed up with other bloggers for a “fitness blog hop giveaway”. Here’s how it works – you can enter my giveaway below and then you’ll find links to all of the other particpating blogs that you can “hop” to, to enter their giveaways! Pretty cool, huh?
In addition to “The Body Book“, one winner will also receive a $25 Athleta Gift Card and a Chloe + Isabel Heirloom Pearl Necklace… because as the title of this post suggests, we don’t just want to feel good – we want to look good, too! And I want to help!
My giveaway (and all of the others) runs from March 14th – March 30th. All of the blogs participating have different giveaway prizes although they are all fitness-related. So what are you waiting for?! Enter below then hop on!
You must be 18 years or older to enter and reside in the US (this may not be the same for all participating blogs.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Twitter -> @akstout18
Facebook -> AK Unsugarcoated
Google Plus – > +AK Stout
LinkedIn -> AK Stout
Pinterest -> AK Stout
Instagram -> @akstout18
Polyvore -> candibyak
Click through to each of the blogs below to enter their #fitnessgiveawayhop giveaways!