All in a Day's Words

Tag: diet

Cookie for a Skinned Knee

Whether a cookie, ice cream, or brownie graces the table with each bee sting, bruise, academic or athletic achievement, food rewards are a challenging habit to break. Skinned knees, A’s on report cards, holidays, hurt feelings, achievements, and pain rewarded by food is a common response, fostering the “I can fix, heal, remove, celebrate that feeling” with food. Reeling us into the pantry for sugar-laden medals and sweet rewards, goodies celebrate the victories, and/or ease the pain of falling down, burning a finger on a stove, or hurt feelings. Junk food consumption for regular relief of feeling uncomfortable or emotionally hurt, packs on the pastries and pounds. Reframing food’s purpose by releasing connections between food and emotion is vital for successful weight loss and maintenance.

Food as fuel negates food-rewarded needs, and fosters respect for healthy choices and the body. If food’s sole purpose is energy, emotional responses must reroute or express themselves elsewhere. Gathering alternatives for discomfort, emotional releases, and successes is imperative to reframe food’s function. Not an easy transition, yet it changes the way we view situations; therefore, the responses alter course. Exercising and building the muscle to modify eating behavior takes practice, perseverance, and motivation. As a repeated reminder, food’s function as optimal energy, fueling muscles, and sending nutrition to the brain, is essential. Physically feeling good is the prime goal, while cravings dissipate, energy resumes, and mental clarity returns. Imbalanced sugar levels cloud judgment, energy levels, and fool the appetite by misguided hunger.

Proper nutrition provides a balanced chemical response that enhances quality of life. By rewarding emotion with unhealthy foods, we threaten the body’s optimal functioning. Equilibrium, the natural response, causes the body to attempt elimination of incoming threats of toxicity or unrecognizable ingredients within processed foods, by becoming inflamed, digestively distressed, or eventually diseased. Treating ourselves respectfully with healthy, edible options, and utilizing “food as fuel,” circumnavigates this problem. Anything that band-aids rather than cures is counterintuitive to healing. Treating feelings with food addresses symptoms of discomfort and emotional celebration, yet damages heavily. A cookie for a skinned knee eventually causes additional pain, sometimes irrevocable. Healthy food as fuel can temper this future predicament.

Hit the Refresh Button

My weight loss and maintenance process is broken down to twelve-week increments. The door of my recent three-month experience is closing as another opens. Strategically I end and then start a fresh twelve-week challenge with a supportive, social network of like-minded individuals with similar weight loss, fitness, and personal growth goals. Each person arrives at beginnings differently, some distrusting from being duped by the diet industry, several open with a hint of nervous excitement and opportunity awaiting, while others trust the process immediately. Whichever pile an individual originates from, all are worthy of reaching their goals. Helping others acclimate into the lifestyle is inspiring, energizing, and rewarding. New beginnings starting each three months refreshes the journey.

By hitting the refresh button, an excitement reoccurs every twelve weeks, reengaging the process by reframing and renewing the knowledge and wisdom. Like a starting line with newfound energy and vigor for the next cycle, we shift into drive away from coasting, no longer running on empty fumes and final sprints to the finish line. That prior race becomes history, while new avenues establish fresh paths to carve and pave, alternative strategies yet to come, and non-scale victories on the horizon. No longer bursts of pounds dropping, instead tiny increments of ounces decrease to cross a major finish line onto the last lap of lifetime weight and fitness maintenance, full of strength, self-assurance, and pride. Living in the body that highlights your best self, comfortable in your skin with emotional balance, and living your ultimate purpose, is a victory within a lifetime marathon, rather than a sprint.

Refining our tools for a lifestyle of clean eating and healthy boot camp classes is the continued journey. Given a repeatable opportunity to right the wrongs of failed attempts, healthy living rebounds, buoyant and refreshed by newfound energy. Each trip enables a strengthening of healthy practices, learning from the errors of our ways, and enhancing the success rate of hard work, dedication, and resilience. To regain footing when traction slips, we return to the track when off roaded by distractions and lift ourselves up when life shoots us down. Interruptions sometimes lead us astray. Doing consistent actions over time is the foothold of ultimate, long-term success. Hitting the refresh button repeatedly enables improvement, increased motivation, and resilience along the weight loss journey.

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