The current nutrition challenge that I am participating in ends tomorrow. I have to say I am incredibly happy with my determination over the past 7 weeks, because as much as I like to focus on the smugness of eating healthy, the real victory is in the smugness of what I DIDN'T eat. I had multiple opportunites to be de-railed big time, but the thought of the prize at the end kept me on track.
This morning I was rewarded by reaching a new low weight. If you notice above on my ticker, for the first time in 5 months, it has moved in a downward direction. The reason for that is I have been doing what is correct for my physiology. Unfortunately, by the crazy nature of genetics, I was given a body that cannot process carbohydrates in a healthy manner. The typical American diet is heavily reliant on carbohydrates, so I found myself hoarding extra weight. In order to CORRECT my weight (which in the end still may be heavier than some) I need to remove carbohydrates from my diet. It is up to trial and error to see just how many my body can tolerate before holding onto excess fat, by for right now, I need to continue to restrict my carbohydrates until I correct my weight.
We are all products of our genetics. As much as we may envy or appreciate another's body, it may just not be in our DNA to acheive the same results. Wishing for someone else's arms or legs or abs is literally the same as wishing for someone else's eye color. This is an incredibly hard realization to come by, as I've always felt that I could have the body of my dreams if I just ate right and performed the correct exercise. In fact, what I will get as I continue to "correct" my body is whatever my genetics have determined for me. I may never have sculpted upper arms, or a defined 6-pack, but I will have calves to die for and huge quadriceps. I may never have a J.Lo booty, or the abilities of Serena Williams, but I will have the best of whatever my genetics have in store for me.
In this past year I have done so much research and learning about myself. I learned first and foremost that I must stick to what I know works. This is probably where I have gone wrong so many times in the past. I start seeing results, I get confident, and then I slowly stop doing the precise things that I need to be doing for my body. That cycle has been repeated in my life more then I care to count. I had sort of a realization today that struck a cord deep within me. Especially as I follow many blogs and see others keep falling into this cycle. I have learned:
1) It doesn't really matter what method a person chooses for success (I have my personal opinions on what is the best, but everyone is different and entitled to their own opinions)
2) However, whatever method a person does choose must be a long term, sustainable one.
3) Finding out what works for me and what is sustainable was one of the hardest things, and it was done by multiple trial and errors (how many times have I heard "I've tried EVERYTHING.." from overweight individuals)
4) I felt like I had tried everything, until I found something that I knew changed me physically, and something I knew I could STICK with forever.
5) It turned out that giving up refined/processed foods/grains/sugar was something I hadn't tried
6) Once I found that it worked, and worked differently and better then anything before, I realized that it is my 'medication.' Not medication in the sense of numbing myself, but medication in the sense of correcting myself. Much like a doctor prescribes Prozac to a bi-polar individual, or Lipitor to someone with high cholesterol, or Metformin to a diabetic. I was in need of 'medication.'
7) Now, what happens when I am on this medication, and things are going great, naturlly I begin to feel invinsible. I skip some 'meds' here and there (as in I stop doing what works for me, in my case, eating too many carbs). It becomes a downward spiral.
8) Before I know it, I have fallen off track again. Why? Because I stopped taking my 'meds.'
I know this may be a little abstract for some people, but my point is that once you find what works for your body, YOU HAVE TO STICK WITH IT FOREVER. You cannot decide when it appropriate to stop taking your meds, because the meds are what is making you perform, making it so you are 'normal.' The brain is tricky. The brain thinks it is in control of ever aspect, but if that were true, there would not be persons with chemical imbalances, or weight to lose. Not everyone has a problem that needs correcting. Some individuals have simply won the genetic lottery (Jessica Alba, Brad Pitt, Megan Fox, just to name a few).
Since I am an individual that needs correcting, I need to continue to take medication in the form of not eating excess carbohydrates. FOREVER. No more self-diagnoses "I'm fine, I'm doing great...sure I'll eat this donut..." is exactly the same as a crazy person saying "I'm not crazy anymore, I don't need these meds..."
I know how that story ends.