This past summer I decided to do a little food experiment to see how it effected my weight. It all started when I saw this quote on social media…
I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction and how the thoughts you have can influence the world around you. It never dawned on me that this could hold true for the food that I put into my body as well.
A little back history: I have been exercising consistently since 2008. My original goal was to develop an exercise routine that would get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and anything on top of that would be a bonus. I started with a couple of days a week. As I saw myself become stronger, and noted my increased endurance, and I increased the frequency. I was soon going to the gym 5 days a week. I was addicted. It was amazing to see how I could transform my body through consistent cardio and weights. As I saw my body get stronger, I mentally felt stronger as well. It was an interesting side effect. I felt like I could conquer the world!
When it comes to the food I eat, I’ve always had the philosophy to eat healthy during the week, and then eat whatever I wanted over the weekend. It helped me feel more balanced, and gave myself permission to enjoy more food options.
After years of high intensity workouts, my body began to get injured. I realized that something needed to change. I couldn’t continue to push my body as I had before because it would leave me out of commission from injuries, and I had a young family to take care of. A couple of years ago I decided to scale back. Now, as long as I am moving my body, I am happy. I still workout regularly, but I don’t push myself as many days per week.
When summer rolls around, I find myself not interested in working out. I want to enjoy the sunshine, have lazy beach days with my kids, and simply enjoy BEING. I know that I have gotten my body to the point where I can get back into shape more quickly than before because of the hard work I’ve already invested over the past 8 years, so I am okay with letting go of my fitness routine over the summer months. However, there always remained that lingering voice in my head that said “I SHOULD be exercising,” or “I SHOULDN’T be eating this food.”
While I was comfortable letting go of my fitness schedule, I harbored guilt about the food I was eating.
Let’s look at the summer of 2014. Now, I didn’t know I would be writing a blog about this experiment, so I didn’t take a before picture to accurately capture my pre-experiment physique, but I think this one will suffice.
The summer of 2014 consisted of a couple of family reunions, a work trip to Seattle, and some other excursions away from home. I enjoyed spending time with my kids, and having some time alone, but I remember times where I thought “I probably shouldn’t be eating this.” While I was okay with letting my fitness lifestyle go, there was a bit of a mental struggle when it came to my diet. As one would expect, I gained weight and was a bit more curvaceous by the end of the summer.
Summer of 2014 – Enjoying a caramel apple treat
Summer of 2014 – Less tone & more filled out
While the results were not drastic, they were there all the same, and the people who knew me noticed the change. It’s important to note that I didn’t feel bad about gaining weight. I assumed I would gain weight based on my lack of exercise, and I was prepared to work it off once the school year began.
When the summer of 2015 rolled around, I was expecting the same results. That is, until I read the quote;
“You are not what you eat, you are what you think, and what you think about what you’re eating is far more important than what you’re eating.” – Abraham-Hicks
Wow. WHAT IF I could enjoy my time off from the gym and still maintain my weight? WHAT IF I could maintain my muscle tone and endurance through mindfully choosing positive thoughts about my body’s efficiency to absorb the nutrients it needs from the food I eat? WHAT IF I could eliminate guilt from the equation and simply enjoy all of the marvelous flavors and textures of my food?
It was such an eye-opening concept, and I was game to give it a shot.
The summer of 2015 played out the same as 2014, with a lot of lazy days with the kids and traveling for fun. The only thing that changed was my mindset. I no longer felt bad about the food I ate. I no longer looked at my food as either a friend or an enemy to my body. I saw each meal as nourishment, no matter what it consisted of.
I am happy to say that the experiment was a success!! Not only did I not gain weight, but I also maintained my muscle tone and endurance.
Summer 2015 – Enjoying live music at the park
Summer 2015 – Dancing at my first Salsa Congress
The summer of 2015 proved to be one full of fun and joy. Not only because of the activities I participated in, but also because my mind was at ease. I removed guilt from the equation and accepted each day, each meal, and each drink for what it was – a celebration of life!
I put trust in my body to be an efficient fuel burning machine. I had faith that my body would find its nourishment in each meal. I am not negating the need to have wise food choices, but I am emphasizing that the mindset you have around your food will also have an impact. We all know what the healthy foods are and that we should strive for balanced nutrition… just don’t feel bad when that doesn’t happen.
September 2015 – My first day back at the gym, and feeling as fit & strong as ever
I encourage you to try mindset experiments of your own. They require very little investment and can make all the difference in the world. If you have positive mindset success stories to share, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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