September 9th 2018
How limiting my carb intake and updating my workout routine has changed my mind, body, and life~
I started my quest to change and improve my body earlier this year, probably around March or April. I had been feeling gross, lethargic, weighed down, and overall crumby not only about my weight, but about how my body was feeling. I knew I had to make a change, but I found that change can be a bit intimidating.
As a girl who loves potatoes, pasta, bread, and bagels, the idea of scaling back on carbs was something that wasn’t an easy change for me. However, I found myself perpetually bloated and groggy and uncomfortable, especially after large meals. So, after a bit of deliberating, I decided to take my mother’s advice and lower my carbohydrate intake. You see, my mom is on the Keto way of eating and it has done absolute wonders for her. She has lost tons of weight, lowered her cholesterol quite a bit, and has felt all around better since beginning her low carb/low sugar journey. However, I know myself well enough to know that I do not currently have the will power to commit to being full Keto.
But instead, I modified the way of eating so that it didn’t focus on bringing my body in to Ketosis, but instead just helping my body burn more fats than carbs. I started small by cutting out bread and buns. When I go out to eat, I often stick to burgers without buns, salads, or meat. Cutting out carbs like pastas and breads was easy on the day to day but there were always temptations. I think my biggest temptation has been french fries because they come with most meals and although I like to swap them out, sometimes a burger and broccoli just won’t do so I allow myself a couple of fries then I pawn them off on my friends or family.
The next thing that I had to focus on was hidden carbs. When you think of carbs, you often think of the standard bread, pasta, rice, bagels, donuts, etc., but carbs are EVERYWHERE. They are in drinks, hard candies, and even in fruits and vegetables…That is where I am still trying to find balance. However, I am working towards getting in the habit of reading the nutrition info about what I’m eating before diving in.
After shifting how I was eating, I turned my focus towards my physical activity level. I have been doing yoga 4-7 days a week for 3 years and about once a week for the past 5 years, so my body has sort of gotten used to that level of activity. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realized that the workout that used to be doing wonders for me, had caused me to plateau. That is when I realized I had to start doing things differently.
I started small with walking and running on the treadmill every day. I would prop my laptop on the treadmill and walk while enjoying YouTube videos to pass the time. I find that watching something that completely distracts me helps me get through a workout better than music does.
After I got into a groove with the treadmill, I wanted to take things one step more and began taking a PiYo class at my yoga studio at 6 AM, 2 days a week. The class is sort of like a mix of Zumba, Yoga, and Pilates in the sense that it is set to music like Zumba while encompassing qualities of Yoga and Pilates.
It was a large leap for me, going from yoga to PiYo. I went to my first class and left in a pile of sweat. I was intimidated and sort of uncomfortable and I debated ever going again. However, I really pushed myself to continue and started to really enjoy it. A couple of months into taking the class, my yoga studio let the instructor go and a new instructor began teaching the class which made the process of adjusting a bit tougher, but I still really enjoy it and find that it has done wonders for my body and my enjoyment of working out.
Lastly, I started working out more regularly in small ways. I started walking more and I began doing daily core workouts. I find that I am not really a gym person, but more of an active person in general. I love hikes, walking, quick core workouts, and any way to get active that is entertaining and has variety.
Choosing to change how I have been eating and exercising has been a huge step for me in not only taking control of my life, but also increasing my confidence. When I look good, I feel good and I hope to continue to stay motivated and inspired to have the body and mind I desire so deeply.