Lifestyle Change

Hi all. Today, I wanted to talk to you about my new lifestyle change. I am down 10 pounds in the last two months and I can feel that they are going to stay off this time. I am really proud of myself. I definitely do not want to turn this into a health and nutrition blog, but this is a food and travel blog. And so much of what you eat has to do with your health. I am going to go over with you some of the things I have changed to get these results.

But first! Let me tell you that this change has been really hard for me. As a child, I had a really fast metabolism. I could eat sometimes 3 or 4 servings and would be very thin. I was really lucky. In my sophomore year of college, I got really depressed due to family problems. So I ate so much junk food and barely moved that I gained a lot of weight.

I saw that I was getting big, and was so obsessed with being my high school weight that the summer between my junior year to senior year, I pretty much was anorexic. I was able to achieve 113 lb (I am 5’5″), but every time I stood up from my bed I would feel so light-headed. Of course, my crash diet was not sustainable and I gained all my weight back my senior year.

I really messed up my metabolism that year and ever since then it has been hard to keep off the weight. I would lose a few pounds and then gain it all back. My friends can tell you that I have tried many diets but could never stick to them.

Moving to my new neighborhood and my new job has really helped me a lot. Here are a few reasons why:

1. I live in a health-conscious community. People exercise a lot here and there are so many healthy options at any restaurant you go to. I also have very easy access to groceries that offer organic or all-natural ingredients.

2. I work in a health-conscious office. Most of my co-workers are Irish, and they are used to a certain quality of food. So they eat very healthy. They do not go for the processed foods. There are barely any sweets in the kitchen. Everyone just grabs half a donut if they are craving something.

3. I gave up my car because I live and work in a walkable area. If I want something I have to actually walk to get it. I could take the bus, but sometimes it takes longer to wait for the bus than to walk. After I buy it, I have to lug it back to my apartment. Can we say muscle toning? LOL.

But those were just added bonuses for me. If you don’t have that, it is OK. It really just stems from your inner motivation to eat better. In the past two months, I have not dedicated any time to “exercise.” I mainly eat better, which I am sure is the majority of being healthy. So here is what I do differently than before:

1. If I had to put a label on it, I mainly eat vegetarian. I mean it is very common sense that vegetables are very good for you, because of all the nutrition they provide. I do eat meat once in awhile. The other day I had menudo. Besides, I would never cut out seafood from my life. I would say I eat 70% vegetarian.

2. I spend a little more money on quality food. Before, I would think it was ridiculous to go to a Trader Joe’s and spend on something I could get cheap elsewhere. However, I don’t want chemicals in my body, and I want my body to efficiently digest the food. A Netflix documentary really explained to me the cost of inorganic food, so I feel justified for spending a little more money on food.

3. I read the nutritional labels and ingredients on packages now…like actually read it. Before I would just skim for the calorie counts. It isn’t only about the calories for me anymore. It is about what I am getting from the food. I want my body to be nourished and know that I will supply it with good food. I also look for items low in sodium, sugar and/or fat.

4. I make sure my groceries are eaten. What I mean by that is the expensive (but healthy) groceries I just bought are not going to waste. So I make sure to cook and use up all the ingredients, which usually covers a meal or two. That in turn stops me from having to eat out. Because the down side about eating out is you never completely know what the chef put in his dish.

5. Even when I eat healthy dishes at restaurants, I don’t always eat all of it. Before, my Asian upbringing would tell me to eat everything on my plate. I listen to my stomach now. If I am full, I am not going to finish the plate. I will take it home. My Irish co-workers shed a light on that one for me. They kept saying, “Your [American] portions are too big. Ours is only half that size.”

6. I do indulge in yummy things once in awhile like mochi ice cream or Stan’s donut. I ask if anyone wants to share with me and I split the item in half. I don’t need a full portion of sugar. I just want to satisfy my cravings and move on with my life. I can tell you this one was hard to control, because my pallette was so accustomed to sweets. I feel like I have trained it to like other, healthier foods now.

7. I also think about how I feel after I eat something that I am craving. Immediate gratification-yes! Long-term energy-no! My favorite foods are pizza and fried chicken. But I think about how my stomach gets really bloated or how my skin feels really greasy. Also, I feel really slow and unable to do anything afterwards. That usually gets me on the right track. If I can’t resist though, I just take half a serving.

8. Water! It has been said by many, and I will be the next one to say it. Before, I would drink maybe 2 8-oz cups max per day. Not anymore. I drink probably 3/4 of a gallon in a day. It flushes me out but keeps me satiated. Also, you’re supposed to be getting up from your desk here and there anyways. So might as well fill up a water bottle while you’re at it.

9. Last one I have been doing consistently is my Japanese breathing exercises for two minutes a day. I am usually in front of a TV when I do these. It really helps me be regular, and as an added bonus, my abs are getting toned. I mean…when you are done eating, the food has to go somewhere. 😋

Those are the 9 small changes in the past two months. I am on the right track- I can feel it. And I think the biggest change was my mentality. Yes, I started this blog by saying I lost 10 lbs. But that was just a result from my overall mindset. I care about what I am putting in my body. I don’t know how much more weight I have to lose. Maybe I have 0 lbs to lose, but I feel really great.

-Amy

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