Recommitting To What Works For You

By: Sha Goode

If there were a crown for the Queen of Diets, I’d be wearing it. I’ve tried every single diet or “way of eating” that’s out there. When I think about the relationship that I’ve had with food throughout my life, I can honestly say that there have been more bad memories than there have been good ones. The other day, I stopped and thought to myself, “why is that the case?” It’s my belief that we, particularly women but some men as well, have this constant fear of food; of missing out on the new diet that our Aunt’s, co-worker’s daughter tried and lost 30 pounds in 30 days on. We never stop and listen to the one person that we know better than anyone, ourselves.

I don’t know if it just comes with getting older but about a year ago, there was a literal light bulb that went off in my head that made me realize the importance of listening to my own body and thinking about my lifestyle, in order to make decisions about diet, nutrition and fitness goals. I’ve been a vegetarian, eaten based upon the Ketogenic Diet guidelines and have even had meals delivered to my door via Nutrisystem (spoiler alert, it tastes like salt shaker and is expensive as heck). I’ve tried to make myself a runner, have purchased countless workout guides and even attempted to head to a nearby pool because I was convinced it would help me shed some extra pounds, did I mention I can’t swim? Other than the fact that I’ve learned that these drastic changes weren’t very sound decisions, there were two very valuable lessons that that learned:

1. There’s always something you can takeaway from a failed diet. Now, I hate using that word because it’s really not a failure but more so your body’s way of telling you, this isn’t working for me. For example, prior to trying the “keto” diet I had a legitimate fear of fat. If you opened up my fridge all you saw was “low-fat” or “fat-free” and what it should have said was “will last for the next 100 years!”  The Ketogenic diet showed me there were many benefits to eating full fat items like the fact that natural, full peanut butter has heart healthy fats and lack the added sugars and corn syrups that comes in it’s low fat counterpart. Most recently, I’ve been eating a primarily plant based diet which has taught me so much about how much protein my body personally needs. I know this is often a topic of conflict so I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole however, what I will say is since I’ve been getting my protein from plant sources, I’ve noticed a drastic change in my performance and muscle growth. On the flip side, trying different diets will also help you understand what doesn’t work for you. For example, while eating plant based has been great for my physical appearance, I’m also someone who suffers from severe anemia and know that I haven’t been getting the amount of iron that I need.

2. If it doesn’t feel natural to you or doesn’t bring a sense of ease to your daily life, it wont last. There was a point in time where I’d spend Friday’s researching my meals for the upcoming week, Saturday’s inputting them into My Fitness Pal, by the day and Sunday’s grocery shopping and meal prepping. When I wasn’t eating food I was making food or thinking about it. I often said no to weekend nights out because I had to meal prep in the morning and I honestly just lost myself. Moving to New York City was a saving grace. It sounds corny but I got my life back. There was so much culture to experience, places to go and things to do that I gladly threw that rule book out the door. I started experimenting with different foods and healthier restaurants and and found this natural love of cooking meals that were filled with lean, clean and green options! I ate when I felt hungry and tried to ignore what my Aunt said about her other friend Cindy’s husband. If it didn’t sound like it would fit with my lifestyle, I wasn’t about it.

When Coach Brock and Coach Sherry announced that they’d be leading our community through this years Fitness and Nutrition Challenge I was beyond excited! For me this was a chance to remind myself that my focus shouldn’t be on adopting on a new diet or trying to take on a new fitness regime. I simply need to recommit, take a step back and realize most progress comes from simplicity. Not turning your life on its head and not suddenly committing to a juice cleanse for the next 45 days because a documentary on Netflix told you to do so, am I right? So together, let’s spend the next 30 days shaking away that fear of food, making decisions that will help us accomplish our goals and get our butts back in the gym so that we can try to desperately claw our way through one of Go’s debilitating, 7 round, EMOMs.