People always ask me when I’m sat on my lunch break having a salad or a meal replacement shake, am I on a diet. They assume that the only reason why anyone would choose to eat a salad over a sandwich or chocolate bar is that they must be trying to loose weight or be mad, but for me it is about making healthy choices for my body.
Returning to University after over 4 months off for the summer holidays was a shock to the system. Getting up at stupid o’clock, having mountains of work to do and noticing that I’d reached my heaviest weight ever of 9.12 stone, lead me into making the decision to look into what I was eating and make some changes. I was very surprised just how unhealthy my eating habits were, from not having breakfast, to not getting my 5 a day and eating a plate of pasta the size of a mountain every day. So I decided to make some simple changes, which have honestly not been very hard to keep up with, and try and give myself a better nutritional balance.
My changes included:
- Reducing the size of carbohydrates I had with each meal and increasing my protein portions
- Having a bowl of porridge every day for breakfast
- Takeaways were restricted to twice a week and the portion size had to be small for each of those meals
- Get my 5 a day, with the main proportion coming from vegetables
- Introducing more foods such as bulgur wheat and quinoa into my diet instead of rice and pasta
- Switching to whole meal bakery bread
- Switching my cheese to low fat
For me, they have not been big changes. I still eat, I still treat myself to what I like sometimes and I don’t count calories or stress myself over what I eat everyday, but instead try and make a conscious decision to make more of the right choices with my food. I understand that this may not work for everyone, and I am lucky that I have never been in the position where I have necessarily needed to loose weight, but I have found for someone who was just looking for that extra kick to my healthy lifestyles the small changes were the best place to start.
These past few weeks have been a bit hit and miss for me. With cracking my rib, getting a virus and going back to University after a month break, its been hard to keep up with pole. I was really concerned about losing all of the hard work I had put in before, and my health was the only thing which I could physically do to keep up with it whilst I got better. It felt great to be able to be in control of someone form of my body, when every other part was being controlled by injury or illness, and it has now become something which I don’t think about but instead has become my normal eating habits.
I have to admit I lost weight since switching my eating styles, I have gone down from 9.12 stone at the beginning of October to 8.9 stone now in January. This has been a gradual weight loss, which even though I’m pleased of, was not a direct intention of my change in eating. I wanted to feel healthier, have more energy and give my body the best nutrition to be able to look after itself, which I’m very pleased to say has worked a treat. I worry that sometimes we worry more about the weight on the scale than how we look in the mirror or how we feel inside.
I’m currently working hard on my video heat entries for two competitions that I want to enter. The deadlines are soon approaching and I have been practicing until the blisters pop on my hands to get it right, so hopefully when it comes to sending the videos off they will be a great reflection of the hard work and dedication I have put in since my last competition in October! I will keep you posted about how the practicing goes, and what the end result is.