Fitness Camp Tip
By Unite Fitness Guest, Ashley from Philadelphia (Guest Blogger)
You’re doing everything right to lose weight, or at least you THINK you are. You’ve limited your calories, perhaps you are committed to Weight Watchers or another food plan that is guaranteed to help you lose the pounds. You are obsessively tracking each bite you take, even writing it down on your meal tracker sheets or online on your smart phone app…But YOU’RE STILL NOT LOSING WEIGHT. What gives? When will the obsession end you ask yourself? It’s time consuming and life consuming to focus on the scale, on calorie counting, and on not losing the weight. On a personal note, back in my 20’s I was completely obsessed with calorie counting. During college classes, I’d be adding up what I’d eaten that day to make sure I’d have enough time to BURN it off at the gym. I was in a constant state of stress, scared to gain more weight and beyond concerned why I wasn’t losing the 25 or so pounds I desperately wanted to lose. Like a little rat in a cage, I’d run the treadmill, not getting anywhere. I was THINKING myself fatter and fatter. Coming home so hungry from a day of restriction, I would binge on whatever I could get my hands on. Candy, stale chips, leftover pizza, and plenty of guilt. This cycle continued for years and my weight stayed basically the same. From the outside, I probably looked healthy and normal, but when I looked in the mirror, I only saw an extra layer of “fluff” I wanted gone.
Finally, change happened for me! Luckily this disordered eating and obsession didn’t get the best of me. How did I change? First, I decided to quit obsessing about what I ate. I made the decision that it had to happen because it was consuming me. I stopped writing down what I ate each day, I stopped counting calories, I stopped calculating how much I needed to exercise to burn it off. In fact, I decided to cut down my exercising a bit and only do it out of LOVE for my body, not hate. Below are a few more nutrition and emotional tips that helped me overcome my obsession with my weight and in a strange turn of events, allowed me to have the body I wanted without a daily battle.
- Begin to eat intuitively. This means, stop and enjoy your food. Eat slowly with intention. Instead of shoveling cold pizza in your face at 10:00 PM at night, throw that stuff out! When you do treat yourself to A SLICE of pizza, sit down, use a fork, savor each moment of nourishment (maybe not so much with pizza, but you get the point).
- Eat more often, eat every few hours a little healthy something so you’re not ravenous at the end of the day. Think protein and carbs together, like cheese and an apple or nuts and a pear. Low sugar/calorie protein bars are great for on the go. Eat smaller meals for lunch and dinner and whenever eating out, immediately box up half for lunch the next day.
- Kitchen closes after dinner. Except for hot tea. Make yourself a cup of warm tea and sip on it throughout your evening. Then brush your teeth.
- Limit alcohol, this one tip may be the biggest for many and it sure was a trigger for me. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you crave salty, unhealthy foods. After a couple of glasses of wine, anything goes. So, limit your alcohol. Test your self control and drink only on Friday or Saturday night.
- Get more sleep. Being chronically low on sleep can throw off your body’s circadian rhythms, causing the release of hormones that increase stress and hunger. Causing you to be hungry, tired, and overweight.
- Allow yourself ONE cheat MEAL. Back to that pizza from earlier. If you love pizza, burgers, fries, whatever it is..Treat yourself to ONE meal that is on your “unhealthy” list. And goshdarnit, savor it..Enjoy it, don’t feel guilty. For the remainder of your meals, choose healthy foods.
- Find exercises you LOVE, go out into the world and walk, go explore the mountains or beach, try a new class at the gym. Exercise is not punishment for eating, it is a celebration of what our bodies can do. Your body is a miracle, your body is amazing. Move it, shake it, have fun.
- Put your energy somewhere else. For me, I had put my food and weight obsession on the front burner, I was missing so much life. When I stopped obsessing, I started thinking about other things, like relationships and school, and traveling. Also, I started thinking more about helping others (and it made my food issues seem really small).
- Love yourself. Come on, you can do it. You are a beautiful person with so much potential.
After about a year of letting my obsession go, I was able to maintain my current weight and I felt really great. I decided to GIFT myself a fitness-get-away, where I could gain strength and tone my body, learn more about nutrition, and learn more about myself and my body. I researched every fitness camp, weight loss retreat, fat camp, weight loss spa, and fitness vacation on the market! After about two months of gathering information and researching weight loss retreats, I decided on Unite Fitness Retreat. The experience has done more for my spirit, mind, (and body) than I ever expected. The program is truly life-transforming on so many levels, you just have to experience it for yourself to understand. Guided with love and support, the program helped me dig deeper into my WHY, helped me heal from years of self sabotage, and ultimately gave me some amazing tools to take home.
So, thank you UNITE, and best of luck to those struggling, just know, you too can overcome your obsession with your weight and gain control of your health. If I can do it, trust me, anyone can.
Ashley A. From Philly