I’ve recently made a huge change to the way I work out. Something some people do regularly, something other people couldn’t imagine doing.
As my new boss at the running store put it – I’ve gone “zen.”
In other words – I’ve gone gadget free.
I went through a bit of a crisis when I moved to Toronto. I put on a few extra pounds from travelling and moving. Having previously lost 30 lbs, I know what it takes to lose weight. All I needed to do was track the calories I ate and burned to keep them at a reasonable level. Easy enough, right?
When I did it the first time around, tracking calories was fascinating. I had no clue what was in the foods I ate until I started doing it. It kept me on track, motivated me, gave me goals to work towards.
But to be honest, I’m kind of sick of being haunted and driven by numbers. How many miles I’m running, how many reps I’m doing, how many calories I’m burning, how many days I worked out this week.
I’m at the point in my healthy living journey where I just want to be. Even more I just want to be normal.
My relationship with food has changed immensely since I began losing weight. I now know that I can’t eat a plate of nachos chased down with a litre of beer several times a week and get away with it. I know it’s better to have more veggies on my plate, and that asking for dressing on the side really does make a difference. I don’t need to track every calorie to be reminded of these things, nor do I need the numbers to inflict guilt on me when I do decide to indulge.
I used to divide my food into a certain number of calories and tally them up in my head. Meals were “x” amount while snacks were always at “y.” Now I eat depending on my hunger levels. If I’m starving at lunch, I eat my meal and afternoon snack. Lo and behold, I’ll be so satisfied I won’t need to eat until suppertime anyways. Funny how that works out when I listen to my hunger cues.
The same goes with exercise. Being a personal trainer, fitness is now my LIFE. I’m in the gym all day and there is no excusing workouts. I find myself doing exercises not only for me, but also with my clients in mind.
Meanwhile, I’m head over heels for yoga and working at the running store has ignited my love for running once again. It’s not about squeezing in a certain number of workouts a week – but just getting them in when I can. I know I’ll never fall off track, so skipping a couple days here and there won’t send me into the same spiral of panic it used to.
Ditching my gadgets has been a huge learning process for me. Not knowing or caring about how many calories I burn in a workout has made my lifting sessions better because I’m not anxious about keeping my heart racing the whole time. Running has become so much more enjoyable now that I’m not beating myself up about my slow pace. I don’t even know my pace. I just go :)
It’s amazing how such a simple change has changed my quality of life. For the first time ever, I feel like a normal healthy person. Eating delicious, nutritious food and being active regularly. Without all the numerical hang-ups. Without a hidden agenda. Who knows if I’ll ever lose my Toronto weight. But for the first time ever I’m making choices based on lifestyle and not aesthetic. Being happy and healthy goes way beyond food and exercise. Now that I’m not putting so much mental energy into those two things, I feel like I’ve really been able to open up in other areas of my life.
So yes, I’ve ditched my gadgets. That’s not to say I’m against them (in fact, I support them in this post). But for me, right now, at this time in my life, I am all about the zen.
**In case you’re behind**
Voting for Round 2 of Project Food Blog is now open!
Click here to read & vote for my Taste of Scotland post.
And don’t forget to check out the other entries while you’re at it :) Thanks a billion!