Topic 7 Wrap-up: Pep Up Your Wardrobe
I had fun with this serenity topic as, like many people, my closet was overly full and there were a number of garments which were way past their best. I know I’m not alone, though, in feeling reluctant when it comes to evicting clothing, so my public declaration of purging 5 things in 20 minutes was a great nudge.
To be honest, I edit my wardrobe pretty regularly so, while enjoyable, I’m not sure this activity enhanced my serenity greatly. And I still feel I would like to get by with even fewer clothes. I’m giving this topic 3 out of 5 stars.
Topic 8: Nourish Yourself
Even if the rest of the world likes to start a diet in January, I don’t believe in that approach. Firstly, I’m convinced diets don’t work – any changes in eating must be gradual, sustainable lifestyle changes. And secondly, in the northern hemisphere, January is still a cold, dark time when snuggling and comfort food are important morale-boosters.
Now, though, having glimpsed my summer clothes and felt prolonged sunshine on my face, I’m ready to revisit the fuel I’m expecting my body to run on.
My nutrition habits are already reasonable. I enjoy breakfast daily, drink plenty of water (err, and loads of tea) and almost never eat fast food. Dinner is at home most nights, so although I might not cook from scratch (hello, fish sticks!) I’m not consuming oodles of hidden calories in chef’s dish of the day.
But I need to tighten things up in order to truly nourish myself. Last summer I lost ten pounds with Weight Watchers and loved their sensible approach. Foods are assigned points: all fruits and most vegetables are zero points, while lean protein is low in points. Whole grains don’t “cost” too much, while sugar and snack foods do. I’d gained those ten pounds steadily and I’m convinced my body is ready to add them back as soon as I allow it. Believe me, as a runner, you do not want to be lugging that ballast around, especially up the steep hill to the Golden Gate Bridge during events like this.
And guess what? In common with millions of others who’ve lost weight, I took my eye off the ball and my good habits slipped. I started getting my paws on cookies bought for my husband and indulging in some of the (relentless) free food which appears in my workplace. So here’s my plan:
- Get back to tracking everything I eat. Evidence shows this is a key behavior in successful weight management, regardless of what plan you choose to follow.
- Take a morning snack for the drive to work. I actually eat breakfast when I arrive at work, around 6:30AM, but I would love to pause for a few minutes first to meditate. I’m hoping a piece of fruit eaten in the car will stop me arriving so famished I skip the mindfulness and head directly for the office kitchen.
- I’m a voracious snacker and don’t see a pressing need to change that. But I need to make sure every single snack includes a fruit or vegetable to add fiber and volume. No more lone cookies!
- Every time I feel hungry, glug back some water and wait five minutes. Same thing before meals. I get particularly hungry after running and I’m pretty sure that’s actually thirst.
This is all personal to me and if you want to revisit your nutrition habits, you’ll probably have different things you want to work on. If you’d like to share here, I’d love to hear about your challenges and intentions.