Friday, April 29, 2016

A Healthier Lifestyle

I've been wanting to write this post for a year. Only back then, (and actually now again) other people* started posting about this same topic and I didn't want to be another one. Now I'm actually glad I waited because this post is nothing like it would have been last year. And actually, it is nothing like these other people's posts. Anyway...

Last year, just around this same time, I kept telling A how I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I was about to turn 30 and I wanted to feel great about it, rather than self conscious as I was feeling. This was mostly due to the fact that I had put on a lot of weight, more than I had ever before, and I wasn’t happy about it. My clothes didn’t fit anymore and I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself anymore.

My life is a constant struggle between my love for food and not wanting to get fat (originally in spanish)

I have struggled with weight for my whole life. It started when I was about to enter secondary school and never stopped. There have been times when I’ve been pretty content with my general appearance, although some people believed I wasn’t healthy at those times. But mostly I oscillate around what is supposed to be a healthy weight for my height and complexion.

However, since I moved to Puebla, where you basically can’t walk anywhere (unlike in Mexico City), my life has become way more sedentary with hardly any physical activity other than occasionally walking to a bus stop or going up and down the stairs. Moreover, since A and I are no longer paying two rents and traveling back and forth to see each other, we have more resources + time to spend together, so we choose to go out and eat.

Just your typical breakfast order at Le Pain Quotidien: pastries and chilaquiles

We love food and trying different places. We did that when I lived in Mexico City, but because he lived in Puebla, we could only do it maybe twice a month. But with me here, we can go out any night we want, and we did for a long time, sometimes more than twice a week. And no, we never skipped desert.

Naturally, after a few months this came to show and it came to a point where I had to do something  about it (i.e. constantly complain to A about how fat I was). And thus, being the supportive sport he is, A sought out a nutritionist for us to see. 

We have been seeing this doctor for the past year and we have yet (each) to reach our goals, but we are taking it easy. Being on a diet is hard. It requires a lot of self control and will, which are things we sometimes lack. It becomes specially harder when there’s a special occasion (think weddings, birthdays, christmas…) or we travel (whether is home to Veracruz or Mexico City for a weekend), because it messes up our whole routine.

That said, our diet is not really hard at all. Because we are trying to lose fat, we aren’t allowed certain foods which would be obvious, but other than that, I think the hardest part is actually eating so much at all times. Prepping 5 different meals a day is also kind of a drag and definitely time consuming, but one good thing about it all is that we are spending more time together (in the kitchen) and we are learning new recipes/trying new things which we will keep eating long after we reach our goals.

May 2015, when we had just started seeing the nutritionist / September 2015, 4 months and many kilos later

Eating healthier has brought a lot of good things for us. Not only the fact that we have lost weight and actually feel lighter, but also in terms of the functions of our bodies. Like after not eating certain things for a while and then eating them again, realizing they made my stomach upset or caused certain reactions. I would not have noticed these things otherwise, and now I know which things I should avoid.

Breakfast for dinner at IHOP = bad choice but oh so good!

Going through this experience has taught me a lot about food, but also about me and my (bad) eating habits. It seems like I’ve been eating wrong my entire life. Not only in terms of choices (two sunny side up eggs, sausage, bacon, hash brown and a side of chocolate chip pancakes + chocolate milkshake for dinner, thank you) but also in terms of quantities (I should eat 1 hot dog/quesadilla + a bowl of fruit as opposed to 2 of the same). It has also become obvious that I use food as a reward for achieving something but also as a consolation prize when otherwise, which is totally wrong (#sorrynotsorry) but seriously though, the biggest lesson has been how it is all about balance.

I still might need a guide after I’m done with the regime, but I’ve learned that our bodies need all types of food groups to function properly (even fats and carbs) and it’s really all about how you chose to combine these in order to have a balanced diet.

This pretty much describes it!

Although It seems like we’ve been on a diet forever, we haven’t really been on a diet the whole time. We are pretty flexible with it. Like if we are home for the weekend, I’m not skipping the mandatory breakfast at La Parroquia with my dad or if we go to Mexico City, there’s no way in hell I’m having a fruit smoothie over pizza at Cancino. Which is basically why we haven’t reached our goals. I don’t want to feel guilty for eating something I’m craving, I’ve done that before and it’s not good and gets you nowhere. I like to think that we are not really ‘on a diet’, but just trying a healthier lifestyle, with occasional slips ;)


*You can read those other posts I was talking about here, here, here and here.