Before I prove to you that I make the best tacos you could ever imagine, I also want to inform you as to why you should be lifting heavy. Not only would it take added supplements, an insane diet, and hours in the gym for a woman to get “bulky,” but muscles need to be exerted in order to grow and the best way to do that is to lift heavier. For awhile, I’d been focusing on endurance lifting, but it wasn’t pushing me enough to my limits. I realized I needed to put more effort into lifting heavier on the compound movements, like squat presses, deadlifts, and so on. It works!
I initially lost ten pounds, but for a few weeks the scale hasn’t budged, and yet, my clothes are fitting better, I’m feeling trimmer and a whole lot stronger.
It’s very serious business, as you can see from my expression, but I think it adds to the idea that the scale is only one way of checking in on yourself, and it’s not even the best way. We know how we feel, whether we’ve had a good week or bad, if those clothes are loose, tight, or just right. We tend to focus on the flaws and not the positives, but when you start working out, doing something that purely benefits only yourself in the best way possible, you’ll start to notice the strengths. You’ll want to push yourself, treat yourself right (indulgences included!), and you won’t need the scale to tell you whether or not you like yourself that day. Strength training doesn’t only offer physical benefits and for that, I couldn’t recommend it to you more!
The other day marked four years since I graduated college, which seems insane, but that also means I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss these past four years. People always ask how I did it, the weight loss and the maintenance, and it’s a question I ask myself all the time.
It certainly helps that I love working out- not every day, but even then, when I have to push myself to go, I always feel better- as it helps with my anxiety and has become a part of my every day living. Exercise is so important and can be healing in so many ways, especially strength training (seriously, lift those weights!), but it’s only a fraction of the entire picture of healthy living. Number one, you have to be positive. So often, I hear my clients remark negatively on their bodies and themselves and it makes me sad because no matter what, you need to love yourself. You also have to be mindful, when you’re eating, exercising, working, spending time with family and friends, watching your favorite movie or shows, going for a walk, everything that you do because it’s life and life is precious and fleeting- something that I’ve learned the true reality of these past few months.
And then there’s food, this strange thing that we put into our mouths to fuel us. In our society, and in most societies, food is not simply fuel. It’s part of celebrations, outings, and daily living. Food is meant to, and should be, enjoyed. For people who struggle with their weight, on either side, it’s become the enemy. I am not afraid of food. I love eating and I don’t shy away from it. I just have higher expectations for it. We all have our favorites that should be eaten and enjoyed, in moderation. Many people tell me that moderation is the problem, that they can’t stop at one serving and so they’re better off depriving themselves. This is when positivity and mindfulness kick in. Know what you’re eating, enjoy it while eating, and be satisfied when you’re done. There is a learning curve, but it’s worth it. Trust yourself and your trust in food will grow.
That leads us to those tacos.
They start with warmed corn tortillas, a sprinkling of cheese, sliced zucchini and red bell peppers, fresh grilled chicken, a dollop of sour cream and guacamole, and chopped jalapeños. I enjoyed these immensely with a side of sautéed spinach for a hit of greens and felt so full and satisfied when I finished. This is good eating, fresh food, all the right nutrients, and a little splurging. We don’t always have time to put creations like this together, but there are simple ways of choosing the right foods and putting them together to cook something great.
Put some time and effort into yourself and the things you enjoy because so often, life is about these simple things.