This past May at the peak of my half marathon training I was running three times per week, up to 17 miles. My weight: 156 pounds. Now it’s the week after Christmas and for months the only exercise I got is from normal daily activities like walking and keeping up with our toddler. My weight this week: 156 pounds. How is this possible?
I’m doing it without trying, and by that I mean I don’t count calories, grams of protein, ounces of water, carbs, glycemic index scores, or steps per day. I don’t take multivitamin supplements, shakes, pills, potions, or worry about where I’m getting my protein, calcium, or Omega-3s. I eat when I’m hungry until I am full (no portion size caps or limits). When I’m thirsty I drink water.
Today’s diets seem so difficult to me; people who follow
them are hanging on so tight. All too often around this time of year we start to get excited about one program or another of intense exercise and dietary restriction. We want the promised weight loss and we want to feel great. We get excited because these programs present us with a “proven” system, a combination of strict scheduling, meal planning, and supplementation that won’t let us down. We get excited to take control of our health in the new year at last. And when we slowly but surely abandon the program in March we feel that we are the ones that failed. We strayed from the program, so we are the only ones to blame. We never doubt the strict, extremely detailed, hanging-on-by-your-fingernails paced program of unnatural eating habits. It is “proven,” after all.
I don’t need that kind of guilt trap in my life, and neither do you. Instead of making a resolution for your weight and health in the New Year, try this: when you are hungry eat whole plant foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, greens, grains, fruit and vegetables. Eat as much of your favorite of these foods as you like. When you’re thirsty drink water. No special amount. Avoid all animal foods and oil. Invite abundance into your life and onto your plate by eating as much of these whole plant foods as you want.
When I was training for my half marathon I noticed that at dinner time I would eat as much as my husband; I could go plate for plate of whole grain pasta with him, bean burrito for bean burrito. Now I serve myself half to two thirds as much food as he eats at dinner. During my high energy training my body needed more food to maintain my natural healthy weight of 156 and I felt hungrier. Now that I am done with my training my hunger is satisfied more quickly with less food. I need less food to maintain my 156. If we feed it the right food (whole plant based food) it’s amazing how the body will calibrate itself to health using natural signals like hunger, thirst, and satiety.
This New Year consider abandoning the New Year’s Resolution. Instead take the simple steps that will reward you, naturally and sustainably with peace in your New Year:
- When you are hungry eat whole plant foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, greens, grains, fruit, and vegetables
- Eat as much of these as you like until you are comfortably full
- When you are thirsty drink water
- Avoid animal foods and all oil
For more information explore the recipes on this site, or check out the following recommended articles and resources: