Lifestyles, Diets and Being Happy.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that last year I documented my ‘lifestyle change’ progress via Food Diaries over on my YouTube channel.  They were a hit with many of you and while I’m not planning on picking up the camera any time soon I thought I’d give those of you that were interested, a little update on my progress.  I’d just like to point out that the below is what has worked for me.  I’m not trying to preach to anybody that this is the healthy way to loose weight or even that you need to loose weight. So let’s dive in…

Number one… I stopped worrying about it… and that’s about it!

Yes you’ve just read that right.  Last year I was getting so hung up on the numbers that my weight loss/lifestyle change seemed to revolve around that and it was making me miserable.  I felt guilty every time I had ‘naughty’ food but I couldn’t stop myself, somebody would comment on it and I would wonder why I hadn’t lost weight that week.  Since Christmas, I stopped tracking exactly what I was eating, stopped getting on the scales (every week) and started listening to my body – and since then the weight has fallen off without even feeling like an effort!

I posted the above picture on Instagram over the weekend and received so many wonderful comments so firstly, thank you for that! Friends have text me to ask how I’ve done it and I’ve been replying with the same response – I’ve learnt to listen to my body.  If my body craves chocolate, you’re damn sure I’m going to have a bar.  If my body is craving salad, I’m the first one at the salad counter loading up on spinach and peppers.  Sometimes I’m just craving hearty, filling food – and here comes the pasta.  I’m also NEVER going to be THAT person who can order the healthy option when they’re out. Life is too short for that shit!

Since I stopped worrying about my weight and eating what I want when I want, I’ve actually found myself gravitating towards healthier options naturally – No seriously, there’s nothing I look forward to now that a good balanced meal – chicken, cous cous and veg is my fave!  The thought of how many takeaways I was putting my body through last year sickens me, and I think I quite literally hit my limit.  The same goes for sugar.  At the end of last year, I was eating some much sugar on some days that I was getting headaches and feeling sick… by about 3pm!  It was my body’s way of saying ‘ENOUGH CHARLOTTE, we can’t do this anymore!’  It’s honestly like a switch had gone off in my head.  Now as I’ve said above, I still eat many foods that would be deemed ‘unhealthy’ – but I know where the limit is now.  I’ll never been one to deprive myself and I hate being a cliche but you really can eat a bit of what you want if you do it in moderation.

Interestingly, I read a few interviews with J-Law (God love her and her attitude towards food!) and there were three quotes that really stood out to me:

“Food is one of my favourite parts of the day.”

YES, YES, YES. As somebody that loves my food, food is a big frikken deal to me.  I love good food and there’s no way I’m missing the opportunity to look forward to a meal because I’m purposely depriving myself or forcing myself to eat X and Y instead.  It all comes back to eating things in moderation and listening to what your body wants so that you can eat things that you want to.  It may seem like having meal times as your ‘favourite’ time of day is an unhealthy relationship to have with food – but is it?  If you’re actually giving a crap about what you’re putting in your body and listening to it, why wouldn’t you look forward to refueling yourself so you can continue to go on being awesome?

“I do exercise but I don’t diet. You can’t work when you’re hungry.”

I think I’ve hit that point in my life where I actually want to work out because I feel like that’s what my body needs.  I’m not going to lie, I don’t particularly enjoy it every time but afterwards it makes me feel good and I’m proud that I’m making an effort to make my body stronger.  Whether that’s running and free weights, a body pump class or some yoga.   There are some weeks when I don’t make it to the gym for all three but do you know what? I don’t feel guilty about it.  I don’t punish myself by depriving myself of chocolate that night if that’s what I’m craving.  I also realised that starving myself was not the answer.  Jennifer is absolutely right, you are no use to anybody if you’re hungry.  At the end of the day food is fuel and you’re more likely to put in a better performance if your fuel supply is full rather than running on empty.

“I’m seeing you talking but all I can think about is getting fries.”

Because sometimes you just need french fries… from McDonald’s… preferably with a quarter pounder with cheese on the side.  Hangover days just happen!

So there we have it.  A lifestyle ‘change’ that is finally working for me. While the end goal last year was to be lighter, now I just want to be happy because being happy and content is more important than any number to appear on the scales.  And sometimes happiness takes the form of chicken salad, and sometimes it takes the form of a pizza and I’m ok with that.  I refuse to get hung up about silly things like my weight anymore.  Is this a healthy approach, I have no idea? But it’s making me feel fantastic.

If creating and maintaining a strong, healthy body that can go out and live life to the fullest is making me happy, then that’s really all that matters anyway!