Just like how our souls age, so do our bodies. Some people tend to lose weight as they become older where others will naturally put on weight. Lifestyle habits, environmental circumstances, personal matters, and other physical parameters all affect the fluctuation (or lack thereof) of our body weight. To address the elephant in the room: yes, I have put on some, ever since I started Instagramming AND just now versus the beginning of the year. Not too much in such a quick period of time, but enough to be visibly apparent. Oh yeah, and my eyebrows aren’t as thick as they once were. But we can blame that on a nail-salon-that-must-not-be-named for that.
This aspect of the physical change extends beyond my reverse dieting journey. I put on a little weight while restoring some body mass through extremely slow extra caloric installments. It’s mostly visible in my face, legs, and stomach. In utmost transparency, taking full body shots are quite embarrassing now. I have to manually contour my body in such a way that appears slimmer because that’s simply how I want to appear on camera. Unfortunately, it never works out exactly how I attempt to look. In particular, I was so displeased with exactly how I looked in this photo with my friend (see below). However, I uploaded it anyways because it captured a truly sweet memory. I could have chosen a more flattering shot of myself, only to potentially tarnish my friend’s appearance and be THAT Instagram girl. No thanks—I have a heart.
There are several explanations I have regarding the main causes. I didn’t change my diet at ALL, neither my workout. As of now, my life is extremely stressful, both consciously and subconsciously, mainly due to the fact that the time to find suitable jobs and internships are closer than ever–I am much closer to adulthood than adolescence. Experiencing independence, specifically on a financial basis, will soon be a reality. Even if I’m sleeping or sitting on the couch, my underlying focus always bites its nails in distress. However, perhaps these may be the exact reasons WHY I’ve put on weight. There needs to be some kind of shift in my life to stimulate any removal of pounds, some sort of new incorporation that will bring a more mature form of understanding.
Fortunately, I’ve already been making progress! I find that the longer and faster I walk, the lower my weight averages. If my water intake increases, my weight generally decreases. When I consume more sodium, I weigh more as well. My weight also increases if my sleep is poor and minimal. The good news is that my body doesn’t dramatically put on weight with macronutrient ratios because a good number of people have to watch their carb or fat intake to see progress. However, it’s best to not overdo either macronutrient—vitamins and minerals without an upper limit are fine to exceed—and to ensure I consume more than enough fiber every single day. In addition, I supplement for B12 and vitamin D.
Since my subconscious already is undergoing a massive transition period that cultivates stress hormones (cortisol, you’re the worst), it’s counterproductive to push my body to exercise in such a way. The last I need is a juice cleanse or fitness competition diet plan paired with a heavy HIIT and regimented cardio routine. Running hurts my ankles, thus it’s more optimal for me to exercise with the stationary bike or stick to walking or very lightly jogging. I’ve gotten back into Pilates, weight training, and hiking as some favorite forms of exercise because they do not raise my cortisol and aid in bone strength, toning, endurance, and a new form of cardio if I decide to kick the intensity up a notch. I have loved high intensity interval training and plyometric moves, but my body just does not want any of that movement anymore. It’s too ridden with cortisol that more stress imposed on myself would just send my metabolism into haywire!
Below is my incredibly specific blueprint of action that I will take to create a safer space within my mind, body, and soul. For all my dreams and aspirations to bloom into reality in the next decade, there needs to be a temple for these phenomenons to move into.
- Cardio: power walking, lightly jogging, or cycling X 5 times per week–jump roping (should not exceed 2 minutes) and sprint intervals (should not exceed 30 seconds) X 2 times per week
- Resistance training: free weights, machines if access permits X 5 times per week
- Low intensity training: Pilates and yoga X3 times per week, generally in the evening
- Diet (will be 100% vegan, as I am vegan in both photos):
- Drink enough water to fill at least 4 full Hydro-flask bottles every day
- Eat at least three servings of greens in addition to three more servings of vegetables per day
- Consume more than enough fiber per day
- Supplement for B12 and vitamin D daily
- Do not restrict any macronutrient
- Write or journal for at least an hour a day
- Listen to at least five new podcasts every week
- Sleep at 10:30-10:45 P.M. every night
- Wear warm clothes
- Only exfoliate 2-3 times per week
- Stretch for five minutes every evening
Even though this was inspired by Blogilates’ 90 Day Journey, there is no timeline and it is much more intuitive. I am super excited to lay the whole plan out–honestly, it is quite therapeutic to channel how I’m feeling about myself and this entire process in the universe. It’s not about trying to look like the picture on the left, as misleading as the title may seem. I just want to reach a physical state of being where I’m more at ease and more confident.
To be totally honest, I don’t even know if weight loss will result from this plan. It’s more so of a personal reset for the rest of the mind and body so it can ease its way into the new decade, create a safer space for incoming ideas and ambitions, and remove any negative attachments from the past. No numbers, no crazy specifics, just rolling with the punches and dancing to the tunes.
Happy Holidays and cheers to a new you for the next decade!