It’s been a while since I got into mindful eating and exercising. Like all other personal journeys I am on, this one certainly isn’t one of the easy ones (cough, cough… it’s been a struggle!). The volume of information that’s out there to lead a healthy lifestyle is so overwhelming right? I, for one, couldn’t decipher one blog from the other when it came to learning about various lifestyle changes. But I had decided to figure this out on my own, make my mistakes and learn from them to build a curated routine for myself!

I thought to share my 4 top ways to do that on this week’s Mondays with Madhu and 1 BONUS tip! 

  1. Talk to yourself: What I mean by saying this is, address your feelings, especially the counter-productive ones before you launch into an action that arouses guilt. Let me state my example, the habit of binge eating at random hours. Earlier it didn’t take me much time to rummage through my snack cabinet (yes, I have one!) to binge-eat my favorite cookie without thinking and cursing myself later for doing so. I am not saying it doesn’t happen anymore — the feeling persists but these days I tell myself, “that snack isn’t going anywhere, but your hard work will!” So, build an affirmation that doesn’t kill your desire, instead delays it.
  2. Making a plate is an art: Just a fancy way to say “portion control”. This word scares me, to be completely honest. I have never successfully controlled my portions and whenever I go in with the mindset of eating lesser than my usual quantity, I end up eating way more. It’s the classic rebel mentality. Here’s how I am trying to conquer it – the plate should consist of 1/4 portion of any raw salad that you like (diced cucumbers, carrots), 1/4 portion of protein (pulses, lentils) and 1/4 portion carbohydrates (flatbreads, rice). Start with eating the salads first and then move onto the other portions. I couldn’t believe how full and light I felt after I was done eating. 
  3. Chase the post-workout feeling: I cannot sustain a gym routine to save my life and this is sugarcoating it! I have majorly struggled with maintaining a good workout routine. I always start with a lot of energy but it soon dies down if I don’t see the results I thought I would. At this very point, I decided to ditch that weighing scale and the weight of expectations that come with it. Instead, I captured and processed ‘How I feel?’ after a good workout. For example, my sleep cycle has massively improved after my exercise regime, the weary feeling after an intensive workout makes me happy, I can go on and on. 
  4. Accept your pace: Truth to be told, I haven’t really seen any major change on my body yet. If you ask me a ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, you won’t be able to tell one from the other. But, that’s okay! I have opened my arms and welcomed this feeling. A healthy lifestyle takes its own time to take shape but it is SO rewarding. Take it from someone who is new to this and is still figuring her way around it.  I’m not going to bore you with the benefits that you all already know. 

Now, for the BONUS tip!

5. Don’t share your progress: It’s a proven psychological fact that if you share your goals (whatever they may be) with others, you’re less likely to achieve them. Because it tricks your brain into thinking it’s already done when others acknowledge it. A phenomenon called “social reality”, which makes you less motivated to get anything done. So, if you’re planning to embark on a journey of self-improvement, stop caring about external validation. This is also a note-to-self! 

What are your tips to maintain a lifestyle you love? 

Madhu Narayan
Mondays with Madhu
Guest blogger, Plant Life Meals