Monday, January 7, 2019

Epic Life - Good Food Real Results

So - life got busy and my wagon derailed over the past year or so - stress, injury, anxiety an array of excuses that resulted in my slipping into poor eating habits, poor health habits and slipping into a state where I did not have the mental health to be creative or put myself first at all. As a result I have let my blogging fall on the back burner however 2019 is a brand new year and I have begun to pull myself out of the fog of anxiety and depression and back to making myself and my health a priority again! 

 In September I took one small step towards moving back into the light and pushed myself to participate in a #90daychallenge through my good friend Lisa with her  Epicure business - it was an amazing experience at not getting me back on track with clean eating and moving more but to begin to restore my mental health as well!

The program is VERY simply which I love - a focus on clean eating with attention to a balanced plate and 3 balanced meals a day with a 'dessert' option in the evening meal .... I love this way of eating it is something that is backed with loads of science, research and supported by Canada's food guide and unlike other plans such as Atkins or Keto you do not hear the same alarming warnings on the news about the long term effects of balanced cleaning eating on your liver or kidneys and so forth. Unless required for medical reasons no 'food group' is proposed to be omitted in the Good Food Real Results program - just a focus on the balance and proper portion sizes of the foods you eat. So while I am still eating gluten free myself and many days still lean towards grain free eating due to insulin response from grains - there is room in the plan for accommodating a craving for pasta or bread and still seeing amazing results!

To be sustainable a lifestyle change needs to be maintainable and a commitment to being 'totally' grain free for myself was not something I was able to sustain long term because when I succumb to eating something I felt I 'should not' have I felt guilty and a failure and this led to additional self sabotage of my health  goals! With the Epic Life Good Food Real Results plan I am feeling I can balance a wide variety of foods that fuel and sustain me while seeing amazing results!

Another component of the program is the important role of 'planning' .... you create a written 90 day challenge statement of where you plan to be. The statement is written from the perspective of the 90 days have past and what is your life like - so you can envision your outcome as you move through the 90 days! It is wonderful inspiration to have a vision statement and board to reflect on!  You also plan for your WOOP moments of wish, outcome, obstacles, plan using the 'if and then statement's .... this is great for self reflection of knowing in the past what caused me to derail my success and to plan for those obstacles so that I will better succeed this time around!  And most importantly - you MEAL plan and prep to help make success easier! The plan provides 'sample menus' for the first 4 weeks to help those who need inspiration but also has the flexibility of build your own plan with foods and LOADS of amazing recipes on the Epicure website. Just search 'balanced plate' for ideas!  Having a plan for what you will be eating helps you to stay on task and goal as well as prepping easy to grab healthy foods prevents you from grabbing easy junk type foods!



The other component is keeping a gratitude and food, sleep, exercise journal.  Journal writing is something I have always seen a lot of value in - I know from life experience that writing things out - either formally or informally - has so many amazing benefits for the brain and your mental health and yet often it is the first thing I let 'lapse' when things get busy and this has consistently seen me slip back into states of higher anxiety and depression. Hopefully getting back into this amazing habit is the 'third millionth' time is a charm for me to remember to KEEP AT IT!  In addition to the gratitude journal I also love using the My Fitness Pal app to food journal and track exercise with ... it is really great visual for ensuring that while balancing your plate you also keep your caloric intake 'less' than you need for weight loss goals because lets face it not all food is created equally when it comes to calories - half a cup of broccoli has different caloric intake than 1/2 cup of corn so plate might be balanced but the calories are not!
The last component is accountability - taking measurements, weighing in and photos to help to track your progress and reporting them to both your accountability partner and for the 'challenge' via a private portal to be eligible for prizes! 

The program suggestions weighing in and doing measurements and progress photos every two weeks - I LOVE this because the reality is that the SCALE is not always my friend! My body tends to hold onto weight so I can be eating really well, moving my body lots at the gym and the scale will not budge for days on end - weighing myself or measuring too often during these times can lead to disheartening and self sabotage so 'trusting' the program and waiting for the bi-weekly measuring and photos really helped me to not get stuck in that mindset!   

The last challenge which ran from September 10th to December 4th I was able to release 30 pounds and 24 inches total throughout my chest, waist, hips, biceps and thighs ... an amazing result that I am very proud of!

Another challenge is starting TODAY and I am excited to see what the next 90 days will bring me!

If you would like to join me on the Epic Life Good Food Real Results Challenge more info about joining can be found here!

Have an amazing day!

Margaret
Life Well, Laugh Often, Love Much!