It is so very interesting to look over the timeline of my health and fitness journey. There have been plenty of bumps in the road and even some times of very emotional introspection. I have had to work through some very unhealthy relationships with food and exercise. I had to silence all the other voices surrounding me telling me how and what I should be doing to ensure I am their definition of healthy. It has been a long journey of finding who I really am and what I truly want for myself and my own body.
You can read more about my journey by reading these past blog posts:
I am happy to say that I have found a very good place and it is a place I can stay for the rest of my life.
It all boils down to SIMPLICITY and JOY.
As I get older….I always laugh when I say that because I sound so much older than I am. I am all of 36. Nonetheless, as I get older I find that I long for and desire simplicity more and more with each passing day. I don’t want my life to get more complicated. I want it to become more simple. I want simplicity in my eating and in my exercising. I once did the macronutrient counting and the complicated workouts. There was a time and a place for all that and I won’t say I will never go back but for now it is simplicity I seek. All the counting and logging is just too much for me right now.
So, how do I find that simplicity in eating and exercise?
I can sum it up in one word: JOY.
I ask myself one simple question. (See? Simplicity). Does this bring me JOY?
When I am planning my meals for the week I ask myself what dishes will bring my family and me JOY. I am even asking my family more what they want to eat that week. Keep in mind that this does not mean junk all the time. A lot of junk does not bring me much JOY because I feel sluggish and unproductive afterwards. But, JOY isn’t always found in the salads, chicken and veggies, and protein shakes of my former years either. JOY is found in what I want and what I know will fuel my week the best way possible. Eating should never be a chore. It should be an experience and a privilege. JOY is found in sitting around the table as my family and I eat together and enjoy the food over fun conversation. JOY is not found in eating out of a tupperware while my family eat something I’d rather be eating.
I ask the same question when it is time to exercise as well. Does this bring me JOY? Every day is different and every day brings its own ups and downs. Some days I am so energized and ready to lift some really heavy weights and some days I long to be in the sun as I run for miles. Some days I want to splash in the pool with my family and some days I want to swim meditative laps at the gym pool. It really depends on the day. There might even be a day when what brings me JOY is taking a nice nap on the couch with my son because rest is what my body needs. I exercise most days of the week because I love it and I long for it. I do what brings me JOY.
Somebody may easily wonder if this way of doing things is too loosey goosey and lacks focus. Perhaps. It works for me. Here’s the really awesome thing. My body is responding to the lack of pressure and stress. I am experiencing the best recomposition I’ve ever had, even more so than when I was more regimented. What’s happening here is that by seeking JOY in my eating and my exercise I am more in tune with what my body is telling me and by doing so it is responding positively.
Does this mean that I completely oppose food logging, macro counting, or structured workout plans? Not in the least. Like I said before there is a time and a place for all that. I may choose to enter some sort of athletic competition in the future and that will require a more structured training and eating plan. That’s perfectly cool with me. It will work for me then and it will bring me JOY.
I want my life to be full of simplicity and joy. I want my food and my movement to be big parts of my life for the rest of my life. To do that I need to find simplicity and joy in my food and movement. I believe I have done that by simply asking:
Does It Bring You Joy?
Tell me: What brings you JOY????