New Focus: Feeling Better
It is far too easy to get caught up in the wrong idea about what it means to be physically healthy. One of the biggest reasons for myself starting this fitness journey was to start feeling better in my movement and activities. For too long, I felt stiff and weak and tired all the time; frequent headaches, aches, and fatigue were all getting too much. The biggest help for these ailments was so simple, and I was overjoyed when I started feeling its effects- it all comes down to changing your diet. I didn't do anything drastic, I simply started having fruits and vegetables with every meal, drinking water more regularly, and swapping some less nutrient dense foods for more nutrient dense foods (like switching milk chocolate with dark chocolate). These smaller changes gave me a better appreciation for feeling awake, more energetic, and being in a better mood.
But a few months ago, I had started to lose sight of the importance of feeling healthy and nourished. I began to oversimplify my concept of a good diet: hitting my protein goal while staying within my set calories for the day. With this attitude, I embraced more chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, anything with sugar and fats. I was happy that I was challenging myself to eat more flexibly, and to satisfy my sweet tooth, but it began to get boring. A handful of candy wasn't as exciting, it just had pretty packaging and short-term serotonin boosting refined sugar. I would make little effort to include fruits and vegetables into my meals, as long as I was still reaching my protein and calorie goals.
So, no wonder I was feeling sluggish and lethargic for the majority of the time; my new habits had resulted in an extreme reduction of micro nutrients. By prioritising protein, I had neglected vitamins and minerals. But now, I'm going to commit to making my diet well-rounded again. To put in short what I have learned in the last couple of months, there is no straightforward answer to "what does it mean to be healthy?", but eating only to fit your macros is unfair to yourself.