Caribbean Spyce is a proud alumni of Hillview College and graduated Bsc Psychology, First Class Honours, UWI, St. Augustine. A member of honours society, Psi Chi.
Follow her on Instagram! @caribbeanspyce
Looking in the mirror to grab unto folds of fat or stare at straight lines where we believe curves should be- one way or another we have criticized our bodies for not meeting the beauty standard set by society.
Numerous diets have been shoved down our throats, keto, calorie counting, high carb- low fat, high protein and the list goes on and on. We’ve been slaves to scales in some way or the other and it’s painful.
With Instagram, things have only gotten worse. We are overwhelmed with women who have perfect bodies, skin, hair- you name it.
We run ourselves to the ground trying to attain something that’s only achieved byPhotoshop.
We jump on these fads to see quick results.
And I’m here to tell you I have the answer!!!
Fuck all of that shit.
....but not fuck it completely.
Hear me out!!!
My dad said this to me, “stop looking for fast results, study to live a long, healthy life.”
And that’s when the word, “sustainability,” really sunk in.
I want you to throw out whatever ideal body you have in mind. Whatever ideal weight you have in mind. Whatever beauty ideal you have- throw that out now. Now, continue:
The goal is not about looking a certain way, it’s about living a life where you can walk up the steps without saying, “oh Gad,” or being able to romp with your kids, play with your dogs, being 65 and still making it to the grocery for yourself without having to bother your kids. Switch focus to being healthy so you can experience every inch of life without heart burn or blowing your breath. When you switch your focus, believe me, a physical version of yourself that you can look at in the mirror with pride will blossom. You’ll lose the weight/ put on the muscle mass.
Next and most importantly: accept what you have right now. What you have right now will carry the you that’s on the inside and what you have right now will carry you to the you you want.
It is about accepting what you have, but knowing you can improve so you do better because you can. You always deserve better. Ok Queen?
Look your body in the mirror and say,
“I accept you. There are things about you that bother me but you’ve carried me so far. You’ve kept me awake during exams, helped me walk to new places, you’ve helped me feel, see, hear...I accept you. But there are things we can improve on so you can do more for me. I thank you for what you’ve taken me through so far and I’m going to take care of you more as a thanks for taking care of me and helping me experience life.”
So here’s some of my simple suggestions for a lifestyle change (also consult your doctor, I am not a doctor, these are only suggestions).
Whatever is your goal, eat to suit. For the those of you dropping, lessen the quantity you eat BUT eat. Not 4 crackers and cheese. For the you looking to gain, increase but don’t over do it. Start of maybe cutting/ increasing by a 1/4 more than you already do. Only a 1/4. Small steps.
80/20 or 70/30 rule. 80% of what’s good for you, 20% what you like. If you deprive yourself, you will fall off the tracks and end up binge-ing the things you love and back to square zero. Have something you enjoy once most of what you eat is good.
Cut the sugary drinks. Bring yourself to water- 1.5l minimum and if necessary, cut the sugar/cream in your coffee!
Figure out what clean foods you like.
Make sure your plate has lean protein (eggs, beans, chicken breast, beef, pork, tofu, quinoa etc), complex carbs (provisions), healthy fats (nuts/avocados- zaboca) and of course your leafy greens and vegetables.
Understand that you really only REALLY enjoy the first few bites of what you’re eating.
Track your food. Have a diary and just write down what you eat. Over time you’ll see your eating habits and you can work on making it better little by little.
Suggested is 3 meals and two small snacks in between. Watermelon, pineapples and tortillaz are my go too right now. I love Tortillaz, oh goddd. The cheese chips from Sunshine (or is it Holiday?) Snacks are my kryptonite.
Exercise 4 days for the week. If you can do 5 go ahead but start small. Over time you’ll see the process and want to increase days. There’s a YouTuber called Chloe Ting, she does High Intensity Interval Training style videos. She has great programs for beginners or people who are too busy/ restricted from gym or gym equipment. https://www.chloeting.com/program/
If you want to really get into fitness check out: Stephanie Buttermore (I love her recent videos about her all in process), Jeff Nippard, Athelan X, Anabolic Aliens and Abby Pollock. These are my favourites. They give you science based information or very good routines. In fact, Abby has a portion control/exercise program for $47 US right now: theteamplans.com
Post COVID- mix it up, take a boxing class, a dance class; go on a hike, challenge yourself to a marathon! Otherwise exercise will get boring and you’ll want to give it up. Include your friends in jog. Mix it up the way you’d mix up your sex life.
- Have a realistic plan and set short term goals.
Short term goal 1: I want to increase my water consumption to 1.5 l and exercise 4 times over the next two weeks.
Short term goal 2: I successfully increased my water now I want to work on my portion control; get a portion container. Eat with portions for 2 weeks to my normal consumption but less fatty food, more lean meat, more dasheens and sweet potatoes, less bread. I only managed 3 days a week, will work on making it 4 these next two weeks.
Short term goal three: water consumption still good, was able to portion control but still eating too many snacks, goal this week is to work on eating less snacks. Successfully made 4 days a week consistent.
And work like that. When you reach 3-6 months you’ll see how far you’ve come. Without being overwhelmed by a big plan to reach a big goal. Small goals to reach a larger goal!
- Lastly, do this because you value yourself. For all the energy you put into work, or relationships or bettering others, you deserve to put energy into yourself too!
Unless you’re trying to compete, all you need to do as an average woman who wants to feel good in her skin is take care of your health. Having better eating habits and exercising should be part of your lifestyle to take care of your body to function at its most optimum. The physical results will come. But focus on taking care of yourself. I have felt great relief when I just think, “wow, I’m so proud of myself because I’m putting in energy for me.” Forget the results! I repeat ??? The results will come. Focus on fixing poor habits.
Focus on loving you enough that you make the best decisions for yourself. Your energy levels will boost. Your sleeping will improve. Your organs will be functioning better.
Rewire the way you look at health and physical beauty. You do not have to look like an Instagram model, be skinny or dummy thicc to be beautiful. You just have to be a healthy you and you’ll glow till you give the sun competition.
So yes, you may have that cupcake.
Photo by Rae Goldman on Unsplash