#FitFam: How To Keep Up With That New Year Resolution

About what feels like a couple weeks ago, many of us made new year resolutions to lead fuller, richer and healthier lives. And the way to do this was by eating clean, starting exercises in whatever way(s) we deemed fit and basically, being our genuine, authentic selves — just the way God intended it (if you believe in that sort of thing).

Well, the first quarter of the year has rolled by (gasp, I know!) and many of us are struggling to keep up with these major lifestyle overhauls. Nothing good comes easy, true. But it really doesn’t have to be that hard, yes?

I’ve struggled more than once in this department and so I definitely know the feeling. But heathier bodies are non-negotiable. After all, health is wealth as they say. So I’d start with the basics and hopefully, this help you do more than just stay afloat. It certainly has helped me.

Eating clean.

This has to be the hardest thing because: my definition of delicious is everything junk and cholesterol — the good ol’ fatty and greasy kind and for dessert, refined chaff sweets. So yes, saying goodbye to sirloin steaks and deepfried wings has been quite the issue. But then, you really don’t have to say goodbye. I still eat chicken — mostly skinned and preferably grilled. And I feature it in every other thing; Stewed in sauce, boiled and shredded into salads, pretty regular stuff.

Although I’ve cut back on my red meat drastically, I make up for it by experimenting with fish. Seafood is all they say it is by the way. They do all sorts of things to soup, enter peppersoup and vegetable soup. Yum raised to the power of infinity!  Google and Youtube are your best friends on this food journey; their vast repertoire of recipes are amazing. And for my sweet tooth, it gets harder. But one thing I’ve noticed is if you can resist the first bite, you stand a far greater chance. And don’t ever indulge yourself, it all goes downhill from there. Realize: indulging and rewarding oneself are two completely different things. Thing is, you don’t have to do anything drastic. Think a baby being weaned of its mother’s breast. But again, when you’re full from the main course, there’s really no space for all the ‘mende mende’.

Portion Control:

This can’t be stressed enough. I’ve found it better to eat smaller rations throughout the day than larger portions at one sitting. If you eat slower, you realize when exactly you feel full and avoid overstuffing. Smaller portions to me are like quick fixes or refills during the day. They keep you going and don’t weigh you down. And you’re not looking at the time craving lunch or dinner.

Exercise:

I have to say that I admire people who work out in a gym but that life is not for me. I see y’all on my Snapchat and Instagram living that life but I’d rather just stay here in my own little corner eating my curds and whey (whaddup, protein reference!). The gym is not for everyone and that’s okay! Late last year,  I found running — or I should say running found me. It fits me like a glove! I’m happy running outdoors as early as 5am or as late as 11:30pm — whatever my schedule for the day allows and wouldn’t have it any other way. I think its key to understand one’s body. No one knows you better than you. So hit the gym or the pavement or the pool. Whatever rocks your boat and be true to yourself. Do what makes you happy and be disciplined about it.

Being aware of the healthier alternatives:

Now, this I’m still working on. Suya or kilishi? M&Ms or tiger nuts? Coke or freshly squeezed juice? Alcohol or alcohol? Be more inquisitive about what’s going into your body. You’d be surprised that healthier food doesn’t have to look or taste so drab. Don’t be so quick to turn up your nose at new food suggestions. You know what they say, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Approach every thing with an open mind. Sorry, almost everything.

Sleep:

Yeah, hustle till you make it. And by all means sleep all you want when you get to the grave but dont fast track your way there. Listen to your body, if it tells you it’s tired, it is. So do the best thing and rest.

Tope Ben-Ajepe

Happy, little woman and self acclaimed mixologist. The Legal Drug Dealer Tweets from @temitope_ben

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