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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Kwoka

February Mindfulness

Hey #fitfam, what up?

I just wanted to write a little something about what I tried and realized in the month of February.

My prompt started: Cook a meal everyday.

Ok it didn't quite go that way. More often than not, I was sure to cook for myself, at least one meal. Some of the days that I couldn't get into my kitchen in normal hours, I chose to read about some of the foods that I didn't know about and that was used in a recipe that I tried.

My prompt ended: Mindfully fuel myself every day.

The idea was to make a large effort to think about the food I would eat EVERY DAY. Not necessarily make every single food or meal the BEST or most beneficial it could be, but to bring my attention to giving myself food.

I realized so much this month.

First, I realized my kitchen stayed much cleaner all month. Because I was regularly making sure I got into the kitchen, I was more meticulous about cleaning it up and I was more efficient with the cleanup every time I cooked.

Second, I realized how much I don't think about what I will eat each day. I just couldn't get over it! Pero like, why is this so hard? It helped me prioritize, and plan. Without planning, it was impossible. Maybe, especially with my schedule. Maybe just in general. I started thinking to myself that if nothing else in the day, I needed to fuel myself well. Reframing this made all the difference. Instead of thinking about SQUEEZING this meal in or RUNNING home to cook. I thought - "if nothing else, I will (cook dinner)" or "the main thing I need to do today is (make that snack)". Weirdly, it made my day seem more manageable, even though I was technically adding something to my day.

Third, I realized how much easier it is when you focus on the foods versus the nutrients. I can't be spending time calculating protein. But (for example) I can remember that yesterday I had oranges and grapes, so today I will have strawberries. I can get a plethora of nutrients by making sure I have a variety of FOODS. Plus it keeps it way more interesting.

Fourth, I have BEGUN to realize how connected food and nutrition is to the emotional and mental part of us. This was by far the biggest takeaway.

Fifth, I realized some good stuff about my body. Although I used to eat first thing in the morning. My body doesn't actually like that. My system needs some time to turn on and get functioning before I put some food down to be systematically broken down. Even if I'm going to workout early. I spent most of the month "intermittent fasting". Really, I just didn't eat until about 11am/12pm. Sometimes it's hard but I like to use the hunger to check myself on my emotions and my fueling.

By far, the largest takeaway from the month was the relationship between feeding myself and how I treat myself.

Why was I finding it so hard to feed myself? Or care about what I was eating. It was actually crazy to me how hard it was at the end of week two and week three. What we give ourselves to eat and our bodies to function is ultimately a reflection of how we treat ourselves.

I started feeling really guilty about how I've treated my body throughout my life. Flooding it with alcohol in college. Withholding the good stuff so it could replenish itself. Only caring about the immediate satisfaction of taste. I do care about what I give my body to function. I do care about the fuel I give my body to grow it. I do care about what goes into my system to keep my mind focused.

Maybe coincidental but this month was a tough one for me in realizing a lot about how I treat myself. Of course, I still have plenty of understanding and patience ahead of me. Things are going to be changing. And now I know what I know, I can't "unknow" it.

Moving into "Meditation March" was perfectly planned (go me!) and I have a lot to be so thankful for and I have a lot of work to do on myself to treat me the way I want others to.

Ready as I'll ever be for March.

I hope you all are treating yourself well and I hope you have a great start to March.

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