Friend, soupie, and guest blogger Oliver Chinyere shares his 30 Day Challenge journey… and it’s beyond inspiring.
Rule #1 of Soup Club: Don’t talk about soup club! Kidding. In my experience, it’s been the exact opposite, taking about it has helped reinforce why I’m doing this for myself and it’s made a huge impact on my life.
Like most people, with a new year come new thoughts on life, health and happiness. I’m an adult so I knew my relationship with food could be a bit (read: a lot) better but I didn’t have the first clue where to begin. Shop exclusively at Whole Foods doesn’t exactly count as a lifestyle adjustment. I wanted to make my own meals but again, that’s a WHOLE different ballgame because it implies I have time to cook and am not a busy professional living in New York City. Enter: Splendid Spoon. On Jan. 1 Nicole showed up at my house and we talked food and life for over two hours before I decided to get involved and give souping a go.
Like most people, with a new year come new thoughts on life, health and happiness.
I’ve juiced. I’ve done Atkins. I’ve done every fad diet you can think of but none of it stuck for me because it was less about lifestyle adjustments and more about QUICK FIXES. Sure, I looked decent in Florida that year, but all that weight came back and then some. I remind myself daily that souping isn’t about weight loss (though it certainly is a byproduct) and that it’s more about creating a healthier me.
What I learned in that chat with Nicole I continue to use daily:
Lifestyle changes can start small — by swapping out ONE meal as opposed to overhauling my entire diet, I’m never overwhelmed.
You might feel hungry when you first begin souping, that’s normal.
Remember when cavemen went days without food? You can last an hour or two.
Sundays are a slow day for me.
While I don’t have time to cook every night of the week, I do have time on Sunday to prep a larger meal and portion it out for dinner for the coming days.
Have a routine.
Most of my mornings start with oatmeal. Who said breakfast needed to be exciting? Most of my snacks are carrots or bell peppers, but I’ll throw in an apple or orange for good measure. (In need of swap day meal inspo? Click here).
Have a day that’s for you, with no rules or restrictions. To me, this isn’t a day where I go “crazy” and binge on McDonald’s until I can’t stand. My whatever day is Saturday and it means after a light run, I might grab a bagel and banana or sit down to pancakes or grab Indian for dinner.
Take time with your food, what’s the rush?
There’s no race at the end of your meal and trust me, that Powerpoint presentation can wait. Aside from taking my time to enjoy each bowl of soup, and each meal really, I try to go no-screens and just concentrate on what I’m eating. Whether it’s 10 or 15 minutes, I find it makes a real difference.
So what’s different?
In 30 days, aside from losing weight I’ve seen immediate health benefits I never set out to accomplish. I heard from my doctor notifying me that my cholesterol (and bad cholesterol) levels had dropped enough for her to call me about it! Great news. This, from just swapping out one meal a day for 30 days.
My relationship with food is changing. I’m certainly not perfect. But I recognize what I reach for when I’m stressed. (Read more on unhealthy eating triggers). I don’t overeat. I stop when I’m full. This might be common sense to you, but my previous relationship with food was — well I paid for it, so I’ve gotta finish it, right? Wrong. Turns out you don’t.
I understand the concept of portion control. Lunch from me pre-Splendid Spoon was a soup and a sandwich from Pret. I never ate half, I always finished it despite the fact that it was most definitely two serving sizes.
I eat out and SEAMLESS significantly less. I’m now so much more conscious of portions whenever I do eat out and also about where I go. I try to select healthier options to enjoy but that doesn’t mean I won’t meet a friend out for dinner at Parm (because #carbs).
Oliver Chinyere is a comedian from the UK who lives and works in NYC. When he’s not performing jokes around the city, he spends his days crafting social media strategy for PureWow.