“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” –Drake
I had an interesting situation in the supermarket today. As I was checking out the cashier side-eyed my head of cauliflower, turned up her nose at the turnip roots and when it was time to ring up the rutabagas, using the tippiest tip of her fingers, she holds it up, frowns and asks, “What are you making?”
I couldn’t help but chuckle because I was once just as clueless about the earthy deliciousness of root vegetables. I told her I was planning on roasting them with herbs and olive oil but I could tell she was struggling to see beyond the rough texture of these dear root veggies. Then she gets to the sumo tangerines frowns her face and says “What are these?” For crying out loud, lady, you work at a grocery store, why not try some of the stuff here? That’s what my mind said, my lips explained that they look like oversized tangerines but I’ve never had them and am trying
something new. “Ew, you eat that?”
Um… yea, you don’t? I immediately wanted to mentally bash the lady’s lack of awareness about the plethora of produce beyond the basic onions and potatoes and criticize her minimal palate and lack of adventure with food. I wanted to, but I
remembered when I too gave the dear root vegetables a strong side eye. Until I tried them of course. I have approached my weight loss journey with a sense of curiosity that has helped me be more open to trying new and different experiences. When I finally made up my mind to be all in, that included committing to trying new things.
Variety is the spice of life and of weight loss. Switching it up has been a linchpin in my weight loss success. It’s helped me overcome boredom with my plan, blast through plateaus, and savor decadent new dishes. Our bodies and more importantly, our minds are both incredibly efficient. When we perform the same series of actions (or thoughts) over and over again, our minds become accustomed to it and in order to be as efficient as possible, it creates a neuro pathway- it’s kind of like a macro, for all of you computer people out there, that automates that particular group of actions. As a result, we create habits and develop muscle memory.
This is a good thing right? Who wouldn’t want an efficient brain and body that automatically knows how to respond? Well what if what’s been automated isn’t helpful or healthy- bad habits anyone? The key to kicking them is to create new neurological pathways. As we build new pathways, we reprogram our minds. When we reprogram your mind, it allows us to get rid of thoughts, behaviors and even addictions that no longer serve us. This means that the brain has the potential to constantly change which means that we have the potential to constantly grow and change and become better.
When it comes to our bodies, when we do the same routine over and over again, we create muscle memory. This is great when trying to learn to perfect the waltz or pitch a perfect game. But when trying to lose weight this adaptation means that it takes less and less energy to perform this automation. Which in turn means that we burn less and less calories even when we do the same amount of exercise. Trying a new routine forces our bodies to work harder to adjust to the new activity and therefore burn more energy which translates to more burning more calories in the same amount of time.
No need to side eye the foreign fruit or unfamiliar veggie. Trying something new can help blast though the plateaus that are a natural part of anyone’s weight loss journey and help overcome boredom that can lead to falling off the wagon. Trying new things also provides the opportunity to experience super delicious food you would have otherwise missed out on and gives you the opportunity to push your body to new heights and celebrate just how far you’ve come. So, try it! Switch it up and create some new neurological pathways. Set a goal to include at least one new food and one new exercise into your plan each week.