28 by Sam Woods – a review (2 weeks down, 2 to go)

The end of week 2 of the 28 day program is drawing to an end and this week has not been as successful as last week! We’ve had our wedding menu tasting and Steve’s birthday so all the celebrations have meant that I have not really been following the eating plan. I’ve still done all the exercises and have even moved up a level! The exercise has been great – it’s given me more structure and I am finding that I have more energy despite being very busy this week. The meal ideas are quick and tasty and I can see many of the meals becoming regulars in our house.

My current issue with the program is that it can lead to a mentality it creates in regards to food. There is a Facebook group set up which you can be a member of and everyone shares their experiences, comments, queries and motivation. It’s great to see a community of people supporting one another and celebrating each other’s success.

However, on the downside, I see many comments where people feel ‘guilty’ for eating some chocolate or a having a glass of wine after dinner. People regret eating out with friends the night before and talk about ‘falling off the wagon’. I find these comments concerning because food should be enjoyed and the feeling of self-loathing and guilt is not conducive to health and wellbeing.

It’s easy to see how the mentality develops within the group – even though I am not doing the program with the intention to lose weight, I find myself feeling bad when I eat something off that isn’t on the eating plan because I’ve read and seen the comments from others. I don’t like to view foods as bad or as something we shouldn’t eat. Demonising foods and labelling them creates an unhealthy relationship with food. For me, mindfulness is the key. Working out why you want to eat certain foods – is it because you genuinely want the food or because you’re bored/stressed/tired?  If it’s because you genuinely want the food then eat it and enjoy it! Eat it mindfully, savour the flavours and be in the moment.  Your body will tell you what food it wants and needs, we just have to learn to listen.

Exercising and eating well should be done because you love your body and want to make it the healthiest it can be, not because you hate it and want to change it.

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