What Hair Coloring Taught Me About Meal Plans

Hair coloring and meal plans??? I know – you may not see the correlation, right? 😉

A quick story to explain the hair coloring and meal plans connection…

When I was younger I always wanted to change my hair color. And not that there’s anything wrong with coloring your hair (it is fun and if it makes you feel good about yourself – I’m all for it!). I never liked my naturally dark brown hair. I thought it was boring and periodically I would find a celebrity or someone I knew and would be inspired by their hair color.

I’d see someone with red hair, like Julianne Moore and think, “I want my hair color to look like hers.”

And so… I dyed my hair red (this was 1999).

I rocked that look frequently during my years as a flight attendant, but was never quite happy with it. Although, I picked Julianne’s hair color, it never looked as good on me as it did on her. It didn’t look natural and it was hard to keep up.

 

Then I really wanted blonde hair.

Blondes have more fun, right? I had a co-worker named Jessica whose blonde hair was pretty in a bob. So, I got my hair bleached frequently and had that look for a while too. I remember I even showed my stylist a picture of Jessica’s hair and said, “Make it look exactly like this.”

I had blonde hair multiple times in the early 2000’s.

Although, I loved blonde hair for a few years, I also found that hard to keep up. Plus, it fried my hair with all the bleaching to the point it would actually break off.

 

In 2013, after frying my hair a number of years, I decided to go all-natural.

And it was the first time my hair would totally be 100% my natural color since freshman year of high school. No brown hair color in it either, which I sometimes would put in my hair in between color. No bottled color – at all!

Once I finished growing out my hair, things got much easier. Almost automatic. My hair was healthier, not as dry, it was easier to style. I noticed it matched with my natural skin tone better. Now, I’m not saying it’s bad to dye your hair – or that I will never dye my hair again. It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind! 😉

BUT for the first time ever, I loved how I felt like… ME!

 

SO, HOW DOES MY HAIR COLORING RELATE TO MEAL PLANS?

When we try diets many times we see something someone else is doing and we think if we follow exactly what they are doing, it will work for us the same way too. Just like I did when aiming to achieve Julianne Moore’s red hair or my co-worker, Jessica’s blonde bob.

We read fitness or celebrity magazines and see what someone else eats daily and try to copy it – exactly – so we can look like them. Or we try a meal plan we find on the Internet that our friend is doing and try to eat exactly what they eat, thinking it will naturally work for our tastes and body type as well.

But, does that ever really work for us long term?

 

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL MEAL PLANS DON’T WORK

The truth: the one-size-fits-all meal plan approach doesn’t work. Sad to say, but it’s true. We want it to, but the only way to create a sustainable fat loss change is to figure out what works for us.

And sometimes it takes trial and error – and, most important, time to practice and figure it out.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t really “master” toning up and losing the body fat I wanted for good until I stopped trying to make myself “fit” into the meal plans my own personal trainers prescribed for me to eat everyday.  It wasn’t until I began to create my own sustainable diet – built around me and who I was – that I naturally achieved the physique I wanted without rebounding.

Many of you may know in my history and quest to get fit, I’ve had 5 personal trainers and/or nutritionists. I would pick the trainer based on what I wanted to look like. I’d say, “Just tell me what you eat, so I can look like you.”

 

Here’s one of the meal plans I got from a trainer. And being the perfectionist that I was, I tried to eat this way everyday – and I did for a long time.

MEALS:

  • Breakfast: Egg whites, 1/4 cup oats, 1 cup non-starchy veggies
  • Mid-morning snack: Protein shake and 1/4 cup berries
  • Snack: 4 oz chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1 slice Ezekiel bread
  • Lunch: 4 oz shrimp, sweet potato, 1 oz raw nuts
  • Afternoon snack: 5 oz tilapia with asparagus
  • Dinner: Casein shake with flax oil

Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me like it did for my trainer because I simply could not eat this way long term without rebounding.

This meal plan wasn’t built around who I was.

 

MY PASTA EXAMPLE

I’m Italian. For years I was told pasta was “bad” and that to be”fit,” pasta had to get banned from my diet. As you can see, there’s no sign of pasta on my meal plan above.

This made me a very unhappy Italian 🙁

Present day: Instead of trying to strong-arm myself into the meal plans I’ve been given in the past, I’ve found ways to build pasta into my life (in a healthy way) and still reach my goals.

Now, I did have to stop having 2 full plates of pasta multiple nights per week (with tons of cheese melted on it), but I modified my pasta to make it healthier. I stayed true to who I was and began to build my own sustainable meal plan with pasta!

I now use whole-grain pasta when I can and measure portions when possible. Instead of homemade pasta sauce with tons of ground beef and fatty sausage, I use ground sirloin since it’s leaner and add extra veggies. I often like to fill half of my plate with a healthy salad when I eat pasta.

No diet plan I ever had before included pasta, yet now I made my own plan that worked for me.

This is what I’d like you to think about – what foods make you… YOU… and start to practice modifying how you have those foods slightly to make healthier versions.

 

Start to create YOUR OWN PERSONAL MEAL PLAN

Is it ever good to look at what someone else is eating and copy it?

I love getting ideas and learning new recipes from others. I think that’s great. Try new things. Get examples, but always modify and make it work for you.

Yes, sometimes modifying meal plans and making it work for you feels a like little bit more work. You need to do some thinking and pre-planning.

 

One-size-fits-all meal plans remove the thinking for you, and simply tell you what to eat. That’s usually not sustainable for us long term.

 

We think we want that, but in reality.. has that approach ever worked forever?

Probably not.

Make your food be about YOU and who you are, instead of an exact copy of what someone else is doing.

❤️️,
Barb

If you found this article useful, you may also enjoy my most recently published resource guide Beat the Weekend Binge.

Brand Spankin’ New Freebie: BEAT THE WEEKEND BINGE

If you haven’t picked up your free copy of Beat The Weekend Binge yet, you can get it HERE.

I’ve never been more proud of a resource I’ve created for you guys than I am of this one! It comes with a PDF sharing my 3 strategies to stop the weekend (and evening) backslides, and then 5 follow up daily coaching emails to further teach the strategies. Those follow up coaching emails get really raw and personal. Some of it I can’t believe I shared and I was nervous to publish it, but I wanted to do it for those who struggled like I did.

It makes me angry there are not more resources out there to help us with issues like this.

The “perfect diet” doesn’t do us any good if we struggle with the mental/mindset stuff.

Again, this download is FREE for those who are interested.

I’ve put my best tools into it & I’ve been hearing great feedback already.

Some feedback:

“Thank you for this! I feel like you are totally in my head and understand! I’ve already started making progress.”

“This has been tremendously helpful to me. Thank you.”

Again, I’ve created this helpful resource to help you stop nighttime snacking and binging on the weekends. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy of Beat The Weekend Binge yet, you can get it HERE or simply let me know below so I can get it to you ASAP. 

❤️,
Barb