Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Time for Healthy(ier) Food Choices

I know, I know...this is craziness. It's the 7th of the month and this is pretty much my third post for the year. In all seriousness, I've got some time on my hands between days off, snow days, and having a 24 hour bug....so lucky y'all...y'all get a lot of me. Please try and keep your cheering to a minimum.

If 2013 was all about getting my exercise groove on, 2014 shall be about making healthy(ier) food choices. What brought this on, you ask? I think that it was a over dose of rich holiday foods, coupled with stress eating while preparing for my final. (I didn't go hog wild, I still managed to loose a little bit.) I just went into 2014 feeling sluggish, bloated, weighed down, a bit emotionally down, and more anxiety than normally experience.

Time to cut out some of the crap. Notice I said SOME of the crap? It goes right back into my previous post. Now not only will I be eating less, I'll be eating MORE quality. I look at it this way: I'm not making this adjustment with the PRIMARY thought of losing weight - I've already proven that I can lose weight the way I was doing things - but to be healthier; and if you look at my reasons for wanting to lose weight, not dying unnecessarily young was one of the big two. I'm going to go ahead and draw a correlation between eating healthier and not dying. Makes sense, right?

How do I plan to go about doing this? First big one: continue the moderation thing. If I try to cut out everything, I WILL BINGE AND FALL TO PIECES. Know thyself.

I have to be mindful as not to go whole hog and make all these healthy food chances. My husband should be allowed to eat what he wants to eat. Just because I'm doing this doesn't mean he has to do this. This is not how our marriage works.

Here's my plan. It's my goal to focus on two major elements: cut back on caffeine and healthy snacks (that can also be mini meals for work and class days). Thus leaving dinner time for more wiggle room. GENIUS!!!!

Caffeine, particularly cokes is my Achilles heal. I figured it was playing into three health issues I'd been having recently and was told to cut back on: 1) heartburn, 2) digestive issues as a result of having my gall bladder removed and 3) anxiety. I won't cut out all caffeine, but I will cut WAY back. Yesterday I brewed some iced green tea - I know there's still caffeine in there, but there's a lot less than what I normally drink...plus you can't ignore the health benefits - tomorrow I plan on taking a trip to David's Tea to get some nice fruity herbal options, and also reacquaint myself with the Polar Seltzers. That's my caffeine cut back plan.

As for healthy snacks, I was very inspired by this list. My plan is to go down the list from top to bottom, three a week. I'll skip anything that is too complicated to make easily and quickly, as well as those that I know I just won't like. These snacks can also double as small meals for me to eat at work or something quick and portable that I can eat right before my class. I'm taking A&P this semester, BTW.

So that's the healthy eating plan for 2014. Have any of you made changes like this, lovely readers? If so...how did it work out for you? Anyone with these changes on the horizon? If so...how can we help keep one another motivated?

Friday, January 3, 2014

There Is No Right, Only What Works

Two days off blissfully doing nothing but sleep, eat, watch TV and run (OK, maybe drink champagne), added to two days of snow days, equals quite the case of cabin fever....this particular brand of cabin fever has me feeling a bit preachy.

It's the beginning of the year, and I'd venture to guess that close to 90% of the public's New Year's Resolution is to lose-weight-get-healthier-exercise-more or something of the like. Listen to me and listen to me closely: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT, and if they insist upon it....THEY ARE FULL OF CRAP!!!!!

Find what the motivation for what makes you want to lose weight and then tailor your approach around that. For ME it was to not die unnecessarily young and fit into designer clothes. Those two things together have given me this meta game plan...well, part 1.....

For me, it really is that simple. Now...there's some other things that come into play like: find an exercise that you really love (swimming), how about tackling something that scares you (running), setting in public fitness events (5ks and Swim Across America), reward yourself (I'm super good at that! Here's what I've picked out for my 80lb. reward, come on pay day!), and make yourself accountable (I choose to use the LoseIt app and log all my food - yes, it does get exhausting and tedious, but it works for me.)

Also, there is no super food that's going to cure all your health problems...conversely, there is no one demon food that's going to kill you just for eating it (given you don't have some wicked allergies). So this I say...meta part 2...

Some days you just need to eat the steak, and the cake, and drink the champagne. Life's meant to be lived, not to be deprived. OK, my life. I can't say this will work for you, maybe it will...maybe it won't. Give it a try.  I believe this type of control can be exercises in OTHER areas of our life...and we enjoy being a bit out there, but there are consequences that will later be paid.

Let me add one more thing in there.....

Yes, I know that I have the ability to lose 5 pounds in a week, but I also know that that's a REALLY GOOD WEEK! It won't happen every week, and the more you lose...the harder it gets. That's been my truth. I spent the entire month of December yo-yoing up and down 5 pounds and then losing an addition three, but more on that later.

Realize that your way is not the only way. I would venture to guess that if someone who was my weight and height ate the same exact things I did and did the same workouts I did over a set period of time, we'd still lose different amounts of weight. Why? Simple. We're different people. Our metabolisms, our body chemistry, our jobs, our lifestyles....all different. We are all unique snowflakes.

That in mind, when talking about weight loss, be humble...be kind. You never know who is reading, and how it may being affecting them. Kindness. Totally under-rated human trait.

Don't be a door mat though, and sell yourself short. Be proud of what you've done. Be fucking proud. It's HARD work....both physically, and (what a LOT of people don't realize) mentally as well as emotionally. Shout your successes from the rooftop. Just do so mindfully.

I hope this blog entry serves some good to you if you're on a weight loss journey, just thinking about starting one or simply observing/cheering on someone who is. More than anything, I needed to write this entry for myself. As I said before, December was HARD. Between the EXTREME stress of a final exam in FOREVER (yes, the extreme needed to be in all caps - if you know me, know me...you knew how stressed I was), working retail at Christmastime, and holiday food...swimming 5 times and running I think 3....I somehow, SOME WAY ended up with a net loss. It was my smallest net loss since November 2012, but it was a net loss nonetheless.

I'm 20 pounds from losing 100 pounds (already got a great celebratory bauble picked out) and 40 pounds from reaching my initial weight loss goal. I'm feeling a great bit of not disbelief, more like awe that I'm a mere 20 pounds away from losing 100. I want to make a list of 100 things that happened/didn't happen because I was so over weight and post them on the day I loose 100 pounds, and then have a list of 100 new opportunities that I have FROM losing the weight the next day.

Each pound isn't simply a pound, they MEAN something.

New year = new goals. (I hate resolutions.) Here are my new goals....
1) Swim two miles continually
2) Compete in a 10k
3) Compete in some sort of Triathlon (indoors counts)
4) Curb my anxiety

So, lovely readers, what weight loss adages have worked for you? What are your health/life goals for the new year? Share for me in the comments..