Diaries Magazine

Healthy in a Hurry

Posted on the 14 July 2012 by M0derngirl @M0DDERNGIRL
Healthy in a Hurry
So 2012 is not a great year for blogging. My life is just way too busy. And despite having the desire to blog about my honeymoon, various socio-cultural things, and current affairs - I've noticed that I've pigeon-holed myself into only talking about my wedding and about health.
Well, I'm going to do it again.
This time I'm writing about the cyclical nature of my well-being and health kicks. I find I "get on" the wagon for a while, but then things get busted when life gets super busy. I started wearing my fitbit in November, and it was obsessive until Christmas. Then I went "hard-core" until March and lost 10lbs -until I got burnt out wit it and didn't wear it for 2 whole weeks. Surprisingly, I gained about 8lbs (mostly water!) in those weeks.
I am aware of the dangers of diets, and the terrible things that dieting does to your metabolism. I know that when most people try to lose weight, they change their lifestyle in ways they can't maintain and then it all bounces back. This bouncing around leads to longterm health problems that are WORSE than just being a little overweight. It can really mess up certain hormones levels in your body and it's crazy dangerous.
So, I'm opposed to dieting. I'm all for trying to live as healthy as I enjoy (not as healthy as I can tolerate). I don't think I was doing anything extreme with the fitbit in the first month I had it. I went to the gym twice a week, and in January-February I was taking a class at the YMCA that was one hour a week. According to the Trainer module, I was burning about 2400cal/day and was classified as "lightly active"
It trickled off in March, but I brought it back in April. Then in May things were seriously hectic between moving, having my Mom here for a week, planning a wedding, and going out east. I know that in the first few week I was being crazy active (moving is hard work). But for sanity purposes, I purposely stopped wearing the fitbit. I told myself that I just needed to 'get through" all the crazy transitions and "being fit" was not my focus for the next few weeks.
So then I went out east and was on "vacation." Then I got married and went on a honeymoon to an inclusive resort with lots of food and alcohol. Then I came back, and starting cooking for 2 inside of 1, and accidently starting probably eating for 3. Trying for figure out groceries and all the little stuff when you're first married is tricky. In my bachelorette life, I'd eat a lot of frozen tv dinners, but they're not economical in a household of two. So we were cooking everynight, and cooking lots. And because cooking everynight is exhausting, we were doing really basic things, like pasta and cheese. And lots of pasta and cheese at that.
After about 4 weeks of that, I went away on a business conference. Typically, I walk many kilometers during each day of a conference. Not this one. It was little, I wasn't gone long, and there were shuttles everywhere. I wore my fitbit the whole time, and came back and realized that the only day that I walked a lot was the day I went to the West Edmonton Mall (ok, so I burned close to 3000cal that day).
Now I'm back, and trying to get back on the wagon. I fully acknowledge that getting on the wagon isn't really the hard part, it's staying there. I full acknowledge that I will never be able to stay there permanently. I also acknowledge that it's possible that my "goal" weight of 155lbs may never be possible. But given that I was 165lbs in January, the 175lbs on the scale when I first got home from Edmonton was not acceptable.
My biggest obstacle in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is that I overdue things, and I do too much, too quick. I love being active, but I get lots of overtraining injuries all the time. To make things worse, my YMCA just closed, I don't want a private gym membership, and all the city run community centres are far away and or don't have the equipment I like. Plus, it's crazy hot out and going out in the day is brutal.
So how do I do this? Well, I need a plan. I went to a great talk yesterday at the local Jewish Community Centre on health and well-being. It focused on not overeating, eating lighter foods, eating lots of fibre, and finding exercise that makes you happy.
I know that I've been eating big portions since I got married. It's easier to cook lots of food because then you'll have leftovers. But once it's on your plate, it suddenly gets eaten in one sitting. We have also been eating lots of heavy foods like cheeses and pasta. And I love dessert. So I need to try to focus more on produce and chicken and fish. Summer burgers on the bbq are ok, but should be balanced with a lighter lunch. And finally, I have to get moving, somehow. Anyhow.
So what I have done so far? Well, I'm trying to use yesterday's session at the kick off to the next round of my health initiative. The fitbit is back on, and I've joined Earndit which is a free website that actually gives you gift cards for exercising. You can't cheat, you need to link it to your Nike+, or Fitbit, or Foursquare or Garmin account, and then it gives you 10 points for every mile walked. In 1.5 days, I've earned 62pts. Most giftcards are redeemable at 200 or 300 points.
I convinced my husband to walk home from his parents last night. Yesterday during the day was crazy hot out, and I'm glad his Mom picked us up. But after dinner, we walk a half hour home at 10pm, and it was really nice. This morning, I went out for a walk again, before it got too hot. I took things slow. I'm not trying to be a super fit athlete in a day, I'm just trying to wake up my muscles and not be a complete couch potato.
Also, I downloaded some mobile apps aimed at health and wellness. There are tons out there. I am currently trying a "Mobile Trainer" which schedules daily workouts and beeps to remind you. When you're ready, you "start" the workout. A voice actually leads you through the workout, counts down the intervals and cheers you on. And on screen, a person models the moves for you. Its' a free app, with many free workout, and a few "pro" workouts that you can purchase to support it.
I started the beginner workout series which includes 4 sessions over the next week. It started with stretches, running on the spot, push ups, reverse crunches, jumping jacks, and some coordination tricks. There were rest periods between a few of the intervals that were counted down as well. Over all, I was extremely impressed - except that I was frustrated with the difficulty of the push ups expected in the first beginner workout.
Finally, I'm trying with the food. It was difficult not to take a second serving last night at dinner because the food is right in front of me. I'm usually not completely full after the first plate, but completely stuffed by a few bites into the second plate. It's so easy to just lump on more rice. So when I took my first serving, I looked at it. I acknowledged that I had a whole ladle full of rice, meat much larger than a deck of cards, and exactly half my plate was salad. I knew that would be enough.
And I didn't take seconds. Yes, I was definitely hungry again by dessert, and then I ate 5 cookies. So it wasn't a perfect formula, but it was a successful attempt.
Today I'm doing better, with whole wheat toast with peanut butter for breakfast. However, I realized that Skippy has way more calories and fat as compared to Kraft. Both have way more than Kraft reduced fat. After we eat through this jar and then next super sized jar from Costco, I may stock up on some healthier pb. I also noticed that Skippy is really runny and oily as compared to Kraft.
For lunch, I'm pretty proud. I was craving strawberry shortcake, or perhaps ritz crackers and havarti. Instead, I made a super healthy salad with romaine lettuce, strawberries, a gala apple, dried cranberies, havarti cheese, crotouns (my husband loves them), and herb dressing. Other than the dried cranberries, everything is pretty healthy. I didn't feel full when I finished my plate. But I waited a few minutes and then I did - but I still might eat the rest of the gala apple in a few minutes.
Anyway, I wrote this post because I like transparency. And I think it's important to speak up  about the struggle of maintain a healthy lifestyle. Every magazine, tv show, clothing or grocery store has this angle trying to tell us the "trick" behind being healthy. But there's no trick. It's just about staying on the ball and keep aware of how you are treating your body. It's about loving yourself enough that you don't overeat just to be polite, and you don't eat the instant foods because they are easier.
And unlike the health magazines out there, I don't think there's actually "healthy" people and "out of shape" people. There's just tons of us, trying at all times to be somewhere in the groove.

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