Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Dreaded "D" Word, Part 2

When I began wracking my brain about how I wanted to go about changing my eating and exercise habits my goal was to find something I could and would live with. How many of us begin these things with the best of intentions only to fall off the wagon a week later? That scenario is my M.O. I knew whatever I did, it would have to be something I could live with and not get discouraged with. Here is my list of what I wanted from this change:
*I want to eat healthy and NOT be deprived, therefore I need a cheat day once a week
*I want to have more energy, mid-day is the worst for me
*I want to do a smaller workout 4-5 days a week
*I don't want to spend and hour and a half at the gym, it's hard for me to be motivated to go when I know it's going to take that long. There are other things I want to do with my day!
*I want to firm up, well, everything!
*I want to be a good (read: healthy) example for my kids, especially my daughter
*No fad diets or exercises. I want something that is real and works!
My goal was get down to 115 pounds (which meant losing about 17 pounds.) Now this is my goal. If I feel great, look toned and all my old size twos fit at a different weight then I will be happy with whatever number that is. To me it is not about the number on scale, but about how I feel and how my clothes fit.
Here is how I have had success so far...
*I now try to eat complex carbs. I ate whole grains before, but now I eat gluten free bread with sprouted wheat. My pasta is gluten free as well.
*I upped my fruit and veggie intake in a BIG way. I try to eat fruits or veggies with lunch and dinner, as well as snacking on them when I get hungry. This is waaaaay more than I used to eat. I used to just have a salad with dinner, maybe one piece of fruit and that was it. Now I have a fruit shake for lunch, a gi-nor-mous salad with dinner, and a piece of fruit or cucumber and hummus for a snack. I try to buy organic as much as I can. I doubt it helps with weight loss, but it is so much better for you and the environment.
*I began to drink a lot more water. I still have my two cups of java in the morning because let's face it, with two kids I could not function without my beloved cuppa joe! I try to suck down at least three 16 ounce glasses throughout the day. Aside from coffee and maybe one Diet Coke, I try not to consume anything but water. Throughout the week I will have a few glasses of wine. I love me some wine and can't get rid of it. But due to its calories I don't like to drink too much alcohol. I would rather eat them than drink them.
*Meat: Todd and I are not big red meat eaters. We mostly cook chicken and ground turkey rather than ground beef. It is good to make the switch if you are trying to eat healthier. A lot less fat and calories. I still have a burger about once a month. Can't give them up! But as much as I like the occasional burger or fillet I hate how sluggish it makes me feel after eating it.
*Eat less sodium. The bottom line is it is not good for you and makes you bloat. This means no more salami (my fav!) and using reduced sodium turkey for sandwiches. If a recipe calls for salt I either leave it out or reduce the amount. The exception is with baking. I use what the recipe calls for.
*Exercise: For me it was and continues to be hard to find the motivation to exercise. Quite frankly there are other things I would rather be doing. I absolutely LOVE the way I feel afterwards, it's as if I could conquer the world after a workout. So I try to use that feeling to encourage myself. Sometimes it works, other times I just have to drag myself kicking and screaming. The other hard part was finding the time. I just did not have time to do 45 minutes of cardio and another 30 minutes on weights. Just not feasible for me. I try to workout four to five days a week, but I have reduced the time to 45-50 minutes. This helps, what's one hour a day? I alternate between my Tracy Anderson Method DVD (Volume 1 of the Perfect Design Series) and walking on the treadmill. For my treadmill "hikes" I walk at 2.4 mph at a level of 11 or 12 for 40-45 minutes with a 5 minute cooldown. A good friend of mine used to do fitness competitions and recommended this type of cardio. It gets your heartrate at the ideal fat burning zone, firms up the butt, and strengthens your core. To get the optimum workout do not hold onto the treadmill. The idea is to stand up straight and suck in your core to support the lower back. A sore lower back while walking will tell you if you are not holding in your core. The DVD kicks my butt, and I am definitely sore the next day. But sore in all of those hard-to-reach places (ie. the flub that hangs over my bra between my arms and chest, the crease under my booty as well as the sides of it, and that dreaded muffin top that hangs over the back sides of my waistband.) Here is a comical review of one of the Tracy Anderson DVDs. I will be honest, if you have no training in dance (which I don't), do this DVD in the privacy of your own home with the curtains shut. During the dance sequence I swear I look as if I am having a seizure, my white girl moves are in full effect. Just not attractive. Let me tell you, both of these workouts kick. my. ass. But I do see a visible change in the firmness of my body.
The reason for these posts are not to brag about my success, or to act like an expert because I'm not one. I am just a typical woman talking about one of the issues and pressures most of us face day to day. I face weight struggles, motivation battles, fight the urge to snack on goodies when I'm bored like everyone else, and feel the bombardment of physical perfection every day. And let me tell you, it SUCKS! It's time we stopped dieting and exercising purely for weight loss and started focusing on our health. When feeling good about ourselves is the motivating factor it seems much more achievable rather than the size 0 Hollywood standard.

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