Saturday, March 10, 2012

So what happened was.....

One day I had to put on my fat pants to go somewhere because my regular jeans were dirty. They were tight. Uncomfortably so. OK that is never good. I am 5'1" and weighed 130 lbs. Everyone has those moments where they know they need to do something. And who hasn't tried a diet and failed? We all have. That was the first thing to jar me into action. Again. I decided to maybe eat a little better. That was about the end of January. I also somehow stumbled across a book called "Eat this, not that" about better choices in the fast food world. It had some great info about food in general too. I decided to try to eat less processed foods. Enter the trans fat free cookie to my life:

Because while I want to eat better, I also know I will need to have some cookies now and then. I do not think it is realistic to stay away from foods you love. It isn't possible for the long term in my opinion. At least not in my world. I started to read labels and watch Dr. Oz. Thankfully my husband is on board as well. We had watched a documentary called Food Inc awhile ago so we had learned some of why organic food can be better for you. I suppose the seed had been planted then.

On February 19th I watched 2 documentaries that changed how I really looked at food. The first was "Sick, Fat and nearly Dead". It was about how most people don't get enough fruits and veggies in their diet. One man went on a juice fast for 30 days to see if it would help him with a some health problems he had. He also met another man who decided to try a juice fast. It was amazing and very motivating. (You can't argue with results!) The second was called "Food Matters". It was a look at nutrition and the effect of it on our health as well as a look at the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies and their motivations. Together those were a powerful pair of movies to show why good eating is important and a primer on things to consider.

I decided I needed to really look at what I was eating on a daily basis and see food as the fuel it is intended to be. There are so many foods I do not eat. My mother was a very basic cook so I wasn't exposed to much growing up. Since I have started here are a few of the new foods I have tried:

Tomato (2 kinds)
Green, Red and Orange bell pepper
Refried beans
Flax seeds
Lentil Burger

I know what you are thinking, she never had a tomato?? I have had them in things like spaghetti sauce but I always picked out the chunks. I never ate them plain or had them in a sandwich or salad. I also thought peppers were spicy which I didn't like. Who knew they were sweet instead?

I also knew I needed to move more. This is tricker since I work a lot. So when I can, I try to swim once a week or walk the dogs more. I have also started an arm workout with weights. I am starting slow because I have tried going gangbusters in the past and it didn't work for me in the long term. I am also planning on doing some spin classes. I went and did the free Ryde Demo at a local gym and once my back is better I hope to utilize that more.

I've never had a problem with portion control when I eat. Tho one could say I dipped into the candy drawer at work a few to many times in the course of a day. I also struggled with not snacking at night in front of the TV. (cookies and milk or soda and chips were a favorite) We all have our weaknesses.

It turns out simply changing the cookies and chips I ate were a big help. (Check out the company "Real food should taste good" their chips are amazing!) When I read the labels now I look for real food ingredients, not chemicals. Simple things like changing my mayo to the olive oil version cut out a lot of calories and fat too. I am now reading Clean Eating magazine for recipes and tips. They have a lot of great basic food information!

Cut to March 3rd when I put on a pirate outfit to go to a charity event. Stretchy pants were involved. Ugh the dreaded stretchy pants! I realized I looked like I might have lost some weight. I had been avoiding the scale on purpose. Getting on the scale and not seeing a number you want can be really demotivating. It isn't about weight per say anyway, I had just decided I needed to be healthier overall. My husband said I should get on the scale and check it out. So the next morning I did. I was amazed to see I was 122.5 lbs. That is almost 8lbs lost without even really trying! I just changed the kinds of food that I ate. Really!

So now I stay away from processed foods as much as possible. I drink a lot of water, I eat more fruits and vegetables and nuts. I try to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. I have replaced soda with green tea ice tea instead when I have a craving for a sweet drink. I try to move more when I can. It is pretty simple really. I admit it is a little more work overall having to think about what I am going to eat for the next meal. I have to plan more than before. It is getting easier though.

Now I want to make it clear that I am NOT a nutritionist. So whatever I say about food here is just what I have found to work for me. I typically eat at least one hard boiled egg a day (from a friends chickens), and some flax seed. Either in a salad with spinach or added to my cereal or even in my egg salad sandwich. Raw almonds and sunflower seeds are a favorite snack.

OK so why did I start this blog you ask? Well for a couple reasons. One is to keep me on track. If I think someone is reading this then I am more likely to be mindful of what I am eating if I start to fall off the wagon. Not that I am worried about that to much. I am feeling so much better I have a hard time imagining I would want to go back to before. Another is because I think it could be helpful to others. If I, a forty something mother of two, can finally figure out the connection to read food and good health then there is hope for everyone.

I also know what some others of you are thinking. 130 lbs? So freaking what! That is some peoples goal weight. I know that. What can I say, you haven't seen me naked. I have had 2 kids and have that lovely "mommy tummy" that is hard to get rid of. And like I said, I am only 5'1" tall. That is actually pretty short to carry much extra weight.

So that is my story. I hope this helps someone out there. Real food is better fuel for our bodies than all this chemically created crap that is killing us and our planet. If we want to live a better life we need to chose to change what we do on a basic level. If I can do it, someone who had never eaten a tomato before, than so can you. Small changes matter. Start with that.

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