Finding my healthy living mojo
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I started on a new healthy living track a couple of weeks ago. It came about in the usual manner - I realized one morning that I now weigh even more than I did the day before my daughter was born. My knees hurt and I feel like a complete buffoon getting up and down off the floor to play with my daughter. Then, I went clothes shopping one day and all the adorable summer dresses made me look fat and frumpy. It doesn't help that most of my weight is in my stomach, so lots of the current plus-size styles just make me look pregnant. If I had the money, I'd hire a designer to make normal styles look cute on me.
Proof that life is not fair - it is SO MUCH HARDER to lose weight than it is to gain it! I'm a bit of a foodie, living in a fast food loving family, with no time or desire to exercise (because, seriously, if I had the desire, I'd make the time). Yes, I'm losing, but only because I'm lucky enough to be at the beginning of this particular venture. I know what I need to do - eat tons of fruits and veggies, cook at home, plan-plan-plan, and actually eat what I take for lunch, instead of pooh-poohing the lentils (which I really like) and going down the street for a French dip turkey sandwich instead (which is exactly what I did yesterday, though I did substitute a salad for the tater tots). Oh, and use some of the two hours I have in the morning (now that I don't have to get my daughter up and ready for day care) to exercise. Even if it's just 20 minutes. Even I can do that.
I'm not much of an emotional eater, though I do crave fattening sweets in times of great stress. I just love food - the flavors, the textures, the colors. And if I let myself get too hungry, I'm in serious trouble, because I start feeling like my stomach takes up the entire mass of my torso, and it must be appeased.
So I'm re-training myself to do everything I already know to do - take a ton of healthy food to work so I can satisfy any craving without resorting to the vending machine, eat really light breakfasts (have to say I *love* Trader Joe's High Fiber cereal!) so I can splurge later on in the day, and buy lots of fruits and veggies - and then actually eat them.
For me, this venture doesn't require a lot of drastic dietary changes. I've learned from past diet attempts that I don't do well with lots of restrictions. If I want to eat something, I want to EAT IT. I just need to plan for it, and work it into my day. I need to be able to stop at Taco Bell on the way home and pick up dinner if I don't feel like cooking, and know what I can get that I like, and is healthy (fresco steak soft tacos, please!). I need to eat some chocolate every day.
It's not all about weight loss. It's about living more healthfully, and I know the weight loss will follow. It's about breaking routines, and convincing my daughter that dessert isn't a requirement of every dinner, unless it's a piece of fruit or a small square of dark chocolate. It's about paying attention - focusing both on what I'm eating in a day, as well as savoring the bite that's in my mouth. New habits are hard to acquire. I heard somewhere that willpower is like a muscle - you must use it, or you lose it. I completely believe this to be true. Off to exercise it.