Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Not On A Diet....Just Eating Better

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook” –Julia Childs

Diets do not work. 

I am not sure what does.   I struggle with my own weight, so I am probably the last person that you will want to take advice from on this subject.

This is what I am doing:
I am eating healthy, wholesome foods.  Trying to focus on unprocessed, organic as much as possible- because I do like the idea of that.   I am also increasing strength and aerobic exercise- which I don't like so much, but I am doing it because I know I NEED to.  These are tried and true approaches we have all been told are key to weight loss, but I am also experimenting with a couple of new ideas:

Have a compelling reason. This is not about getting skinny for the “upcoming Caribbean cruise in the spring” or to “fit in that size 2 wedding dress by August”. This is more long-term. I am getting older – the nest is empty, the bank account is stable- there is nothing stopping me from getting out and travelling and enjoying life- except that I don't have the energy that I should have for someone my age. I want to be healthy and have the power to maintain this new lifestyle!

Keep moving. My job is the type where- if I am not mindful of it- I could easily spend most of my working hours sitting and hunched over a keyboard. My rule is not to sit for more than an hour. Every 60 minutes I am getting up and walking for 10 to 15 minutes. At home- each evening- Mr. Self Care and I are limiting our computer time and getting active together- walking, wii-ing, running on treadmill. I have also joined a work program that encourages walking and there are classes on site and during work hours for stretching and stability ball training.

Zero Deprivation. I am adding to my life and not taking anything a way.  I am not starving myself, but I am not overeating either. When you think of food as fuel -quality and quantity are important.   Eat what you need.   And as for Chocolate... Dark chocolate actually contains a nutrient that is good for you! I am allowing myself a square if I really want it- so far I haven’t. I am slowly finding acceptable substitutes for or limiting things that I love that I know are not good for me. I am not changing everything at once though either!  Still having my one cup coffee in the morning, just substitued my late morning one with green tea.

Knowledge is power. Understanding how your body reacts to certain foods and what your body needs to work optimally is really powerful for fuelling a healthy lifestyle. I have been reading about how the body produces insulin and realize that I need to keep my levels lower and consistent throughout the day- this means watching sugar intake. (which is probably why I have been resisting chocolate so easily- I know what the sugar in it does to me)

Forgiveness. My previous attitude was that I had to do things all the way or not at all. So the second I fell off of a healthy routine it would be all over for me. I am anticipating that I will step off (not fall off) at times and giving myself permission to do this. I don’t have to be perfect, but I do have to be persistent.

I will let you know how this new plan goes.

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