Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tis the season to blog about health and weight loss

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I'm not a dieter. I believe that diet is what you eat. Plain and simple. If you are eating food on a regular basis, regardless of what that food is, you are on a diet. I'm a cheerleader for the "eat what you want" movement. However, I believe that if you're going to have an open and unrestricted diet you need to be aware of what is going in your mouth and attaching itself to your midsection.

It's pretty simple. All you have to do is look at the food pyramid. I'm not a fan of counting calories or fat grams, but if you just pay attention to that pyramid you see that the largest sections on it are for vegetables, milk products and grains (carbs! you should eat carbs!), with the fruits section not far behind, but slightly smaller because of the sugar content in fruit.

I'm not trying to be preachy, you can interpret the pyramid any way you choose. I'm pretty sure they have an interactive pyramid now that allows you to customize it to your own lifestyle and needs. However, when I look at it and think back on the last two months, I know I have failed miserably & my body has been letting me know it.

Y'all, there are so many restaurant options here. I mean, on our main street alone there has to upwards of 15 places to eat. I haven't counted, but that is a low estimate. I'm not talking about chains, oh no, we aren't big fans of chain restaurants in our house. We like cute little hole-in-the-wall, undiscovered, but incredibly tasty places & this town is riddled with them. In the last two months of living in Colorado we have eaten out more than we did in the previous ten months living in North Carolina. Not only is it sucking all the money out of our bank account, but it's sucking out all my energy as well. Then throw in all the restaurant food with the rich & unhealthy, albeit delicious, food from Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you have a recipe for a very unhealthy me.

It has become very cliche for people to start watching their diet in January. How many of you made a resolution to make 2011 the year you take off those extra pounds and finally start eating right? There is a reason the number one new year's resolution is to lose weight & get fit. It's because we have spent two months over indulging and generally feel like crap because of it. If the new year started in September after we were all fresh off the vacation bandwagon the number one resolution would be to wear more sunscreen.

Anyway, the point is, if you listen to your body it will tell you what you need. And what I need is more vegetables. I said so to Andy a couple weeks ago, "I think I need to eat more green things. I haven't been eating enough vegetables." This was confirmed for me on our latest trip to the grocery store when I kept going back to the produce section because as I shopped the aisles of prepackaged and prepared foods I kept thinking of another fruit or vegetable that sounded so good to me I had to have it rightthatsecond. Honestly, if I could have, I would have just gathered up one of everything in produce and started eating it right there in the store. If that isn't a cry for help I don't know what is. A plea from my body to stop shoving all that crap inside.

Then, one day last week, I was watching a morning show on television and they said that statistically every woman gains an average of eight pounds over the holiday season. Eight! Pounds! And I'm pretty sure I'm above average. Of course, I'm above average the one time that isn't a good thing.

That brings me to the second part of the number one new year's resolution, exercise. Or if that's a dirty word to you, movement. You don't have to sweat like a farm animal to exercise, just get out and move. Pull your rump up off the sofa or out of your desk chair and take a walk. Take advantage of all the winter sports that are available. Too cold for you? Go window shopping at the mall. Just move your body, that is the most important thing and the first step in making exercise a habit.

I'll be honest. My life has been dismally lacking in exercise lately. When we first got here it snowed non stop for about two weeks. I don't run in the snow. Mainly because I've had a broken ankle once and that was once too much for me. I tend to go cautiously and not tempt the conditions when it comes to outdoor exercise. However, Andy and I did walk a lot when we first moved because every where here is so walkable. So I didn't feel so bad about the lack of running.

Then Andy's job started to get more demanding. It took him some time to hire the rest of his management team, so he had to fill in the gaps. Then the first busy spurt hit with the onset of the holidays and he had to be at work for all that. Basically he was lucky to get one day off a week and he was so tired all he wanted to do was sleep. We only have one car and I'm not familiar enough with the trails around here to get out on my own yet. I've started to venture out more and more, one day walking my legs off around the local outlet mall, but mostly I've just been sticking close to home, and my sofa.

But lately I've been feeling like crap and I haven't had to search too hard to figure out why. Not to mention that I haven't really slept well since we moved. A friend suggested I try yoga as a sleep inducer. At this suggestion I remembered that I have a PM Pilates DVD that is actually a good little workout and has always worked to lull me off to sleep. I pulled it out on Friday and the last two nights I haven't had any trouble sleeping. It's been great.

So, yeah, not only am I guilty of slowly killing my body with take out, I've been doing it with laziness too. I'm not sure what the point of this post is other than just putting it out there. If I admit it to someone other than myself it makes me feel like I can't keep avoiding the inevitable. Also, I want this to be an encouragement to all of you who did make a resolution to change yourself this year. Even if this has been your resolution for the past five years, let this be the year you stick with it.

I wouldn't say that I have made a resolution or goal to change my diet and start exercising. I was a vegetable freak before, trying my best to make sure that Andy and I both ate something green daily and peppering in other colors in as wide a variety as I could get him to eat. Also, I know I have exercised on a regular basis before. That isn't something new to me and I know I feel better when I do it. So I guess I need to resolve to get back on track. Yeah, that sounds right.

So here's to making 2011 our healthiest year. Happy resolving!

UPDATE: I took a walk on Main St. this afternoon & counted all the restaurants. There are 21. Plus one tea bar, one coffee shop and a natural foods market that boasts a deli. So if you count those 24, and not a single one is a chain. Crazy.

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