Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Healthier Me

For those of you over the age of 35 (cause that's where it seemed to go, maybe you can relate.  I'm reaching the place in life where things just aren't like they used to be.  No sirrreee.  The face that was once smooth is now showing some wrinkles.  The skin is blotchy.  The under-eye circles are darker, and the left eye doesn't even want to open all the way.  The knees are a bit achy, and the lower back is randomly requesting ibuprofen.  These days, the turtle would definitely win the race against my metabolism.  In case this is starting to sound like a testimony meeting at your church, I'll move on.

Many of the aforementioned issues are a result of improper nutrition and a lack of exercise. I've never been much of a morning breakfast eater (love breakfast foods, just not, and many days my 20 minute lunch break is either grossly interrupted or not even attempted.  For most of the first half of the school year I would drink a Starbucks bottled frappe throughout the morning, and then have a Coke or Dr. Pepper for lunch with whatever I had packed for the day.  Some days I would bring soup, but more often than not, I would just pack snack type foods that were quick and easy to eat.  Lunches can be frustrating for me because I'm not a fan of processed frozen foods, and sandwiches get old.  I know there are a lot of great solutions, so I won't even continue to list excuses.  I just know that I felt horrible about my daily food/drink choices, and when I would get home I would be so hungry (even after all that sugar) and I would be oh so tired (thanks to all that sugar!).  I was just dragging myself along, trying to keep up with the speed of life - with zero energy.

In January, I decided that enough was enough.  I've never been one to diet, but I wanted to change habits simply to feel better and develop some disciplines for myself.  I wanted to get proactive with being healthier.  Don't get me wrong.  My being 80-100 lbs. overweight is not simply the result of sitting around with a bag of Cheetos in one hand, a Pepsi in the other, playing video games.  No way...but it is a result of improper planning, lack of exercise, and the apparent inability to say to to the bad foods and yes to things that are good for me. 

Progress: Two and a half weeks ago, I began my workweek with a new strategy -
  • No soft drinks during the school day
  • Vanilla yogurt mid-morning when I feel the first hunger pang
  • Coffee during the morning (yes, I use creamer; no, it isn't low fat)
  • A bowl of Special K cereal at lunch (I have to eat it all within 10 minutes or it becomes inedible - great trick I play on myself)  ;-)
  • An extra vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit in my lunch bag just in case
  • Occasionally an ounce or so of almonds (my husband's lifesaver in his recent weight loss)
  • Maybe another cup of coffee in the afternoon, or a Crystal Light On-The-Go in one of my cool cups
It is rare that I eat the almonds and the second yogurt, and I make sure that I eat before I feel really hungry.  I am amazed at how filling this combination is to me!  Without much effort, I've been eating less in the evenings (after a regular, hearty dinner), and waking up looking forward to my morning yogurt.  :-) Keep in mind that it isn't a weight loss program, but simply a change in eating habits.  And a practice in discipline.  My goal is to strengthen the muscle of self-control.

This month I want to extend my focus to include exercise and more water intake.  The two will go hand in hand for me. I'm not naturally a water lover, but if I'm sweating, I want some water!

Do you have some nutrition tips for someone who spends lots of time away from home?  I'd love to hear your suggestions! 

p.s. I've pulled out the moisturizer to help with those wrinkles and blotches, but have stopped short of using a toothpick to prop that droopy left eye...


  1. My husband & I are doing some of these same things finally. It is so easy to coast through life, whether overweight or not - unhealthy lifestyles do not make you feel like you are enjoying life to its fullest potential!

  2. I've been trying to drink more water too and one thing I've found that helps me is to set all the glasses out on the counter at the beginning of the day. They can't be put away until I drink the water for that glass. Seeing them all out bugs me, but it also motivates me to drink the water so I can get them off the counter.

  3. I've been trying to do the same. It's not going as well with me. Keep up the work


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