Friday, September 2, 2011

Introducing "Fit Fridays"!





Okay, so I promised when I made my other blog, A Mighty Change, that I would update every day, and that made me feel OCD, so I deleted the blog and decided to just update here.

Yeah.




That really worked.




So, I decided to do Fit Fridays.

I've been thinking about it for a while, but my intense life of drawing stick people has made me very busy.




Emily inspired me to start again.





So, unless I start feeling super crazy, I am going to post a health blog every Friday, for your reading pleasure.


Starting today.


When I started out on this journey, I weighed 160 lbs (which ain't too shabby, since I topped out at about 175 a year and a half ago).


I now weigh 155.



What did I do, you ask?


Well, I got the flu, and that helped.



But I stopped counting calories.



Counting calories is awesome in some ways, but can also be a big black pit. To control what you put in your mouth is liberating, but to think of it too much can trigger food panic, and you end up binging.


I've done this a lot.


I managed to overcome the panic last year, and lost 30 lbs in six months, after having Lily. Getting pregnant again, and my overindulgence of sweet things undid most of my efforts.



I counted calories faithfully, and I managed to lose weight, at a good, slow pace.


Losing weight quickly isn't good (I hate to say it, but it's true). You tend to gain it all back just as quickly, and you might add a few pounds on the way (weigh? ha ha!).


div>Now, I have lost 5 lbs in a relatively short amount of time, and like I said, I stopped counting calories. The problem was I was constantly thinking about food: what I could eat, when I could eat, how much I could get away with, how many calories I burned exercising, even considered figuring out how many calories a chocolate chip had, calories, calories, calories. Made me feel a little like a crazy person.



So, I decided on a new tactic.


Eat lots and LOTS of fruit (and vegetables). Like two or three pieces for breakfast, with a splash of toast and a sprinkle of egg on the side, plus two big glasses of water. It's THE perfect breakfast. I use Smart Balance instead of butter, and just a little jam (not because it's bad for you, but because I just don't like lots of jam. Apple butter, on the other hand....). The egg is fried with PAM, and accessorized with a blob of ketchup. Yum yum.


I don't think eggs are evil. I think they are down right awesome, and tasty to boot. Plus, they give you some protein and some fat, which your body needs. The toast fills in the gaps (literally expands), and if you eat a banana, you get a boost of potassium energy from the fruit (other fruits do this as well, but bananas hold a special place in my heart...).



I usually eat this every day.



My kids love it, too, so that makes things easy.



I got super lucky with my kids, since they don't like anything fancy, and prefer whole foods to processed (there was actually a time I had to beg, plead with, or threaten my children so they would eat their mac 'n cheese).



Now, the rule is simple: Fill up your plate with 75 % fruits or veggies (preferably raw...I'll talk about starchy vegetables in the posts to come), and then throw in some reasonable grains, beans and/or meat. Think small here, people. Like the palm of your hand small. Those 32 oz. steaks may be tasty, but they are too much.



I feel satisfied.



Now, I still get those food crazies in the afternoon, and sometimes after dinner. I know it is super hard, but don't reach for a sweet, sugary snack. Eat some fruit. It will fill you more than a candy bar will, and will satisfy the sweets craving. I KNOW IT'S HARD! Heaven knows how many times I have eaten a piece of fruit and then chased it down with a whole bunch of chocolate, peanut butter, or mint chips. I haven't gone so far as to bite into a brick of almond bark, but there is always tomorrow, and that almond bark is sitting in my pantry.



If you feel like you are going to eat something you will regret later, and you have already eaten a piece of fruit, then eat a piece of bread. It may not be cake, but it will satisfy you. Or, if you like them (like I do), eat peanuts in the shell (you have to work for them, and won't eat as many as you would if they were in a jar), unsalted. I used to feel bad about them, until I found out that they aren't a nut, but a legume, so consume them freely. Yum yum.



So, this week, just try a day where you use your 75% rule: 3/4 of your plate with raw fruits and veggies, the rest lean meat, beans, or grains. This works for breakfast, lunch and dinner (if you eat a salad with any of these meals, go with a light dressing, or if you have to have your super awesome Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (like I do) be careful with how much you use. It's a dressing, not the main dish). Let me know how it goes!

P.S. Changing your approach to food is only half the battle. You need to get up and get moving! 20 minutes of exercise a day will do amazing things for your body. I try and walk a mile every day, and then I do some exercise DVDs (Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred, Yoga Meltdown; Denise Austin's Body Boot Camp, Shrink Your Female Fat Zones; Pilates with Ana Caban; and Power Yoga with Rodney Yi). Your body needs a mix-up: weights, biometric training, stretching, aerobics, and cardiovascular. The key is to find something you love, and do it!

2 comments:

Tina said...

I'm proud of you Dara! I've been feeling pretty flabby and pudgy lately and not feeling good about myself. Thanks for the pep talk. I felt like you were talking to me. I'm just so tired and lonely (Ty's gone from 6 a.m - 9 p.m. most days) so I eat to fill the time. I need to do better. My pants are getting a little tight... :)

Les said...

That's awesome!! Thanks for the information as well. Brett and I have recently started working out with Shawn T's Insanity DVD's, holy cow, I have never worked so hard in my life. It really feels good and I have seen a difference in my endurance and ability to do things. Good luck with your goals, it sounds like you are on the right track.

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