Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Need a better goal

I’m going to be 30 in just over 4 months.  Yikes.  I wanted to be down at least 100 pounds by then, but I’m not sure it’s realistic.  I would have to lose 10-15 pounds a month to get there.  I’ve really enjoyed the mental break of not weighing in every day.  Maybe I need more consistency with my thermometer jeans.  With photos.  Still thinking about this one.

 

In other news… My workouts are getting better, though my energy level is still low.  My nutrition hasn’t been great.  My meals have been healthy, but I haven’t been great about listening to my body and stopping before I’m full.  I started buckling down on that today.  I also need more rest, since I think that the typical holiday business is contributing to my low energy.

 

As always, plugging along…

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I will NOT be needing these pants tomorrow…

…Or today, I suppose, since it’s technically Thanksgiving already.

 

Behold, the “Gluttony Pants!”

 

Chef Chris Cosentino designed pants with buttons (designated “Piglet,” “Sow,” and “Boar) that allow you to expand the waistband of your pants.  While I am sure there are people out there who will gladly pay $100 for these pants, I just don’t think most of us need them (or should want them) – especially since we could all go down to Target and pick up a pair of comfy sweats for $15 if we felt the need.  I remember Cosentino from both “Iron Chef America” and “The Next Iron Chef” (Season 1 – when Mike Simon won).  He wasn’t my favorite competitor, so maybe that’s part of the reason for my irritation over the existence (and cost!) of these pants!

I plan to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal with my family tomorrow.  I will sample some of everything (though maybe not all ten pies at my mom’s house!), but I’ll be wearing my jeans as a reminder not to overdo things.  A food baby will only make me feel sluggish and guilty the next day.  I will NOT be counting calories, though – I’ll just try to remember my new-ish identity as a healthy person, and see how things go!

What are your plans to keep holiday intake reasonable?

Intuitive Eating

I think I’ve alluded to this in the past, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about intuitive eating.  First of all, it’s strange to me that so few people are able to eat intuitively – but it’s something that should come naturally, right??  Hard to say…but it seems to me that a vast majority of the American public struggles to eat healthy foods intuitively.  We tend to undereat or overeat, obsessively eat “clean” foods or completely disregard the relative healthiness of foods, and our collective bodies and health seem to be paying the price.  Why?

 

There’s no simple answer to this.  The definition of intuition is:

The direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process.

 

So, basically, we should just know how to fuel our bodies according to this concept of “Intuitive Eating.”  I think, in a way, we do.  Unfortunately, our parents, our society, and our own personal biases affect every decision we make, and it takes some sort of breakthrough for many of us to realize how often we eat the wrong foods for the wrong reasons.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and a place for less healthy foods (Apple Pie on Thanksgiving – yes, please!), and I allow myself treats regularly.  However, I have to be careful or I will automatically overindulge.  That being said, I am trying to eat more intuitively, being mindful of what my body is actually telling me about what it really needs.  It’s a work in progress, probably a struggle I will have for the rest of my life.

 

Katie, over at “Health for the Whole Self” recently met the author of a popular book on intuitive eating (Evelyn Tribole) and is having a fantastic giveaway!  Head on over to her blog for some great information and a chance to win!

Winning the Day

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently working on Todd Durkin’s Impact Body Plan. The workouts are fun (but TOUGH – see previous posts), and I’m already feeling changes in my body.  However, the part of the book that is helping me the most is the chapters devoted to the psychological aspects of dieting/body composition.  Or, as Durkin says, “Getting your mind right.”  This video, aside from the silly halloween costume, has some great tips for making change –

 

He says to “Win the Day.”  This is something I need to keep in mind.  I need to avoid impulse and be mindful with my eating (there’s that word again!).  As I mentioned yesterday, I’m having trouble keeping my eating habits particularly effective.  I don’t want to have to count calories all the time again, but it may come to that.  In the meantime, however, I need to focus on whether I WANT something or if I actually NEED it (as Durkin says).  There’s no need to work so hard at the gym and then waste some of the benefits by eating junk.  I’ve definitely slipped up some today, but I’m going to switch gears and try to Win the REST of the day! 🙂

My plan for this –

  • Cook a healthy dinner.  I’m thinking pistachio-crusted chicken with butternut squash.
  • Drink a LOT of water – and make sure I’m not thirsty when I think I’m hungry.
  • Only eat the food I brought with me to work – not allow myself to be tempted by the baked goods and halloween treats around at work.

Wish me luck!

Training log

I took a much-needed rest day yesterday, but got up early today to get in my 3rd lift from the new program.  I’m definitely feeling more comfortable with the routine and have been improving each workout – both with increasing the weights used and decreasing the rest times.  At the end of each workout, though, my muscles are burning!  For my “Grand Finale Conditioning” I did kettlebell snatches for my first set (intending to repeat for the other sets), but was so smoked that I switched to single-arm swings.

 

We’ve been having some really warm, muggy weather here in New England.  Today, the high temperature was 73°F!  Plus, the gym isn’t using the air conditioning anymore, so the humidity was even higher inside and I was REALLY sweaty.  When I left, it looked like I had been working out in the peak summer weather!

 

These workouts are challenging, but fun.  I don’t stop moving for more than a minute at a time, which is a dramatic change from 5/3/1.  Plus, even though my muscles are tired, my energy level is MUCH higher than normal.  I’m also quickly improving my cardio fitness, which is a plus.  I was worried that these workouts would seem less fun (and like more WORK – haha, I don’t want that!), and in a way, that is true.  My motivation remains high, though, and I feel really committed to finishing every rep of every set.

 

I am struggling a bit with my eating now.  I don’t feel any more hungry in between meals, but when I start eating, I just want to FEED.  Not sure what’s up with that, but I have to be careful!  My mindful approach to eating is still working, but I am worried that I will start to gradually slip.

 

Tomorrow, I’m planning a nice, slow run – should be gorgeous with the leaves changing!

This Post is Brilliant

I don’t think a lot of commentary is needed, but Leigh Peele could not have said it better than she did in this post.  How many times have I made excuses, thought something wasn’t realistic or (worse) thought my goals weren’t worth the sacrifice?  Take a moment and check it out…

I Can’t (Updated) by Leigh Peele

Did You See This?

I follow several different blogs, especially in fitness and nutrition, and I was somewhat shocked (and a little disappointed) to see this article, “America:  A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation” linked in a couple different blogs.  I should be clear, though, that I wasn’t disappointed that the article was linked, but that there is enough evidence to support an article like this.  In it, the author (Justin Stoneman) quotes several different research studies about the effect obesity is having on American society.  He credits the ADA recommendations to eat more carbs and less fat with the expansion of our collective waistlines, and mentions the scary prediction that by 2010, 75% of Americans will be considered overweight or obese.  Yikes.

Stoneman continues by quoting Einstein:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

This, according to Stoneman, is the prevailing problem with America’s food/obesity/sedentary lifestyle issues.  It seems that there is an element of pride around food – we all want to be “free” to make our own food choices.  No one wants to be a “slave” to calorie counting, or to give up precious TV time to hit the gym.  We deserve to relax, right?  But are we really FREE as we continue to gain weight and lose mobility, health, vitality, and so many other things that make life exciting?  Yet, this is the mindset shared by many Americans as they (we?) struggle to lose weight.  Everyone wants to be a bit slimmer, but no one wants to do the work to get there.  And there are a LOT of excuses – believe me, I know!

Stoneman takes this a step further with some insight into corporate America, the food industry, and the DIET industry and concludes that “an unhealthy America is, perversely, a very profitable America.”  Yikes again…  Check out this quote from the article:

“If I own a sock company, I need people with feet to maintain my business. Similarly, if I own a diet company (total combined U.S. industry value: est. $45-$100 billion), I need fat people. Luckily for the diet industry, the even more powerful food industry (estimated value: astronomical — U.S. food-based retailing alone >$1,200 billion) make their main profits from cheap processed foods. Foods which make people fat.”

So basically, our food industry is stocking our grocery stores full of crappy processed foods.  We eat them, and gain weight.  We then turn to the diet industry to help us lose the weight.  That can’t be right – where’s the impartial government regulation?  Oh wait – turns out that the American Dietetic Association is SPONSORED by food manufacturers.  The ADA is the primary (and one of the only) sources of dietary advice in this country.  More info from the article:

“With that in mind, who precisely is ‘sponsoring’ the ADA and the nutritional advice you receive?

My friends, it is a beautiful army. Partners (recent and current — and their latest annual revenue figures):

Coca Cola (revenue $31.4 billion), GlaxoSmithKline (revenue $42.5 billion), Hershey’s (revenue $5.3 billion), Unilever (revenue $55.8 billion), Aramark (revenue: $12.3 billion). There are even some ‘premier sponsors’: Mars (revenue: $30 billion), PepsiCo (revenue $44.3 billion), Truvia sweetener (revenue of parent company Cargill: $116.6 billion), Kellogg’s ($12.7 billion).
ADA ‘sponsors’ have combined revenues of over $400 billion.”

Oh boy.  Sounds like there are a lot of cooks in our government’s kitchen (big surprise, right?), and they all stand to profit from “official” guidelines.

 

So what do we do on an individual level?  Stoneman says:

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Spot the devil. Uncover the scientific facts about fat and carbohydrates. Stand up for the truth. Or stay big, stay fat and stay stupid.”

And I agree.  We need to be aware that there is bias in almost all advice.  We need to remember to eat good, wholesome foods.  One of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is to avoid eating any foods that our grandparents wouldn’t recognize as “food.”  We need to increase our vegetable intake, too.  These are basic things – common sense – that could go a long way in helping people live healthier lives.

 

On a personal note, looking at the graphs and reading the statistics in the article scared the hell out of me.  Some of it is a bit alarmist (most journalistic health articles have some element of that anyway), but you don’t need to look far to see people making unhealthy choices and either feeling entitled to do so, or claiming it’s their only option.  One good decision leads to another, and I am going to continue to focus on that as I work on improving my own health.