I know, I know: I have an epiphany every few months, and end up not applying what I’ve learned.
But awareness is half the battle, right? Someday, once it all soaks in, I’m going to wake up and be the fit, healthy person I know I can be. Making those healthier choices will be second nature. Right?
For now, I’m very much a work in progress … kind of like my novels, I guess. Of course, at nearly 42, I need to get it in gear sooner rather than later.
First, the good: After my 21-minute walk today, I realized I’ve logged 302.7 miles since I started using Nike+ in May 2009. Now, that doesn’t count EVERY walk I’ve done, only the ones that I was wearing my Nike+ sneakers (at first) or tracking on my phone. And it includes lengthy stretches of inactivity, I’m sure.
Still, for an avowed couch potato, 300 miles in approximately four years not too shabby.
I was glad to have gotten a walk in before it started to storm. We had hail and flooding rains in Flagstaff. At my house, it rained so hard, I felt a few drops coming through the vent in the bathroom.
On top of it, the power went out while I was in the shower. Since my bathroom has no window, I had to finish up in the dark.
I braved the storm to have lunch at Wildflower Bread Company. I decided I wanted — no, needed — a salad. No real surprise, given the not-fantastic choices I’ve been making most of the week. My body wanted veggies. Obviously.
The winner? This Heirloom Tomato, Chicken and Feta Salad. It came on a bed of “Super Greens” — chopped kale, cabbage, spinach, red Swiss chard, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. sounds pretty hard-core, right?
News flash: I loved it, raw kale and all.
Why is it that salads someone else makes for me always taste better than ones I make for myself? Hell, I’d even rather buy a pre-made salad from Safeway than make one. Weird, I know. Or maybe just lazy. Yeah, that’s more like it.
Back to Wildflower’s heirloom tomato salad.
Beautiful, isn’t it? Yes, I ate the bread — all the bread. It, too, was delicious.
While I ate, I read more of “Super Bad” by Vivi Andrews. It’s a romance novella featuring a straight-arrow hero and super-villainess. Very entertaining. I’m a little more than halfway through now, and I highly recommend it.
Now, let’s get on to those epiphanies I promised.
The first one came courtesy of Tina Reale. Her post from Wednesday, about fun and fitness, really got me thinking. She advocates something I’ve heard before: You should find activities you enjoy doing. Your workouts should add to your life, not make you hate life.
Whatever you choose to do with your fitness self, make sure it is truly YOU. Not what you feel like you should be doing.
It hit me, hard.
I shouldn’t be out there, walking, because I need to exercise to lose weight. I should be doing it because I like the way it makes me FEEL.
That’s why I like Zumba — because when I do it, I have a blast. It’s fun shimmying and shaking. That it’s also a fantastic workout is just a bonus.
I also enjoy taking walks. I like going just a little farther than the day before, trying to push my pace and racking up those miles. But too often, I look at my walk as a chore — one more thing to cross off my to-do list. The joy of moving just isn’t there.
Speaking of to-do lists, anyone else excited to see “The To Do List”? The critics are billing it as another “American Pie,” but with raunchy girls instead of horny guys. I’ll go. If nothing else, it’ll bring back some memories of the early ’90s.
Although do I really want to remember scrunchies?
My other epiphany? Well, perhaps it was more of a breakthrough … although I messed it up by pigging out on chips later in the evening.
After lunch, I headed to Starbucks for writing time. (I’d planned to hang out at Wildflower, since they have outlets at the tables, but it was crowded in there, and loud. I didn’t think I’d be able to concentrate.) On the drive across town, I started thinking about a chocolate croissant (probably because I’d seen them at Wildflower).
But when I got to Starbucks and saw their chocolate croissant has 340 calories, I decided against it. I told myself, “It’ll still be there tomorrow. If you still want one, have it then.”
Rarely do I show such restraint. Usually, once I start thinking about a certain food, I won’t stop until I have it. (Clearly, I’m still writing/thinking/talking about the croissant, so I haven’t forgotten it. But I told myself it could wait … and I didn’t shrivel up and die.)
I’ve been reading with interest Ashley’s new nutritionist-led plan to give up dieting, and the freedom she’s been experiencing as a result.
… having someone so passionate about their work share how important it is not to diet, to focus on your health and well-being, and to accept where your body ends up as you make healthy changes was incredibly impactful.
She’s been focusing on eating when hungry, stopping when satisfied and enjoying workouts (just like Tina suggested).
Wow. It sounds so simple — and amazing. I’d love to get to that place. Sounds like intuitive eating to me.
It reminds me of the work I did with life coach Jenn Campoli a few years ago. I’ve been thinking about that work a lot lately. In several sessions, we crafted a sort of mission statement/mantra, called a paradigm, for me:
I can have it all. I want energy and satisfaction.
A big part of my overeating stems from the “I shouldn’t eat that” or “I can never have XXXX again” — so giving myself permission to have “it all” helps. When I CAN eat a donut without guilt, I’m less likely to want one.
Weird? Maybe. But that’s how my mind works.
Jenn and I also came up with a list of affirmations I still keep next to the bathroom mirror, though I don’t look at them as often as I should.
- I am taking care of my health and my body by drinking more water, eating fresher foods, and walking more (moving my body more)
- I am fabulous and making progress everyday
- I am eating foods that make me feel good
- I am better and more than a number
- I can make healthy choices
- I feel good about my choices
- I love me, right here, right now
That last one was always hard for me to say — still is. And that’s probably a big part of my problem.
I think the ones about eating foods that make me feel good and feeling good about my choices are huge. “I can make healthy choices” is another important one — too often, I think to myself “I can’t stop eating.” “I can’t give up XXXXX.” “I can’t eat a salad when everyone else is having pizza.”
But I can. I just have to want to.
That may be another big part of the problem. I’m old. I’m tired. I’ve been on one diet or another (some, like Atkins, much more successful than others) since about 1997.
Sometimes — okay, most times — I just want to eat the damn cheeseburger and fries. With a milkshake. And maybe a bagel as big as my face with a thick layer of cream cheese. Or a piece of coconut cream pie.
And maybe I need to tell myself that’s okay. Let go of the guilt and enjoy the food, then go right back to making healthy choices.
Like Roni, who just maintained her weight for two months without tracking or weighing in regularly. I’ve never met her in person, but she’s my weight-loss role model. She’s wise beyond her 37 years.
Yikes. This post has turned into quite the dissertation. If anyone’s still reading, I’m shutting up now.
Have a great weekend.