The purpose of today’s post is twofold. One, it’s to help force myself to stick to my plan and two , it’s to help others who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or make changes in their lives. Change is scary and every time you try there is a chance you will fail but at this point I do not know what else to do.
After writing Friday’s post Does Being Thin Make You Happy? it really got me thinking about my life, my eating habits and questioning my definitions of words like thin, fat, healthy and unhealthy. If you read the post (and if you haven’t do check it out) at the end I basically said I was too set in my ways after 20 years to change. Yesterday I decided I was wrong.
I am not saying that I can wholeheartedly change my entire lifestyle but I have realized that I can let go of a few things and open myself up to others. Upon reflection it seems that everything kind of evens out in the end. For instance, in order to eat healthier I will bring more food to work so even if I do spend a lot of money on a salad one day it will be the same as all the muffins I usually buy. Or buy adding higher protein foods (that are also higher in calories) I feel more full and am less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks.
Now that I have realized that being healthy is more important than being skinny (until I gain 5-10lbs and freak out LOL) I am determined to stay focused on my health so that I can be the best mom in the world and set a good example for my kids. Here are some of the changes I am trying to make:
1. Instead of blasting 30 minutes on the elliptical for three days a week I am starting 45 minute yoga classes instead. Previously I was only concerned about burning calories, but I have done my research. Periods of intense exercise like that can actually be detrimental because they shock your body and increase your cortisol levels putting you in fight or flight mode. Since I don’t have the time to get a longer more quality workout I am going to try yoga on my lunch break. We will see how it goes. I may still go for cardio once or twice a week but maybe try 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weights or something.
2. Avoiding processed foods. Almost everything I eat is processed to make it diet or low-calorie and then there is the completely man-made candy that I am addicted to. Well, instead I am upping my protein intake with nuts, cottage cheese and greek yoghurt and switching out any white bread for multigrain. I am eating fruit instead of candy and vegetables in abundance. I started this about a week ago and so far so good. This also involves packing my lunch or cooking my own food rather than buying food at work.
3. Drinking more water. I will never be able to give up diet coke but at least I can try to balance it out.
4. Taking supplements. I have started taking an adrenal support supplement to help my hormone levels deal with the extreme stress I am under. I am also taking Maca Root, Vitamin C complex, and Magnesium (in addition to my usual supplements). I considered trying Vitex again (read about The Great Vitex experiment here) but I decided that just because it was good before doesn’t mean it will be good now. But it did prove to me that herbal supplements can and do work.
5. Trying to relax more. I started this last month. I purposely tried to remain calm at all times and when I felt myself getting stressed I would visualize my cortisol meter rising and then I would mentally bring it back down. It also helped that I was on vacation for 10 days.
6. Starting Acupuncture. I have been wanting to try this for ages and now that my healthcare benefits cover it 100% and there is a wonderful clinic in my office building I really had no excuse. This is also part of a bigger change in seeing my body as a whole and not just in parts like my flabby belly, aching back, useless endocrine system etc.
So here goes nothing. I will do a check in at the end of March and let you know how it goes. I am actually even considering trying to get hubs on the bandwagon but I have my reservations (plus he is naturally much healthier than me).
Have you ever tried to get healthier? What did you try? Do you have any dos and don’ts to share?