#10 – Ugh
#10 on my list is to maintain a healthy weight.
Yeah. I have not been doing this.
Let’s start at the beginning-ish. I was always a pretty active kid. We played outside a lot, and when I got to high school I played sports pretty much all year round. Playing a sport in high school means you work out for 2-3 hours six days a week. So that totally counter-acted my unbelievably unhealthy eating habits. Cut to college when I quit sports and working out altogether AND had access to a cafeteria, a 7-11 and a Wawa 24/7. Freshman 15? Try Freshman 25.
I got it together randomly throughout college. At one point I had a crush on a gym rat, and that worked out great for my body. Later I started running with my roommate, and having a buddy really did wonders as well. Then I graduated and moved back in with my parents and ended up back at square one. Since then I’ve fluctuated up and down pretty regularly. My routine is to get heavy, get completely disgusted with myself, work out a lot, lose a bunch of weight, get lazy and start all over again.
But now I’m getting older and I’m not only completely disgusted with myself again, but I’m starting to get concerned about things that are now more likely to affect me as an adult. Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to name just a few. I have got to get my health in check. And I really want to, I have the best of intentions, but it’s hard. It takes time out of my life to work out and shop for and cook healthy foods. But as the bf reminded me today, nothing worth doing is easy. And maybe by putting in the time now I can get it back later, by being healthy and able-bodied well into old age.
So to keep myself motivated and accountable, I’m making more lists! I’m also going to start keeping a “health journal” where I can not only record what I’m eating on a daily basis, but also things that I need to keep track of for my doctor and myself to keep my asthma in check and be aware if my body is doing things it shouldn’t be doing. Onward:
- Maintain a healthy weight. For someone of my height, that is 108 (HA) – 145 lbs. From experience, I believe that my attainable healthy weight is somewhere around 135 lbs. Maybe 130.
- Increase my intake of: Fiber, whole grains, omega-3s, fruit, vegetables, vitamins via foods instead of supplements.
- Decrease my intake of: Sugar, fat, simple carbs, salt.
- Drink more water
- Work out more: Cardio 5-6 days per week; Weights/strength 2-3 days per week.
- GET OUTSIDE. I love being outside. I need to make this a priority, even if it means cutting other things out of my life, like effing tv and crafting. Ahem. GET OUTSIDE. Hike, golf, just go for a walk. Just get outside.
- Play more sports. Golf, ice skate, swim, whatever is appropriate for the season, but I miss having a goal besides a heart rate when I’m working out.
- Take the long way. Park farther away, wash the floor by hand, vacuum more often…do little things daily that increase your physical activity.
- Cook healthier foods on weekends for lunches and dinners throughout the week. Again, if this means giving up time watching tv or crafting, so be it.
Reasons being healthier will be totally awesome besides being skinnier:
- Healthier hair and skin
- More energy
- Increased endurance
- Increased happiness (endorphins!)
- Increased motivation
- More self-confidence
- Clothes will fit and look better
- Bigger wardrobe; more stuff will look good so I won’t have to limit my options (strapless dresses!)
- Getting sick less often
- Look less tired (I hope)
- Healthier teeth and gums (from eating less sugar and more crunchy veggies)
- Less Charley horses
- Already being the size I want to be when I go to try on wedding dresses instead of feeling like crap when I do that and then going on a crash diet to fit in the smaller size I stupidly ordered
- Delay visible signs of aging
- Stronger bones
- Being able to wear white without feeling like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
- Seriously, I’m trying not to be too superficial here, but looking good is pretty high up there on my reasons
- Stronger lungs from cardio = better controlled asthma
- Live longer. This whole website is about how much I love life! Don’t I want to be around for a long time?
Decreased chance of:
- Heart disease, heart attack, stroke
- Cancer (And *noticing* the cancer early. Overweight people are much less likely to notice a cancerous lump, and I am at high risk for breast cancer due to family history.)
- Kidney/liver disease/failure
- Difficulties conceiving/in childbirth
- High cholesterol, high blood pressure
- Kidney stones
Healthy foods I like; a reminder list so I don’t have to resort to foods I hate like bananas and turkey wraps just because I’m too lazy to think of other things to eat (suggestions welcome):
- Egg whites on whole grain sandwich thins with low fat cheese
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies
- Arugula with lemon vinaigrette
- Homemade oatmeal with walnuts and spices
- Chicken or shrimp with veggies stir fry
- Baked potato with sea salt
- Grilled or raw veggie sandwich with a spicy lite dressing
- Cucumber and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar
- Fiber One brand everything
- Smoked salmon (in moderation)
- Black beans
- Veggies: Broccoli, red peppers, green beans, zucchini
- Fruits: Grapefruit, berries, oranges, tomatoes, pomegranate
Foods to incorporate into my diet more often:
- Quinoa, lentils
- Honey, real maple syrup (instead of sugar)
- Green tea
- Orange juice
Things I can’t give up but vow to greatly reduce in my diet:
- Coffee with sugar and cream (I can switch to skim milk. That I can do.)
- Cheese (I can increase hard cheeses and decrease soft as a compromise.)
- Christmas cookies (Just making less of these will help, and it will make me less crazy around the holidays. I already started that this year by only making three kinds, and it was fine!)
- Ice cream (Summer is hard without ice cream but I can totally give it up the rest of the year and try to cut back in the summer by switching to a single scoop instead of a sundae.)
- Alcohol (Switch to wine only and one glass per day, preferably only weekends but I won’t deprive myself if I’ve had a rough day. Mixed drinks on special occasions only.)
I can do this and I can make it a lifestyle change instead of a constant up and down cycle. I just need to stay motivated, not eat my feelings, and be aware of my bad habits and avoid them. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it?!