Ever feel as though your body has taken a stand and run away with you on its own horrific agenda? I do. Maybe it’s stupid and ridiculous.. maybe it’s not.. and maybe some of you feel the same. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’ve been doing all of the wrong things.
I eat a fairly healthy diet now, but I didn’t always. I grew up eating mainstream everything. In my youth it was all homemade, but boy those teenage and college years were awful. I ate fast food, Olean potato chips, lived on ramen, drank tons of soda… oh God the soda. I was a nutritional mess, and then I got pregnant for the first time and I began to make better decisions. Looking back, they were still awful – loaded with sugar, sodium, GMOs, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and who knows what else.
My diet has slowly evolved over the last 7 years, but I had somehow fooled myself into thinking that I was doing better and that moderation had its role. That is what the news media, commercials and tv professionals would like us to believe… right?
I’m here to tell them all to shove it! Unless I make all of my food myself, moderation is a hard thing to come by. Have you looked at the amounts of sugar and sodium in processed foods (including chain restaurants!)? Talk about making your head spin.
Consider what they’re peddling and decide if you are buying their crap. I sure as hell am not. Not anymore! I want my body back, not just for vanity reasons, but because I want to be healthy and to love my body because it’s mine. I want to teach my family by example and increase our quality of life.
I recently began using a fitness app that was recommended to me by my friend Julie from Dutch Being Me. My Fitness Pal is free and available for Android or iPhone. It is so easy to use, you can even scan in the foods you eat using the barcode scanner. Don’t have a smartphone? You can use it online too! To be honest, I have never been one for counting calories, BUT I decided to look at it from a new light this time. I don’t consider it counting calories, rather finding calories that count.
I like food and I very much dislike being hungry, plus it’s not good for my body. I decided that I could do this and I would just have to make the most of my calories by making good food choices, and I can still splurge a little here and there. The app has helped me create balance in my diet, especially when I decide to treat myself a bit. If I want to indulge, I need to be willing to eat a leaner breakfast and lunch – or get up and move my rear for a while! The app suggests I consume a set amount of calories per day, but when you work out you dip into those calories, so you “earn” more. It’s really cool, except on days when you do too much and then can’t eat enough food to make up your calories. That has only happened once to me – in a fit of insanity I’m sure.
I am two weeks from my start date (5/12/12), and aside from some bad sushi (oh let’s not go there!) I feel great and I have lost 5 pounds. I am sure 1-2 of those are from the sushi, but still. The point is, I have been eating healthier and being more active when I can. The app doesn’t make hours in my day, so time is still limited, but making better caloric choices has been huge. I am learning more about what I should be putting into my body. I already ‘knew’, but when you don’t look at the nutritional values of the foods you’re eating.. well let’s just say that you’ll be surprised at the content of many of the items you thought were “okay”.
So what am I doing?
- I cut sugar.. and cream. Okay, dang it. I cut back on coffee. I love the stuff so much, but I need cream and sugar and it’s like 180 calories a pop, so I am down to 2-3 a week, unless I want to work for it. Sugar is a killer. I love dark chocolate, and this is one of those situations in which moderation does come into play. I can eat the treat, but a single piece can run upwards of 50-100 calories, so I don’t want to go nuts; if I stick to my daily calorie allotment, I am losing valuable calories by choosing a food low in nutrients.
- I am eating more fruits and vegetables. I already liked them, but now I eat more of them. I can eat a large banana, an apple, a mango and 1/3 of a pineapple for the calories that are in a sandwich (without mayo). Want to take bets on which one is going to fill me up and last the longest? Not to mention I can eat all of that fruit throughout the day to keep full, eat valuable nutrients and stay within my daily calorie goal.
- I’m taking my vitamins. After years of denying it, I know there is just no way I can eat enough to get all of the nutrients I need. I have been taking vitamins for a few months now, and I definitely notice a positive increase in my body, mood and general wellbeing.
- I am using the My Fitness Pal app. I get that calorie counting sucks, but think of it as a tool to retraining the way you think about the foods you eat. I don’t plant to use the app forever, but I am paying close attention to the nutritional values of the foods I eat so that I can learn to make better choices for the long haul. Use MFP? Feel free to add me (EcoAmanda)! Support is huge and I’d love to lend mine to you as well!
- I’m getting active. As I mentioned, there are still 24 hours in a day, but I can find time here and there to get out and do something that requires moving around. Since I started I have been biking (LOVED this!), on my elliptical (poor underused soul), walking, jogging and stair running… okay so maybe the stair running was a special occasion with some fab ladies in DC that should not be mentioned… Anyhow, the point is that there are opportunities and every one counts! I can feel my body getting stronger and my stamina building.
- I am joining an amazing group of bloggers who are looking to get fit! This summer, a group of amazing women are getting together to Go Green & Get Fit, sponsored by PlanetShoes.com. You can follow all of the buzz on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.. and of course I’ll be blogging about my journey right here on this blog. I started my personal journey on a Saturday, so I hope to blog it every Monday with the progress I have made, how I’m feeling, what I am learning and if you want to join me, I would love to share your stories too! Please email me.
I get one life and I am determined to make the most of it and show my children that they can too. I mom, I wife, I blog, I design – I’m tired… but I will do this and I hope that you will join me!
Do you have any tips for getting fit and healthy, and what are you favorite activities to get your body moving?