All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

Archive for the ‘healthy lifestyle’ Category

Why 3:00 in the morning ?

Posted by Susan on July 22, 2009

When I mention to people that I workout in the mornings before work , the inevitable next question is always …… “what time do you get up???” When I tell people I get up at 3:00 am (actually 2:45 am, but I sometimes press snooze until 3:00) they tell me one of two things…….. it is either “you’re really dedicated ! ” or ” you are really nuts !!”

There are many reasons for this insane hour :

  • I am a firm believer that the body can get used to anything
  • My body responds best to fasted AM workouts
  • Working out in the AM cuts out all possibility of excuses I would normally have later in the day
  • When I get out of work my motivation is NIL
  • I love the satisfaction of knowing that it is accomplished
  • It sets the tone for my day

In January of this year I thought long and hard about what I wanted out of the year ahead. I had been working on this weight thing for a long time and getting nowhere. How badly did I really want it if I wasn’t willing to do ALL the work that it entailed to get it ? I knew I had to commit to something.

The pressure of losing weight wasn’t coming from my Husband, he fell in love with me heavy and watched me get heavier , and he never really cared. He always told me that he didn’t fall in love with what I looked like, he fell in love with me. He also always told me that all he wanted was for me to be happy ……. and the truth of the matter was , that I wasn’t.

So I had to decide if I was ready and willing to do this for myself. To make it my priority. To do whatever it took to get where I wanted to be and stay there. I had 2 choices. Either accept myself as I was, and stop beating myself up over it. Or I could just buckle down and do the work.

I decided to do the work. That is where 3 am came into play. I had to figure out a way to do this that would fit into my life. I had to find a strategy that worked for me.

The first few months were hard. But , as I knew would happen, it little by little became easier. And at this point, halfway through the year it has become a habit. It’s become ingrained in my head. I don’t think about it anymore ……. I am like a robot. I just get up and do it.

The more progress I made the more excited I got. That excitement turned my motivation into overdrive. I wanted my goal more than ever. It was also great to know that although I’d made this goal my priority, it wasn’t something the completely took over my life. I was doing it at a time where nothing was going on in any sane person’s life anyway!

I’ve made peace with the fact that these early workouts need to be a life long thing. It’s either that , or I will gain the weight back. It is that cut and dry, that ridiculously simple ! I DO NOT ever want to gain this weight back. I never want to be the fat me again. So that is now what keeps me going.

So these days, the reason for 3:00 in the morning is not about dedication or my questionable sanity. It is about FEAR !!!!!!!!!! To let something slip through my fingers that I wanted so badly and worked so hard for it was worth sacrificing sleep to accomplish ,is a horrific thought to me !To risk losing the new found confidence and strength I’ve gained from this experience is unthinkable ! To lose the feeling that I can do anything I set my mind to is intolerable !

I do what I do because it is more important to me than anything in the world. It is how I care for myself. It is my insurance policy for the future. It is my little one hour challenge that I prove to myself every day I can overcome.

You know that movie “He’s Just Not That Into You….” ? If you are not familiar with the premise of this movie, it is pretty much saying that if I guy is really into you, he will move heaven and earth to be with you no matter how crazy busy his life is, not matter what stresses he is under at work or at home. The same holds true with the whole healthy lifestyle thing………….if it means that much to you, if you want it that badly ……. you will find time, no matter what you have to do (even if it means working out at 3 am !) to have what you want !!!!!! And in my case now, what I want to keep !

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Posted in healthy lifestyle, workouts | 4 Comments »

How Do I Do This ????????

Posted by Susan on July 20, 2009

I am half Italian and half Irish. My mother was Italian so most of my food influences came from that side of my heritage. When you came to my house for a family dinner there was more food than necessary. I was raised with the belief that if you came to my home to share a meal, you had to leave feeling stuffed to the gills with all types of rich yummy food plus several different decadent desserts or I haven’t done my job as a good hostess !

I was also a child in the 70’s. The era that introduced “convenience foods “. More and more women were working outside the home , with all of us kids in school all day, my mother also worked. I can remember our during the week dinners growing up . I remember frozen pizzas. Hot dogs with cheese wrapped in crescent rolls, with a side of tater tots, breakfast for dinner (pancakes, waffles, french toast). Not a vegetable in sight during the week !

On weekends, when my father was home, (he commuted during the week and didn’t get home until we were all in bed ) we would have the standard meat, veg., potato kind of meal on Saturday night, and some Italian dish at my grandparent’s house on Sunday afternoons.

These are the influences that shaped my eating habits as an adult. I am not dissing my upbringing in anyway ! My mom did the best she could, and at the time there wasn’t as much attention paid to the food groups, and getting kids to eat less processed stuff .

Over the years I’ve struggled to eat better. Slowly I’ve taught myself to enjoy vegetables, fruit and whole grains. I continue to try new things and to educate myself on the benefits of whole foods. At this point in my life, finally in my 40’s I am making headway, and actually (surprise ! surprise!) enjoy eating a cleaner diet. I am very aware of the way my body feels when it is fed “good food” as apposed to “bad food”. I feels sick , bloated and uncomfortable when I eat to much sugar and fat and usually suffer from acid reflux that makes sleeping almost impossible.

So the question to myself is this: Why do I serve food to guests that I would not eat ? Why do I feel that I have to bake a fattening dessert ( or 3 !), or make foods like macaroni salad with real mayo and white pasta, or white Hamburger and Hot dog rolls ???? On a usual day would I eat like that ……. not at all !

I understand that I can’t impose my eating habits on everyone around me, and that I can’t a total buzz kill when I have people over. At the same time I’ve committed myself to this lifestyle because, for me , there is a high return. I feel better, I look better, and these things , in turn, effect all other aspects of my life.

OK so here is my dilemma …….. How do I entertain guests and still stay true to myself and my lifestyle and not become the place no one ever wants to go for dinner because she serves nothing but “rabbit food” ?????

Would a nice fresh fruit salad really be more satisfying than a 3 layer chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting ? Would people miss the fatty stuff, or would they feel better for having lighter, less heavy, bloating meals ?

Or, should I balance it, serve a little of both, even though I would never eat these things on a regular basis ?

A problem that solution poses is cost ……. can I really afford to make double of everything so that I have good stuff and my guests can wrestle with their own consciences ????? Not to mention the amount of waste, although I try to give away the leftover fatty foods, most of the time I end up throwing it all out !

This is another example of the “old me” and the “new me” trying to level out and find some common ground. I hated the way I felt yesterday after dinner with my family ! I am to the point where I prefer the taste of healthier foods . And to be truthful , it is hard for me to choose the healthier option over the junk option when it is right there on the table staring at me !

Any suggestions ???? How do you juggle being a good hostess with your new found healthy lifestyle without alienating your family and friends ?

Posted in family, food, friends, healthy lifestyle | 5 Comments »

The Domino Effect

Posted by Susan on July 13, 2009

Today I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I got where I am right now. When did I change my mindset and find the determination to finally do something about my weight. I came to the conclusion that it was not one big change, but a culmination of a lot of small changes.

The first small change I made was to commit to walking my dog around my condo complex 3 years ago. It got me moving and tired out my hyper little dog. After a few months of that I decided to buy an elliptical trainer. That got me started enjoying early morning workouts. I did that for a few months and discovered the Body For Life Program, which introduced me to HIIT and the importance of strength training. Which later lead me to try circuit training.

As for my eating, I decided to eat only the recommended portions listed on the nutritional information found on the packaging of the foods I ate. That lead me to control my portions, which in turn gave me the idea to keep a food journal , recording the portions and calories of everything I ate. I started trying different foods and recipes I found on food blogs, and that made me realize how different foods made me feel better and more full than others. That discovery sparked my curiosity, and motivated me to try new foods, to buy more produce, experiment with recipes, and to swap out some of the processed foods I’d been eating and replace them with more fruits and veggies.

Every time I made a small healthy change, it lead me to another small healthy change. All the small changes added up and became one big healthy lifestyle change. I like to think that I am still , and will continue making the small changes, trying new activities, continue to learn about and make better and better food choices.

It is so important to make that first small change, not matter what it is. That one small step will begin a chain reaction, causing all sorts of wonderful changes to naturally follow !

Posted in food, healthy lifestyle | 3 Comments »