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Monday, March 12, 2012

You CAN be healthy and new texting acronyms!

Part UNO (of whats sure to have a good deal of when I'm counting down to the kids and I get to 9 and I know the kids just need a 9.2,9.9,9.99)

There are too many ways to help oneself...that's the great part!  And there are an overwhelming amount of excuses not to...start today, no excuses.

1. Probably the most important aspect of making any change is to realize that it is for life...success rarely happens in two weeks or 3 months.  Ask any athlete, any entrepreneur, any child (although the topic may be a little too advanced for them...I mean this more figuratively)...full potential takes time!!!! If you'd like to become a marathon runner, lose 50 lbs, become a less stressed homemaker, speak in a British voice, build the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks, etc...
That being said the change can be made gradual and does not need to be painful because there are no deadlines except for the starting today part! 
I am specifically talking about healthy lifestyle/weight but I believe that the same philosophies do apply for most things that you'd want to improve or change.

There are several main components to this:

I am a busy mom of three kids, two animals and a husband who I'd count as half to two-thirds of a kid. And certainly I've heard the excuses from other people, made some myself too about not having the time to do one or all of the above in a way that promotes health. 

Here are a few of the things that have worked for me (and maybe some things that haven't)...

1. Join a vegetable co-op!  Every two weeks I pick up a share of Organic Veggies that Ive bought from a localish food co-op called Purple Dragon.  I've been doing it for more than 10 years and I've found that I feel too bad to waste the food I've just spent our hard earned money on so I've no choice but to serve the collards and green beans et al to my family at meal times. 

2. Clean out your fridge and pantry and throw out...yes I said it, throw out all the food that isn't whole grain, fruit, veggie, etc....throw out all the junk...the sugary cereals, the old box of Twinkies you bought because you saw a recipe for Twinkie flavored ice cream, the chips, the fatty salad dressing...I wanted to do this for years but didn't because I thought about all the money I was throwing away.  I kept thinking that it would get eaten and then I would achieve the same results.  It never happened.  Somehow it always was there.  One month ago I did what I'm advising others to do and it has helped immensely.  It was a little painful to watch my beloved salad dressings I always considered them to be the arbiter of good health, after all they go on the healthiest of food...the salad.  But after measuring out the dressing used along with toppings I came to see that they were making what might have been healthy, something full of fat and calories!

3. After you've thrown out all that crap DO NOT GO SHOPPING WITHOUT A PLAN!

4. Get a plan in place for your eating.  I've paid at least a million dollars in fines I 've received from overdue library cook books.  Problem is it was so time consuming to decide, plan, and shop for a menu that would include healthy meals for my family.  The plan had to be small child, teen and husband friendly in my case and the hours of trying to get all the details straight made me turn to some fast solutions that weren't so healthy.  So for the past 3 weeks I have been eating Jillian Michael's(referred to herein as JM) style.  Her website provides a service (at a weekly cost) where a preprepared menu is available every week with shopping list.  All of the recipes with directions are a click away and the food isn't crazy stuff its wholesome food my brood will eat.  I am assuming that there are several other services that do this but I am really loving the JM menu.  JM is a huge advocate for organic real food.

5. Keep a food journal where you add up your least until you get used to the feeling of what a correct portion of the foods you should be eating is.  Yes this is super time consuming and I loathe it most of all, but it can be a temporary thing and there are several websites that make it relatively easy...myfitnesspal, myfooddiary, and as an extra added bonus on JM's site  its one click to add the meal to your food diary when you've prepared the food on the menu provided.  I likes me some of that!

6. Measure your food servings!  This really isn't going to add extra time.  A food scale costs like 9 bucks at walmart and if you don't have measuring utensils get some...For oldest daughter loves, loves, loves to drink orange juice...oh wow that is so healthy you say....but wait...she grabs the largest cup we own, I think it had a past life in a drinking contest, fills it up and then drinks it faster than the speed of her asking me for clothes money.  An OJ serving being 8 oz, she just consumed about 3 servings  at 110 cals per serving....whopping 330 calories!!!! And 70 g of carbs.  If you multiply that a few times a day in the different things we don't measure there you have it.

7. Keep a reusable water bottle at hand at all times.  There are so many reasons that water is essential for health :
  • Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.
  • Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.
  • Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer, and breast cancer.
  • For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/or back pain.
  • Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.
  • Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.
  • Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.
  • Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.
  • Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation.  SOURCE

    Ok I've rambled enough for one blog entry on health...I'll get back to some of these points....
    In the meantime I would like to stray a little to the subject of texting acronyms...I've had enough of the LOL and the LMAO...can I please just suggest a few others before I LMM (lose my mind).

    LSHIF- This happens with kids mostly, I swear it does and then they laugh more....(Laugh So Hard I Farted)

    MOMN- I don't know one person who can't relate to this (Milk Out My Nose)

    BMTT-This is the best type of laugh and often happens at night when I'm laying in bed with the Mr. and we are having our closing thoughts on the day. (Brought Me To Tears)

    HTBT-Had a lot of these when my daughter was in her early teens...OMG (this baby is on the chopping block for next time)..i was at the mall with Leah and Sean and these kids did this, and I said that and then we all laughed...(Had To Be There)

    CNF-When you are standing in line at the Target and the single guy with cat food, duct tape and a shovel tells you some weird joke (Creepy Not Funny)

    I'm open to any and all suggestions so we can put LOL to BED.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Health is a Life Long Commitment

Almost into the fourth decade of life, being a woman in a society that values beauty in an almost obscene way...

 The example of Plus size model Crystal Renn comes to mind here

Its an interesting story...check it out here

I have spent so much mental energy on criticizing my body.
In highschool I brought one unpeeled orange for lunch every day. The thought behind that was that I would peel it slowly and the bell would ring as I finished my one orange. Needless to say I shouldn't have been surprised when I fainted during a track meet while running.
After my first child I ate a can of campbells tomato soup for lunch every day at the office where I worked and spent my lunch hour at the personal training center in the same office complex. My weight dropped to 92 lbs and I was excited by my ability to be so thin but when I look back at the pictures I look emaciated.
Two children later I have gained and shed the same 20 lbs repeatedly. And I know my story is the very moderate one.
I just want to love my's just so exhausting to be always thinking about those few lbs. That happiness is the foundation for all other small and large a few years ago I just stopped listening to that nagging self doubt. But I look around at other women all shapes and sizes and see that many of you sadly have not! This is not the part where I say that if you are 50lbs or more overweight that you are perfect the way you are. Too much weight causes health issues seen and unseen and it is time our society stops saying it's ok to be obese. And for that matter allow marketers and companies to make the stuff that doesn't even resemble food to be the most promoted and affordable. But if you are not obese and have some extra weight... stop beating yourself up. Stop beating yourself up and change your lifestyle to a healthier version. While I do not believe we need to be like supermodels there are so many benefits to living a healthy life that any change in that direction will make such a significant difference as long as it's not a fad like eating only grapefruits or bacon.
Most importantly realize that this change is going to be a commitment you make for life...and in order to do that you will be able to include the occasional wine or comfort snack with some planning.
I swear I'm not being on my soapbox but I am happy with myself and I just wish the same for others!
In my next post I'm going to list some of the things that led me to that happiness.