Health, Fitness, Food


Okay. Time to set aside my usual musings about life for a post focused on something more practical: Fitness.

I've always been lazy when it comes to my health and it is starting to catch up with me. I truly want to eat healthy (and get this, I love healthy food) and exercise but my motivation/will power is seriously lacking. Up until this year, I was at least pretty active even if not always eating healthy. I haven't played sports in ages, but I walked to class daily in college and loved being outside and playing games like Kan Jam. Then I got a desk job, dun dun dun. I sit 8 hours a day and because of my inactivity and bad eating habits I come home at night exhausted. It's very hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you're tired and want a nap. I've gained 10-15 pounds over the last year and got a bad report from the doctor in the Fall: My good cholesterol was low (solution: exercise) and I was low on vitamin D. And though I went out and bought Vitamin D supplements and a gym membership...I never really consistently stuck with either. I can blame the winter weather. I can blame the fact that eating healthy is a financial investment. But at the end of the day it all comes down to laziness.

I grew up eating healthy. My parents were vegetarians for a very large chunk of my childhood. We ate a lot of raw food and juices. We didn't go out to eat, ever. And because of this, I really love healthy foods (to the point of being teased all through school about the "weird" things I was bringing to lunch --this is before being Vegetarian was trendy) and while I eat meat (it's not the enemy), I have no strong attachment to it. When it comes to food, I try to buy organic/local as much as possible just out of the conviction that it's healthier and more sustainable. I am strictest about this when it comes to meat. I get grossed out thinking about how meat (and a lot of other foods) is processed. Processed food (that doesn't really go bad) isn't really even food and is causing serious health issues in our country. And this can apply not only to non-perishable food but to meat as well, believe it or not. My dad, the health enthusiast that he is, currently has an nine year old happy meal that he uses as an example for clients. Other than shriveling up a little doesn't look much different from the day he bought it. That's right, the meat never went bad, just dehydrated a little. The fries look normal.

I'm not saying I don't eat out or eat meat at restaurants sometimes (and fried food is my absolute weakness). I believe you have to have some balance and splurges.  But I am personally convicted about taking care of my body and thinking locally. I have no intention of forcing that on anyone else. Well, except for my children. And to be honest, I haven't followed all of these convictions consistently.

If you are interested in some well balanced material about health and food (not diets or fads), I highly recommend the documentary "Food Inc." and any book by Michael Pollen, but most especially In Defense of Food. The book I currently have on my shelf to read is Food Matters by Mark Bittman.

So I guess my main goal is just to get in shape and eat healthy. Whatever weight follows will be appropriate. But I cannot lie, I would also like to slim down. The only time I ever lost a lot of weight very quickly was when I once did The Atkins Diet. But it's not healthy long term. John Paul is a big fan of The Spartan Diet which is similar but more about whole foods. He's also been excited about the work-out plan used for Thor. But, high protein diets are just not for me. Weight Watchers works, but only because of counting calories and portion sizes, not really because of health in general. One diet I find interesting is The Five Factor Diet. 5 meals a day (everyone knows more smaller meals is better than one big meal---this is no secret), 25 minute workouts 5 days a week, and a splurge day. But at the end of the day I know what I need to do: cut out the bad foods, eat more raw food and juices, drink more water and exercise.

Baby steps. Forming good habits. That's what it's going to take for me. So why write about this here? I'm thinking that if I publicize my goals, maybe I'll stick to them.

I can't just eat whatever I want anymore. I'm tired and starting to have "health issues." It's time to get serious about health and fitness. I need to have energy to be productive and I know I'll feel better. Additionally, I've heard being healthy before you get pregnant is crucial to having a good pregnancy that isn't miserable, so before that happens I really want to be in good shape. And most importantly, I'm not going to live a long healthy active life unless I find some consistent healthy habits and I can't just keep putting it off forever.

I read a blog by a girl who themes each month to an area she wants to improve in her life: Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Relationships, Family, etc. and publicly sets specific goals for the month and then at the end of the month, writes about how she did. I think I'm going to steal this idea. The next couple weeks I will try to start some better habits and decide on some goals, and then June will be focused on Physical Health and Fitness. In a couple weeks expect a goal list!

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