The Philosophy of Being Healthy, according to me…

I spend so much time thinking about being healthy and eating well. Literally. All the time.

I’ve come a long way in how I approach food. When I first did WW so many years ago and then did 21 Day Fix last year I literally planned out every bite I would take, what exercise I would do and approached weight loss as a General planning an attack. Even if I did not feel like eating what food I had planned I still had it because that was what “fit” for that day. I analyzed each food for calories, fat, fiber and nutrition. I was so regimented in my eating that I forgot to enjoy food and being social (!) and was pretty miserable.

I have to say I really have come to dislike (okay, hate) the words Rules, Off limits, Diet, and No. To my mind they represent restriction and hardship. Food and eating better should not have to be fraught with all these issues. Food is food, some of it better nutritionally than others but it’s just food. We need food to survive.

Exercise was often engaged in as a “payment” for eating; if I eat this then I have to walk/run/bike etc to balance it. I exercised to the point of being exhausted and sore for days. I have so many videos and all kinds of equipment that I could have a personal gym. We need to move in order to keep our bodies moving well but it doesn’t have to be hard every time.

So, my Philosophies on being healthy.

I’ve come to believe in being Practical and Simple.

No “Rules”. No guilt. No crazy planning.

These are my Guidelines:

* I try to live by the 80/20 principle: if you choose more’nutritionally dense food’ (further said as healthy/healthier)  in both type and portion you can splurge or choose something less healthy the other 20% of the time. Life is about balancing the two.

The same can be said for being active. I used to run, a lot. But it became less fun and injuries occurred and I just kinda stopped doing it. I love to walk (and hike) and I have a really fast pace naturally. I love walking with other people; conversations and sharing ideas happen so easily when you fall into the rhythm of moving. Most of the people I  walk with just are not as fast paced as I am.Just saying, but I am okay with that because I also reap other benefits of relaxation, breathing deeply and just enjoy moving. Could I focus on it not being a ‘high intensity’ workout? Sure, but why? I could force myself to do a HIIT workout and be so sore that I am unable to do it again for several days or I can just enjoy moving. I’ve come to realize that there are so many options to being active that to force myself to endure something I dislike just to burn a few more calories is absurd.

*No guilt about my choices. I could drive myself crazy thinking about every bite of something I ate that might not be the best for me or guilt myself for not exercising for 2 days but it serves no purpose. For most instances I find that guilt backfires: it leads to more of the same and suddenly you just give up and go back to old habits. Instead use it as a learning tool to see where you might change the circumstance (if you can). Most of our “bad habits” are just that–a learned reaction to a stimuli. Stressful situations often lead to just grabbing what is handy instead of a better choice (nutritionally). It happens. Maybe something that can avoid it is to keep a snack (granola bar or similar) in your bag. Super busy? Sneak in moving by taking the stairs, parking farther away or anything that makes you move like walking while you are on the phone.

*Being Prepared is half the Battle! While I no longer plan every bite I do try to food prep every week so I have healthy/ier options available. I cut up veggies, make brown rice and often precook chicken for salads. I make sure I have yogurt available.  Having these  things available helps to avoid choosing the other options that don’t keep me healthier. Helps, but everyone slips up especially when busy or tired.

*Make time to reflect and see the Big Picture. So often we get so caught up in living and working that we forget to have a life. We dream about what we would do ‘if we just had the time and money’ but rarely do anything to get there. I’m learning to simplify and have been getting rid of material possessions that I don’t need to that just add clutter. I feel calmer giving things to people who can benefit from them. I am being much more selective about what I purchase. My husband and I discovered kayaking this summer and started doing a lot of research. For what we want in terms of function and size it will run about $2000 for 2 kayaks, gear, travel stuff and little things. We could have put them on a credit card but we decided to save until next year and decide if it is truly something that will bring us joy and an opportunity to be together (or alone) in Nature or if it is just  a spur of the moment interest. So what does this have to do with being healthy? A tranquil mind often has a trickle down effect into eating well and being active because we are not trying to find a substitute for being happy in either food or drink.

These are my big guidelines. Am I a perfect example of a healthy person? No. Am I making progress? Yes, definitely. One day at a time.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings.

Kindest regards,

Janice

 

 

 

 

Ephiphany

Sometimes one unplanned workout makes the best leaping off point.

I realized yesterday that I was doing the interval runs because I felt that was the next logical step in fitness…but then I realized why it was not working: I don’t have a goal to run a 5K, half or other races. Why was I putting myself into such a funk about running (and not really wanting to) when there are so many other options?

I felt I really needed to do something–anything= to keep myself from becoming inactive…so the treadmill. Ironically, I really enjoyed the “mountain walk” program on the treadmill yesterday because it so resembled my hikes. I LOVE being outside and being in the woods! Granted I am not a hard core hiker but it really is my favorite form of exercise.

So, the point? With so many options for being active, choosing what I love to do makes so much more sense than making myself do what I don’t enjoy and in all likelihood will not continue with.  I’m going to plan on the hiking prep and railtrail walking. If I happen to break into a run (just because it feels right) now and then, so much the better.

Countdown to 48

It occurred to me the other day–I have about 5 weeks until I turn 48. Not so old really, but I am using it a motivational goal–to consistently eat better and exercise to enter that year as my healthiest yet.

So starting tomorrow I will be posting daily thoughts and actions on the blog as a “Countdown to 48″….join me by sharing your thoughts on the blog—keep me motivated/ hold me accountable to do this awesome thing: give myself the Gift of Health!

 

I actually started yesterday so I will count it toward my goals……

This week:

Tuesday/ Thursday / Saturday–minimum 30 mintes fast pace walking plus minimum 100 ab repetitions ( combination of 4 @25 rep each)…this should work out to about 100 minutes of exercise this week.

Tuesday–DONE!

I took a pre-work nap and then got up and hit the treadmill:

30 minutes of active time  with a warm up at 3.5 mph/1% incline and then worked at 3.8-4.0 mph/ 0-1% incline.

1.94 miles / 216 caloric burn per machine

Podrunner “Easy Does it” at 139 bpm

 

Abs–with Bender Ball:

crunches with ball under / at base of spine–1 set 25 reps

reverse curls -squeeze ball between knees with ankles crossed–1 set 25 reps

“rope climbs” (Does anyone know the real name?)–lay on back, legs up/feet flat and reach up to outer edge of feet with opposite arm while squeezing ball between feet–1 set 25 reps

obliques–ball under side of ab and do oblique crunches–1 set 25 reps

 

I have to confess–my outer glutes are sore today!!  I also walked a lot at work last night and use  Reebok Easytones as a RN to keep my feet comfortable–double workout!

 

So–motivation and accountability are welcome. Feel free to offer advice, suggestions and thoughts!! I’ll try to get some pictures done so you can see the progress and results!! ~Janice

Smart Choices, Healthy Living….will return tomorrow

Pardon for the delay this week in posting. Hurricane Sandy put a slight dent in my plans. No we did not lose power or have dramatic damage done to our home. Mine is more of a personal nature–I had a minor surgical procedure planned for Monday which got cancelled by the hospital for safety reasons. I did have the procedure but on Thursday so I am just a bit behind in posting.

Guideline #4 and some reflections about being a woman tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!!~Janice

Smart Choices, Healthy Living–an idea to grow on

This past year,  starting seriously  in February, I have been working on my Health. My goal was–and remains- one of feeling better rather than that of losing weight. I  am now actually in a healthy BMI range but my bloodwork said otherwise. I was tired ALOT, many times I was so tired that I could literally cry. My endurance at exercise was ok, just not great. My cholesterol and lipid panel were not horrible but far from the ideal.

So how to improve it? Really, it was the small SMARTer choices that are making a difference. I researched and read about better nutrition and being active. Are all my choices healthy ones? Not even close, but it is becoming a Lifestyle of Healthy Living that grows stronger all the time. I don’t adhere to anyone one ‘diet plan’ doctrines but choose the ones that make the most sense to our lives and health–I eat cleaner; more fresh foods and less frozen or processed ones. I try to choose the most nutrient dense foods to get more nutrition for my “calorie buck”.  I don’t use shakes or supplements but choose real food whenever possible.  I am trying new grains and seeds, different veges and fruits to keep from falling in a rut.

My older daughter became a Vegetarian in December which helped alot in providing motivation for needing to learn and research ways to make sure she was still being healthy. We discussed nutrition and recipes and found a good base of knowledge to start our journeys. I am finding that often times I can do with out the meat based proteins and actually enjoy many of the vegetarian recipes we choose. “Meat” has become a side dish on my plate, almost an afterthought. Most of the time.

I am trying to be more physically active–not just ‘classic exercise’ but just getting up and moving more–and it makes a difference in how I feel and look. Being active does not have to be an all or nothing choice–the body only sees you using energy, it does care how you do it. Becoming more toned and fit does depend on your choices but improving your health does not require a specific plan except to move more.

So why the blog? I guess because I think many people are like me: they would like to be more healthy and energetic but just don’t know where to start. As I research things I will share them so you can make your own informed choices. There is so much research that shows a group effort or shared energies can lead to dramatic changes.  I believe that. We are not alone in our desires for optimal Healthy Living.  Please join me and share your own experiences and victories, we can all gain from shared knowledge!

Best wishes for a Healthy Life~Janice