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.

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Keeping Track of it all: Accountability

Accountability is a huge thing in being motivated to continue something you may not really want to do. I’ve tried writing food and workout specifics down in notebooks, printed journals  and different online sites. I think that sometimes I get too technical for my own good in recoding things so that it becomes a burden rather than just a journal of achievement.

But ‘writing’ it down does work so I will be starting to keep track of things here. Please feel free to comment and critique as well as offer advice–I know a lot about food and nutrition, and I think about the basics of exercise but by no means am I an expert. Research constantly changes what we know about food and nutrition so it is an ongoing process of learning.  I am not a trainer, although it may be a path I choose down the road, but there is much to learn before that time.

How do you keep track of eating and activity?

Keep making Smart Choices–Janice

You’re ready when you are ready….

Its funny about wanting to be healthy–you can wish for it all you want but until you are really ready to make the changes-and stick with them-it just won’t happen. 

I had this epiphany last night–I was laying in bed reading  a book I had bought a while ago…Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. My regular doctor had decided to leave the practice and I was being given a new associate.  She was very enthusiastic and actually discouraged medications in favor of food, exercise and vitamins. Wonderful you think…but I was not ready for it or in the correct frame of mind to appreciate it.  I did buy the 2 books she recommended but only read about 30 pages each before sticking them on my shelf.

Fast forward to now–I am very much into reading more information about the process of how food is being produced, how others are controlling what we get to eat and actually growing some of it myself.  I am much more pro-active with my healthy habits in terms of eating, being active and doing what I need to do to be optimally healthy. Although I am not a vegetarian I am inching closer to that idea based on what I’ve read and how I feel.  I try to eat a “cleaner diet” whenever I can; by this I mean less processed ‘food’ and more real and fresh food. I am much more active but not always the kind you think of for a gym. I am human though and the dedication and commitment vary based on sleep and outside commitments. I am still learning how to make it the priority in my life.

One of the biggest things I have to accept and keep in mind is that not everyone is ready to think this way or can even see the benefit of “all the extra work” of being healthy. There are times I have to remind myself that we each must decide when (or if) they are ready to make this journey.

My own home is a great example–my oldest daughter became a vegetarian in December 2011; she almost goes to the extreme in healthy eating by weighing and measuring everything and only eating things she deems to fit her idea of being healthy. I had tried to discuss things with her but she was not ready to talk with me about ‘possibly’ being too thin. At her college physical my doctor made sure she (and I) knew she needed to gain 8 pounds to be a healthy weight for her height. She and I had a very candid conversation after that and she is slowly increasing her calorie intake to gain about a half pound a week. Something she can live with.

My younger daughter has not made a 100% transition to eating healthy but is getting there. She will only eat chicken and turkey (in terms of “meat”) but does make an effort to get in some fruit and vegetables and tries to keep portions moderate. She now goes to a gym and is working on building strength and learning to pace herself at running (she is more of a sprinter). She still drinks soda but now it is more socially than every day.

My hubby, well–he is a snacker; he often eats in front of the TV (from the bag and not a bowl). He often misses meals or eats a granola bar at his desk. Aside from OJ he does not normally does not get any veges (and no fruit) except for what I serve at dinner. He will make an effort to exercise at least several times a week but his job often interferes with a normal schedule. He understands the rationales of eating and being healthy but I’m not sure at what level of healthy eating he will achieve. If he could abstain from working and had someone preparing all his meals…I think he would be fine (enter real life).

So the point to my tale? When you are ready you will know it; it will sound normal and reasonable instead of something impossible to achieve. In the mean time, try making small adjustments to your eating and activity habits…sometimes all you need is a little motivation to steer you toward the Healthier Path.

Best wishes for making Smart Choices ~Janice

Perfection is overrated!

Definitely something to realize–changing habits and making Smart Choices is NOT easy to do! Living a healthy Lifestyle is an ongoing process; the more we learn, the more we can adapt and change our thoughts on what to consider “normal”.  Thinking we can change-and maintain- a completely different way of living without any experience is just setting ourselves up for failure.

The way that I have found to be a good start is to make small changes.  If you can change and adapt something small, say using less sugar in your coffee or taking a short walk every day and adjust to that, then you can build on a series of minor successes. Try not to make too many changes at one time so it does not become overwhelming.  Make the changes things you can agree with and can see doing forever. Doing something you can’t maintain is not a smart choice, it sets you up for failure and then most people give up.  Living a healthy Lifestyle is one that fits into your life–you are not looking for a temporary fix like losing weight for a special event, but looking to change the way you normally do things. Will you fall back into old habits? More than likely, yes–but that is ok, its part of the learning process.  Just learn from your ‘mistakes’ and make a smarter choice next time.

Making good choices will eventually become a habit. Keep making them and the positive feedback will help propel you to the next level of living healthy. Something that made a difference for me–don’t just look at the scale for progress; weight loss is a side effect of living healthier. Think more about how you feel and your increased energy level and clothes fitting better. Are you breathing easier? Can you carry more grocery bags? Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Studies show that when you focus on being healthier and not on weight loss you are more likely to continue with your good habits when you hit a plateau and don’t see the scale moving.

What Smart Choices have you made this week? For me, I am focusing on getting in more fluids and taking my vitamins more regularly (both Smart Choices and things I can maintain).

Best Wishes for your Healthy Life~ Janice

Disclaimer–the images on this page were found on Google Images but the top one appears to be from Inspire Me Thin.