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

 

 

 

 

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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.

Kicking the “old me” down the stairs….

I met the old me in the kitchen today–she was busy cleaning and doing laundry and whatever she could to avoid -err, delay–actually exercising. “I’ll exercise in the afternoon” was the rationale. To tell you the truth, she really annoyed me!! So I kicked her down the stairs to the basement…where the treadmill is. The really weird thing–she liked it down there. I cranked the music up since no one was home to object–heavy on percussion and she just zoned out and it was over before she realized!

Alright, so seriously–despite my good intentions it was just a bit of a mental challenge this morning but I was really glad I was strong enough mentally to see it through and do the right thing–the Smart Choice! I chose a Podrunner called “Restless” at 139 bpm which for me works out to be a 4.0 mph pace. Brief warm up with intro at 3.5 mph/ 2% incline and then got right onto the 4.0 pace, with and without incline. I set the time for 40 minutes but I really did zone out to the beat and movement and honestly lost blocks of time since I was so “in sync” with my body today.

I followed with the abwork, changing it up just a bit. I have to admit it–they were tough today! I felt every crunch-especially #10-25!

So the stats:

Podrunner “Restless” 139 bpm

Treadmill time :40 minutes

Pace 3.5 (warmup ) then 4.0 mph

Incline 0-2%, alternating

Distance 2.653 miles

Caloric burn: 307 (per treadmill)

Ab/core work:

Crunches with ball–1 set 25 reps

Reverse curl with ball–1 set 25 rep

“rope climb”-1 set 25 reps

Standing side bends with weight (10# dumbells)-1 set 25 reps each side

I have to say I can’t wait until Saturday!! I may just walk again in the morning I feel so motivated–going to blow the 100 minutes out of the park!

I won’t be home on Saturday so I am packing my gear including my Forerunner305 which is now fully charged and my ipod nano (the old kind!) so I can stay on top of stats….looking forward to beach walking and around the gorgeous riverfront properties…

See you tomorrow for updates and motivation! ~Janice

 

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

I exercised …but I didn’t like it

There are just times you know you are not going to have a great work out but you talk yourself into it anyways…..yesterday was one of those days!

My daughter and her boyfriend wanted to go tot he gym after school and I said I would take them, even though I didn’t feel like going. Well it makes no sense to go to the gym and not do anything, right? SO I got dressed and hopped on the treadmill–the kicker? I left my ipod at home on the charger but I had the headphones …into the TV it was (I watched House). Not even 5 minutes into the walk my foot started to kill me–I have this issue with my ‘big toe joint’ on my left foot (it isn’t gout, or a fracture or anything we/I can figure out) and I toughed it out for 22 minutes and decided it was enough. I switched over to the recumbent bike for another 15 minutes (my daughter was done).

Am I glad I went? Yes. Would I do it again that way–I am really not sure. I do believe in pushing your body a bit but to exercise in pain? Yea I don’t think so– on those days I think I would stick to the bike and weights.

Thoughts? Do you exercise in pain or push yourself when you mentally are not in the mood for exercise?

What are your ‘talk yourself into it’  conversations like?

9/4/12 Cardio: Treadmill

Cardio today:

Treadmill–at the gym

Time: 30 minutes

Pace:  2 minute warm up at 3.5 mph then 23 minutes at 4.0 then 5 minutes at 4.2 mph

Incline: 1% continual

Podrunner: 139 BPM

Distance: 2.0 miles

Caloric burn: 205

Overall–I had a really good time! The Podrunner was motivating and a good pace!

I’m thinking I am ready to start doing running intervals since I am not at all winded and my HR is in the low 120 range (MY range for age is 116-138 for heart rate)

Comments? Thoughts?

Yes, I CAN eat that…but is it worth “the price”?

Its really amazing what can happen when you think about things differently! Living a Healthy Lifestyle is not about restrictions but about balance. You can eat anything but it all has a price.

Granted there are some foods that are better for you than others. The thing I’m learning though is its all a matter of balance. Sometimes it IS worth the Price to have that piece of cake or candy instead of the ‘healthy’ stuff. Sometimes it is what allows you to stay on track the other 80% of the time. Deprivation is not required for healthy living.

So what is “the Price” I speak of? Something that recently occurred to me is that all our actions–eating choices, activity choices and our ‘mental game’ all give us credits or debits in our Healthy Living bank accounts. I’m sure you’ve heard that to lose 1 pound of weight you need to eliminate 3500 calories either by cutting back on food eaten or through increasing exercise/ activity. To maintain your weight you need to balance calories in with calories out. Simple enough. SO–that Price is determined by what you have in your account–do you have ‘extra’ credits to have that piece of cake? Can you balance your account if you have it? Exercise should not really be used to counter a bad balance but to help create a positive one. To build the credits needed to splurge on the high calorie (high cost) items you can be more active on a regular basis, thus adding to your account for special times, or choose to really eat well to account for the high spending. Either way, to maintain or lose you need to keep your account balanced. Healthy Living does not have “charge accounts” to offer.

Sometimes the best way to keep your Healthy Living bank account in the ‘black’ is to plan ahead. If you know you have a special event or social activity where you may be tempted to splurge you can eat “cheap” for several days ahead or bump up the activity you do normally to create a surplus in your accounts. One great way to do this–prep your food, especially fruits and vegetables, so it is ready to grab when you may otherwise choose something quicker and easier. Lately I have been cutting up and storing carrots, red and green peppers and celery to grab with single serving containers of humus. While my hubby munches on chips or other snacks I am able to get my veges just as quickly and suffer no “overdraft” fees for choosing to go the easy (but more expensive) route. And you know what? I don’t feel deprived because I like veges and humus. If its not your thing, find something that works. My daughter opts for Greek yogurt, nuts or fruit.

Choosing to live healthy is making the most of what you enjoy, not what you think you ‘should’ have–its about versatility and balance and just having fun being healthy.

Best wishes for Smart Choices, Healthy Living! ~Jancie

Disclaimer: Images are from Google Images–my thanks to their creators!

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.