I’m not sure where my latest round of inspiration and motivation came from to make real changes in my life. I suppose it started with my friend Heather.
We met each other in group for new moms when our babies were just a few weeks old. In fact, we met quite a few other moms that we all still stay close to. But Heather was a bit like me in some ways. She was an “older” mom who didn’t want to lose herself in the process of mothering. We lamented about the baby weight even after it was last past the point of baby weight. We’ve gone months without seeing each other and then we get together weekly like we’re old friends.
I hadn’t seen Heather for a while when we got together a few months ago. She graciously volunteered to go see the Mat Kearney show with me. And when I picked her up, something was different. She was skinny. But what got me was that she was skinny for all the right reasons. She has been working out like a fiend, watched what she drank, and modified her eating. And she looked good.
Heather is three years older than me and she crushed any excuses I had that middle age sets in and we’re simply stuck with flabby middles. I admired her but just didn’t think I had the willpower to do anything about it. And I guess, to be honest, I didn’t have a strong desire either. I wanted to be thinner but I didn’t want to have to do all the work involved with getting there.
Something changed for me. I’m not sure what or when it was but about mid-December, I wanted to make changes. I wanted to feel healthy. I was having horrible indigestion and I was pretty sure it was from my weight (which always seems to congregate around my middle) and my diet, which was not horrible but certainly not great.
I broke out a book I had bought after hearing the author on the radio, “The Beauty Detox Solution.” I wasn’t interested in the beauty part and I certainly wasn’t interested in a diet. On the radio, however, I had heard her saying things that spoke to the scientist in me and I wanted to learn more. I made a couple of changes as a result.
1. I drink a green smoothie every morning for breakfast now. It sounds horrible but I’ve come to love it. I’ll write more about it later but essentially I use romaine lettuce, spinach, celery, apple, pear, banana, cilantro, and lemon juice. I blend it with ice and water and I have a huge shot of fruit and veggies to start of my day (which also quickly pass through my system and help get me cleansed for the day).
2. I eat when I’m hungry and not before.
3. I eat carbs and veggies or protein and veggies but try to avoid eating carbs and proteins together. It means I still eat the food I love. I just combine them differently (yes, there is science behind this).
4. I eat at least one salad a day. And I love it. I am totally not a salad lover but I find that when I use good lettuce, ripe tomatoes, half of an avocado, and blue cheese dressing (only about a tablespoon), I can’t get enough. Sure, I should be having some sort of vinaigrette but I don’t really like that all that much. If I have to add a little fat to my salad to make me eat salad, I think it’s a reasonable tradeoff.
5. I eat my biggest meal at dinner.
6. I have a glass of wine most nights.
How’s that for a diet? It’s weird because doing things this way not only makes me feel better but I’ve found that I honestly don’t crave the junk anymore. Trust me, no one is more shocked that I am. In an emergency dinner move last night, I took Evan to the McDonald’s drive-thru. I was starving too. I got him the requisite Cheeseburger Happy Meal (and snagged a few fries for myself) and ordered the Premium Grilled Chicken sandwich for me. I thought about a salad but, honestly, I make a better salad at home. And I just didn’t want a cheeseburger. WHO AM I??
I cringe at the word exercise. I don’t like to “work out.” Maybe they should take the word “work” out of it. But at my age (i.e., metabolism), a few smoothies aren’t going to get me in shape. I’ve been sick a lot and not recovering as quickly as I’d like. I feel tired and sluggish and just all around yuck.
So I picked up running. I can’t remember why. Maybe it’s because of all the friends that do it: Brandy, Daune, Dianna, Dave, Gary. I see the pictures on Facebook and I think, why can’t I run too? I was sure it was kind of boring and even painful but as one person put it, they find it gives them “the most bang for their buck.” That’s what I needed.
I plugged in my Striiv.
Then came the running shoes. I love my New Balance shoes. Seriously. LOVE them.
I bought the Couch to 5k app for my phone and off I went. Week 1 in the hole.
After three running sessions, I decided I was ready to invest in running pants (found for cheap at TJMaxx, thankyouverymuch).
And now? I’m down a pound. ONE POUND. But that’s fine. It’s a pound that came off the scale yesterday. And stayed off the scale today. I feel better. I’m doing things I thought I could never do. It’s a few weeks with the eating and a little over a week with the running. But I can do this. And I can’t wait to show you the results.