the secret to getting healthier…

yup.. I’ve figured it out! Work your ass off and then work some more... ! That’s right, no pill, no 2 week diet, no magic soup, no specific workout routine… none of that will get you there if you aren’t ready to take it on yourself and get YOURSELF there!

Exercise: walk, run, bike, swim, dance, lift weights, join a gym, take a belly dancing class, go to yoga, get a DVD, find a wii/xbox game … whatever it is… do IT. Scared to try something? just go and try it! who care’s if you aren’t perfect (uhh Angie? yeah I’m talking to you!) whatever you do, you are doing more than the person sitting on the couch saying “I wish I could lose weight/get fit/be skinnier”. Leaving that fear at the door has been awesome. I’ve gone on my own (big step for me!) to classes/activities. I’ve done belly dancing class, pole dancing, yoga, Zumba, HIIT, meditation classes, bootcamps, run clubs, water aerobics, played hockey …. just go for it! You never know what you may fall in love with!

Eat: yup, eat to lose weight. Don’t starve yourself! Don’t try a fad diet (as tempting as all those “after” photos look) Eat, enjoy, be creative, try new food/recipes. Take a nutrition course, take cooking glasses.. use google to your advantage. Prep food ahead of time, plan meals, don’t grocery shop in a rush when you are starved and have a kid hanging off your arm (although at times that can’t be avoided!)

I enjoyed my 3 day Dr. Oz cleanse, and actually it made me aware of the way some foods were affecting me (once I started eating some of the regular foods I eat again). For example, I’m a popcorn addict. I had some popcorn after my 3 day cleanse and 1. I got bloated 2. I got a killer migraine 3. my joints got achey. Years ago I did an allergy challenge diet… I’ve been very lax on foods that I was “sensitive” to. Yes certain foods I MUST avoid (eggs) due to severe allergies, but all the other stuff I just knew I’d deal with these reactions and left it at that. Last week, those reactions to just eating popcorn reminded me that, it’s no longer worth it – I don’t want to have those reactions. It’s not worth headaches, looking 8 months pregnant, stomach aches, sore joints (yes, food CAN and will do that to you).

Be consistent: for the past few months I wake up each day and (most days) reset my thinking. I don’t have an “all or nothing” attitude the way I used to. OR if I do, I’ve learned to recognize and correct it as best as I possibly can. i.e. I had a healthy breakfast but then I went to Starbucks for lunch and had a latte and some other high calorie nothing food.. it doesn’t mean the rest of my day is shot. It means the next meal will be healthy. It means I will go for a walk, go to yoga… OR just accept that yes I ate that food and I enjoyed it. So now, I ask myself – will I actually enjoy this, is it worth it?

Accept yourself now. Look at yourself. Be thankful for who you are now. Yup, I’m heavier than I want to be. However, I’m pretty sure that the people around me really could care less. They don’t like me for the weight I am or my clothing size... they like me for me. Yes, I can get whiney when my back is hurting so bad I can barely walk. But then I remember I can walk…. there’s others that can’t – that would do anything to just walk. Be thankful for what you have now. Take pride in the person you are right this very moment!

Plan ahead & make a date with yourself &/or friends: One thing that I’ve done for the past 2 months is sit down and map out all the hockey, badminton, ultimate, track and field, gymnastics dates and times and then work around that schedule and find time for me to fit in fitness. Right now fitness consists of yoga and walking (with a slight jog added in when my back is feeling okay). If it’s 6:30am or 8:30pm I make it happen. Some days I do miss it, some days just don’t go as planned. Again, it’s not the end of the world. Move on..

Yes you will get “stuck”, you may have a bad week/day … you might not want to drag yourself out of bed. Do you remember how good it feels to finish that workout? Do you remember how much healthier you feel when you eat well? Is that worth it? To me it is! Get up early to exercise, or after the kids have gone to bed. There’s so many days I want to lay on the couch in the quiet after our 3 kids are in bed. Go do that late yoga session, or take 30 mins to walk or do weights. A strong positive mental attitude will get you over those moments when it seems like nothing is working. And we all know there will be days like that, because that’s how life rolls.. it’s how you deal with it that makes the difference! I tend to only focus on my weight (the number).. I’ve stopped that. I look at things I’ve accomplished that I could never have done 6 months ago, 2 months ago, last week…. I’ve progressed. My number may not have gone down on the scale, but I FEEL better, I FEEL healthier… I am stronger, my balance is better…. celebrate every little positive thing on this journey called LIFE!

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diet vs. life

How does one stick to a “diet” when life gets in the way? …. in my own personal experience, they don’t! That’s why this is not just about a diet for me (in the sense that most people view this word) – this is about making a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life.  So how will I deal with all the situations that arise in day-to-day life?  Things like; eating out, holidays, work, busy schedules, kids’ hockey tournaments and all the other things that seem to arise

I can think of a few scenarios that take place when life happens for me:

1. I indulge & don’t care

  • in this case I’ve just gone and thrown the whole “diet” out the window said F&*K it and just loaded up to extreme
  • I’ll have eaten well all week and then Friday night hits and it’s a free-for-all
  • I’ve found this to NOT be an effective way of living a healthy lifestyle… I could never stick to a “diet” because all my old (bad) eating habits wouldn’t be fixed, I would just be covering them up
  • there was always some food that was on the “bad” list and that was ALL I could think of!

2. obsess & feel guilty, and then don’t enjoy it at all

  • I’ve at times gone too far, obsessing over every morsel that is about to enter my mouth, and there is no enjoyment in that
    • how fun is it to go out with friends and say “No thank-you” to appy’s and drinks?!
  • I’ve felt guilty for “enjoying” something and then call myself weak because I couldn’t stop myself from having a beer or eating a piece of cake or pizza

3. plan, prep & enjoy

  • I’ve learned that this seems to be the best thing for me
  • When I have planned to the best of my ability I am able to enjoy any food … all in moderation
  • If I know we are going to a restaurant I will google the menu and plan ahead, if we are going to dinner at a friend’s or family member’s home I will enjoy it, all in moderation
  • I will make meals ahead of time, have healthy snacks on hand, grocery shop accordingly

I will no longer let food rule me, there aren’t foods that are “off-limits” – that just backfires! I will however stay conscious with my eating, continue logging my meals on the myfitnesspal app (you can find me as ella_b76) http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

I started letting go of the guilt a few months back, this was thanks to working with an amazing trainer!  She was and always has been encouraging and extremely helpful!  The word “diet” is slowly being eliminated from my vocabulary and “healthy lifestyle” is taking it’s place