I've been posting about my efforts to reduce the amount of sugar I eat. While it's true, I'd hoped to see a reduction in my waist line to correspond with the reduction in processed sugar, I wasn't reducing sugar just to lose weight. I did that to improve my health.
I'm still trying to keep too much sugar out of my diet -- I don't intend to swing all the way back to the crazy amount I consumed before -- but I'm not being as vigilant as I was for those first two weeks. That means that I'm not sugaring my coffee or tea (a little honey sometimes, but I'm still aiming for the ability to be able to drink it without sweetening), but I am eating ice cream (the good stuff) about once a week. I've purchased straight peanut butter (ingredients list on the jar I now have: Roasted Peanuts -- which means that I add salt to my sandwiches), but I'm back to eating those delicious blueberry bagels. I no longer have chocolate daily. In fact -- it's been over a week since I had one of my staple Dove Dark Promises. (who AM I?)
I am feeling better. I can get up in the morning and function without coffee. I can get through the whole day without coffee. (Yes, I still drink it, but more because, well, I like coffee than because without it I'm falling asleep at the table).
For the most part, I'm not as hungry either. I'm feeling less urge to just, well, eat all the time. That doesn't mean I don't nosh, but I nosh less. And what I'm noshing on doesn't include random cookies, candy, ice cream, sugar-filled peanut butter, etc.
But I'm still not as healthy as I could be. Why? Well, for starters, I'm an erratic eater, and other than work (which is a physical activity), I don't get much exercise. If I want to reset my metabolism (and thus my weight) so that I'm healthier as I age, I'll need to change those things. (And if I want to stay strong and limber longer, I'll need to fix that second thing in a way that I can be consistent about).
Food seems easy to me. I can add or subtract things from my diet without a whole lot of pain -- just a little focus. I just need to quit letting it be noon before I eat anything.
Exercise, on the other hand, is hard for me. I tend not to do it much.
Here are my lame excuses (yep, gotta face up to 'em if I'm gonna find a way around my block to exercise - it's interesting how much more lame they sound when I read them here than when they happen in my head).
1. Running is not only not fun, it hurts. Besides, my Physical Therapist and Mentor/Boss has been pointing out lately that running is not good for women's bodies -- especially as we age. Now that I'm over 50 (egad, did I say that out loud? Did I acknowledge that in public?), I actually need to pay attention to things that are good/bad for you as you age and make appropriate changes. Besides, did I mention it's no fun?
2. I hate having to GO somewhere -- get dressed just for the activity, haul my cookies out in whatever weather, work around the gym's schedule, then work around the people there... or work around some class schedule that doesn't suit my schedule. I want it EASY to get to do it (which does not explain why # 3 and # 4 are also true).
3. If I don't have to be somewhere, I'm likely to blow it off until later and later and later and tomorrow. Work out tapes at home only manage to hold my focus for about 4 days. Then other stuff regains priority, and I never quite get them done. (I'm so envious of my friend Erin, who gets up every day and does some amazing work out tape before getting the kids up and getting them out before she goes to work.
4. The athletic type things that I actually enjoy are too expensive. I'd likely go horseback riding daily if I could afford to own and board a horse; I'd ski several times a week if I lived on a mountain and could afford the equipment and lift line fees. I'd sail several times a week (or at least weekly) if I lived near big enough water to hold a decent boat and could afford the boat, slip rental, and equipment. But none of those things are true right now.
5. The exercise type things that I genuinely enjoy suffer from #2 and #4: I love yoga, and would really like to do Tai Chi. I prefer the class to the tape (especially with the chance to have a teacher confirm whether I'm doing it right. Alas, classes are both expensive and inconvenient. Most are quite a ways away from my house, and few line up with times that work well for me and don't block me out of a time I like to see clients.
6. I'm way better at all of it with a workout buddy. It's part of why I love dancing -- there's usually a partner involved. If I have a buddy (or a personal trainer, I suppose), who is expecting me at a certain time, it's easier to make myself go. My work out buddies have jobs with schedules that don't much line up with my schedule.
7. To do it right takes too much time. (At my fittest, I would go to IMPE (the facility at University of Illinois when I was there), and stretch in the sauna, ride a stationary bike for a while, lift weights (admittedly, I didn't train sanely, so I did ALL the machines each time), stretch again in the sauna, swim, and then relax in the sauna). I don't have 3+ hours a day to devote to exercise.
8. Weather. Walking is good, I even try to walk with Golf Pro and the dog once a day. But weather will prevent a decent walk in a heart beat -- I don't want to go if it's too hot or too cold or raining or the sidewalks are still all snowy and icy or... or...
And of course, I don' wanna....my chair is comfy!
But I'm taking steps to combat this malaise. Over time, being a couch potato can be painful.
So...what am I doing? I'm making a plan and taking small steps.
Tune in next time for my plan. In the mean time, what do YOU do?