Monthly Archives: January 2012

There’s More Than One Way to Approach a Healthy Lifestyle

I recently had a conversation with a friend about how she can adjust her eating habits now that she’s a retiree, and no longer required to start her day at the crack of dawn.

Her dilemma was a simple one, with a not-so-simple solution: to continue her routine of eating five-to-six meals a day, but doing so outside of the structured day that she once led as a full-time employee.

Sounds easy, right?

Well, you’d be surprised the difference a few hours can make in your day when you’re attempting to squeeze in the same number of meals–particularly if you aren’t, as in the case of my friend, enthusiastic about eating in the first place.

My suggestion to her was to refocus her attention on the calories as opposed to the all too well known industry recommendation of “six-meals-a-day”.

Many of us buy into the aforementioned approach, and have a reasonable amount of success following it, but what if your situation is similar to that of my friend, who now has no alarm to rule her day?

Her biggest problem is cramming more food into a shorter period of time. How do you do that without jeopardizing your desire to eat? Or, worse than that, skipping multiple meals altogether?

I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I can tell you the one thing I’ve learned over the years where following a strict regimen is concerned, it doesn’t matter when you eat so long as you’re managing to eat right regularly.

What has always–and continues to–work for me is to shoot for a set amount of calories per day and spread the amount out over the course of my productive hours.

It doesn’t matter if that means I’m eating three, four, or six meals in a day, so long as each meal is as balanced–caloric and nutritional wise–as possible.

By doing this, at least in my case, I’m able to adjust my food intake to the length of my day as opposed to depending on food intervals (breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, etc.) to dictate where my day begins and ends food wise.

The primary reason–in my humble opinion–most nutritionists offer the six meal a day suggestion plan is to get people who don’t exercise good eating habits into the mode of eating regular meals. Regular meals are a necessary part of any successful fitness plan.

However, your plan has to work for you and what works for you may not be what works for everybody.

The key, in any case, is to keep your metabolism moving in the right direction and that can be done in any number of ways–even if that way appears chaotic and unstructured in nature.

Find what works for you and do that because there is certainly more than one way to approach a healthy lifestyle.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

My Contentious Relationship With Food

My love affair with food is a contentious one. Some days I wake up craving something sinful—like a bleu cheese burger with bacon and grilled mushrooms—while others I find that I am quite happy shying away from all things high fat, high cholesterol, and high trouble in favor of no meat at all.

The thing about feeding the body is it’s always sending you messages about what you want, not necessarily what you need, and how you respond to those cues is paramount to how well your lifestyle of healthy living will be tolerated by it and you.

On a daily basis I’m trying to make choices as to how I can not only continue to stay on track, but how I can find more foods that will stimulate my palate and excite me when I’m at the dinner table. It’s something that I’ve found to be a struggle at times—particularly as a mommy-on-a-budget.

Every two weeks I sit down and plan all of my meals individually, deciding my menu based on what’s both cost efficient and convenient and, despite my desire to be creative, I still end up with the same basic items from the grocery store—tofo, soy, and beans. And while I’ve been able to be creative with those ingredients, it’s still a grind because I’ve gone from offering myself a world of options (options that included as much meat, dairy, and sugar as I liked) to a much more limited one.

That said, I don’t regret the decision to make those changes one bit. I feel and look better than I ever have and the increases in energy, stamina, and confidence are a definite plus. But, even with all of those positives, I have to continually find ways to be well-disciplined so that bad habits don’t overwhelm my good senses.

For instance, there are days where I don’t have time to prepare breakfast or lunch prior to the start of the day. That often leads to incessant snacking, at least in my case, because I am, literally, hungry all the time. That hunger, I know, is as a result of the calories I’m burning even while sitting completely still. So, to appease that hunger, I might take a bite of a muffin here, a piece of chocolate there, or pile on the carbs in hopes that I will find satiation in a hurry—and I often don’t.

Sugar and carbs simply doesn’t cut it for me and eventually, at least in my case, I cave to doing what I should have done at the start—prepare a wholesome meal to eat.

Being healthy has a lot to do with being disciplined and the one isn’t truly possible without the other.

How Vain Are You?

I’m not a fan of overly arrogant people because, by and large, their attitudes stink. They don’t appear to have any genuine humility and often act like they are most entitled people in the world. It’s a particularly unattractive trait in a man—I’m sure that opinion has to do with my being a woman—and it’s certainly a personality marker that can make or break any personal relationship I attempt to foster with an individual.

That said, I readily admit I’m a vain about being “fit” and though I don’t go around shoving my fitness methods in people’s faces, I am aware that I work hard to have the body I do and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m proud of its progress compared to where it was two years ago.

In my opinion, some level of vanity is necessary if I hope to get to the “goddesss” body that I am always referring to. You simply can’t reach your best you without being a stickler for things like food and how much, and the kinds, you consume or getting serious about how you approach your workout sessions. 

You have to say to yourself ‘I’m going to do this the right way or not at all’ because, otherwise, you’re not on a fitness mission, you’re just exercising.

Complete attention to detail is necessary in order to reach your maximum potential.

So, you’re likely wondering who am I to say this to anyone? After all, I don’t have any fitness products attached to my name and, as far as you know, I might not even work out everyday.

Being an unseen blogger can give the wrong impression I’m sure.

Well, without letting loose a barrage of photos, I’ll only say you’ll have to trust me when I tell you I take being fit very seriously and I do exercise on a regular basis—five, sometimes six, times per week.

It’s not a hobby for me, it’s a lifestyle. And that lifestyle is built on one principle: maximizing my efforts to reach my greatest potential physically. I’m not satisfied with only being able to fit into a particular size jeans or looking great in a bikini. I want to be able to look in the mirror and say ‘damn, girl’ and know that I did that all by myself.

Is that a little vain?  Probably.

Still, though, what’s wrong with a little vanity between the mirror and you?