The Fight to Get Fit

28 Feb

I’ve struggled with weight all of my life.  Once upon a time, I was an athlete, but that all changed after two knee surgeries and a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Weight Watchers and I have been friends, and then enemies.  I’ve run 5ks only to never put my running shoes back on.  I start, and then stop.  It isn’t that I don’t know what to do; I do.  With all the reading and practicing I’ve done over the years, I know what has worked for me and what hasn’t.  I just need that push to not only start, but to keep going.

All of us who have struggled with the battle of the bulge have probably gone through the same thing.  We get into a routine, and then life throws a curve ball we can’t hit.  We give up.  We settle back into the bad habits we fought so hard to break, and then we feel guilty and ashamed and we give up.

Yesterday I wrote about my dog Molly and how she’s recovering from recent hip surgery.  She’s been my excuse lately as to why I can’t work out, or why I HAVE to eat the fig Newtons in the pantry.  I know this wrong, really I do, but it doesn’t matter.  I still use the excuse.  And what’s worse is that I know if I’m not taking care of myself, how will I be able to take care of Molly?

A few days ago, I started a health journal.  I decided to call it that instead of a food diary or a diet log because my ultimate goal is to be healthy.  I need to lose weight.  I need to control my anxiety.  I need to control the pain and fatigue that kicks my butt everyday because of fibromyalgia.  I need get my blood pressure in a normal range.  Do I want to be skinnier?  Of course.  I’d be lying if I said no.  But I NEED to be fit.  I NEED to be healthy above all else.

A couple of years ago, I picked up one of those Prevention Magazine guides at the supermarket checkout.  It assured me that I could drop a size in 4 days, and that it would give me an hour-by-hour guide to my perfect day of eating.  This guide has some really great things in it, and that day of eating has been super helpful, so I thought I’d share it, and my minor modifications, with you.

My Perfect Day

5am:  Wake up and have a large glass of water with lemon.  Ashley Koff, RD, a nutritionist in LA recommends this because having a glass of water before you eat breakfast helps your body better absorb nutrients from food.  The acidity of the lemon also helps to rebalance your digestive tract, and works as a natural diuretic.

5:15am:  I take my dog for a walk.  Before her surgeries, we walked for about 20 minutes.  That has since been cut down to 5-10 minutes.  I was able to fit in 10-20 minutes of circuit training, but again, I’ve fallen off that wagon and need to get back on it.  And soon.

6:30am:  Breakfast.  This is super important.  EAT BREAKFAST.  I know, I know.  The mornings are rushed.  There’s no time.  Well, make time.  Sometimes I’ll have a high fiber cereal like Kashi Go Lean Crunch with fat free milk and some fruit.  Other times I’ll have some oatmeal, again with fat free milk and fruit.  Fiber and protein are key in the morning.

9:30/10:00am:  Snack time.  Yes.  You need to snack.  But make sure it’s something that has fiber and protein.  For instance, an apple and a cheese stick, or Greek yogurt with  berries.

11:30 am:  This is my lunchtime at school.  I usually have a huge salad with dark greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, sliced turkey or chicken (sometimes tuna), avocado, and some shredded cheese.  If I want to get fancy, I’ll add some berries or some nuts to the salad.  Make it big, make it colorful, and I guarantee that you’ll be full.  Go with a light or olive oil-based dressing.  I actually love the yogurt dressings you can find in the produce section of the market.  I always try to take my vitamins with lunch, too.

2:30/3:00pm:  Snack time.  Again.  We all need a little something during the “afternoon slump” to make it through to dinner.  Like your first snack, it should have a balance of fiber and protein:  a yogurt with berries or high fiber cereal mixed in, a banana, some carrots, or an apple and some peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter).  You can get fancy here if you’d like and break out the stash of dark chocolate (70% or higher) and have an ounce.  I always have Dove Promises in my desk drawer, you know, just in case.

5:30pm:  Now is a good time to fit in some exercise.  I always take Molly out for a walk when I get home, so I’m primed and ready to go.  It’s also a great way to keep you from snacking on something you probably shouldn’t snack on.  Mark exercise on your calendar and treat it like you would an appointment or a meeting – you can’t miss it.

6:30/7:00pm:  Dinnertime.  This can be tough.  Sometimes I’ll crave macaroni and cheese from the blue box, but I know that if I eat it, I won’t feel so great.  I don’t really eat a lot of meat (no red meat at all), so my dinners usually consist of chicken, turkey, or full-on veggies.  I wish I liked fish, but I don’t.  That doesn’t stop me from trying it, but I haven’t found anything that I would eat on a regular basis.  I try to fill half of my plate with veggies, one-quarter with my protein and the other quarter with some kind of starch/carb (sweet potatoes, rice, etc.)

8:00pm:  If I’m still craving something, I’ll have a piece of fruit or some popcorn, maybe even a piece of chocolate if I didn’t indulge earlier in the day.  But I always have a mug of Sleepytime Extra tea.  Fibromyalgia really messes with my sleep schedule, so this helps me relax and get to sleep, usually around 9pm.

Throughout the day, I drink about 10 8oz. glasses of water, and a few mugs of decaf tea with honey.  And I try to move as much as possible, even if it’s just to walk around the building during a prep period or my lunch time.

So that’s my day. Hope it helps and inspires you!

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2 Responses to “The Fight to Get Fit”

  1. Derek February 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Good luck, lady! Whatever happens is only an improvement on the already fantastic.

    You sound like me. I hate fish, red meat, pork. Chicken and turkey is it but I am particular about it. I am not very much into grilled stuff (sans turkey kielbasa, which is totally THE shit), so of course that means I need it breaded, which totally wrecks the waist line.

    My biggest obstacle is bread. I love it. It loves me, but in the wrong places. My most favorite thing in the world to eat is probably the worst.

    Currently, going gluten free is ok, but it is ridiculously hard sometimes.

    • stacy1220 February 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

      Going gluten free has to be a downer, especially for a carb-o-holic! I’ve found some decent veggie and gf recipes on Pinterest – my other new obsession. I’ll have to pass them along!

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