Something changed in me earlier this year. On New Years Eve I remember writing:
"Twenty Twelve is going to be about: reinventing, reigniting, dusting off, peeling layers, walking upright, smiling, laughing, trusting, and loving with an open hand."
Any you know what? Four months later it has been about all of those things. I'm feeling a little proud for keeping a resolution for the first time ever. I don't really know what my motivation has been (I'm not even sure that I can articulate what has changed) other than I just knew I wanted to be different.
I'm dreaming more. I'm taking risks. I'm doing things for the first time. I'm pushing myself. I'm getting stronger. I'm getting faster. All the while I'm feeling like me. A better version of Me. A version that I haven't known in a long time.
(out to lunch a few weeks ago.)
One of the specific areas of my life that I have remodeled since the first of the year has been my diet and my exercise routine. Many of you have asked me to share more about this. I'll do my best.
The first thing to go was sugar. That's just a no brainer. I use a smidge of agave nectar here and there, but no sugar, no fake sugar, not really any honey either.
I've always known that I'm sensitive to carbohydrates. I cannot eat them in moderation. I eat them in binges. So, I cut out all wheat, grains, beans, and pasta. Just in the last few weeks I've begun to add oatmeal and brown rice back in tiny portions. I allow myself 1/2 cup every other day. I have to watch it because it gets out of control fast! So no crackers, no bread, no tortillas, no muffins, none of that stuff. I know, hard! The first 2 weeks were terrible. But once I came through it got easier.
I pretty much stick to lean meat (mostly poultry and fish) and occasional small portions of red meat. I love eggs and eat them everyday! Hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, fried- they are a great source of cheap protein.
(Ready for roasting. I love to cook up huge batches of veggies so that I have them on hand all throughout the week.)
I eat tons and tons of veggies. There's no limit to veggies, but I don't eat potatoes and corn which are very starchy/sugary. Leafy greens are the greatest base layer to any meal. I try to cover at least 3/4 of my plate with veggies. It's so easy to make a salad out of left over chicken or salmon. I usually cook extra for that reason. The possibilities are endless. I love pinterest for new recipe ideas.
I love cheese but my body isn't crazy about dairy. I usually just use it as a garnish in small bits. I do eat yogurt and cottage cheese with live cultures every day. I love both with a little fruit and a sprinkle of ground flax. Sometimes I put a little agave nectar on too. I only have milk (whole milk) in my coffee. I never drink it by the glass or eat cereal. It just doesn't agree. Recently, I've developed a weak spot for froyo. Bad, bad, bad.
Speaking of coffee I drink 2-3 cups of decaf a day. I love it. Can't imagine giving it up. I also drink green tea after lunch. It gives me a little boost to make it through the afternoon. I love licorice tea in the evening. It is sweet and satisfies my craving for treats. Other than that I love to drink sparkling mineral water. The bubbles make me feel full. I usually take one with me in the car when I'm driving kids around or doing errands. I limit alcohol to 1x week and even then, I don't drink much.
In terms of snacking I love grapefruit, larabars, cocoa almonds, celery + peanut butter, string cheese, smoothies, flackers, artichoke hearts from the jar, pickles, olives, and cut up veggies with guacamole. My weakness is anything salty/crunchy. I do nibble on dark chocolate from time to time too.
I usually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and 2 snacks. I try to stay out of the kitchen after dinner (which we eat around 6pm). I'm a hungry girl come breakfast time!
In terms of exercise, it's just about doing it. In the beginning it was drudgery. Once I got going it became something I couldn't live without. I am a pretty high energy person and I really need this outlet. Growing up I was a ballet dancer and had classes/rehearsals almost every day of the week. I've always thought of myself as an athlete, but motherhood has taken a toll. It feels good to see my muscles again, and to feel strong. I'm training for a triathlon this summer so I'm swimming, biking, and running (a little- I'm not an endurance athlete. I have more short-twitch muscle fibers and so I'm doing my darnedest to just make it 3 measly miles). More than anything I just try to break a sweat everyday. Sometimes that simply means cleaning, or having a dance party with the kids. I've had to sort of let go of this "all or nothing" ideal in my mind. Realistically there are days where time is short or I can't break away from the kids for an hour or more to workout. Even if I only get out for a quick walk or have time to do a few lunges...it's better than doing nothing! This video rocks. It's only 20 minutes and it can really kick my butt. Who doesn't have 20 minutes?
(mid pirouette during a back yard ballet session)
So that's it. I feel amazing. I have so much energy. I've lost 20lbs. I'm still working at it. It's been hard, requiring pure discipline and willpower... but it's so encouraging to see results. This is not to say that I am completely without insecurities or bad days (ask me how many chocolate Easter eggs I ate today?!). I think I'll always have hang-ups when it comes to my physical appearance. But for now, nothing in my closet fits me-- in a good way. It's been a great excuse to start building a new spring/summer wardrobe!!