Tuesday, March 3, 2015

back to basics

where to begin?

i'm not quite sure, actually.

my first post, written months ago, had been brewing in me for a long time. it was something i just had to get out and off my chest.  and then - pow! a weight was lifted.

have things been bubbling inside again?  i'm not sure. maybe.  a little.  probably?

ok, maybe this will be clear:

i want to focus my life on health and wellness.

it's easy (for me) to lose focus.  i've learned so much about health, fitness, wellness, but its often easy for me to overlook and "forget" what i know. i have to remember what a nutritionist from a podcast i listen to says "to know and to not do, is the same result as not knowing." if you know something, but don't act on it, it's the exact thing as if you didn't know it. in fact, you're not proving you do know something. so, i need to take all of my knowledge and actually use it. move forward, put it to good use.

for the month of march, to get back on track, i am hoping to follow the following principles:

  1. no gluten. i definitely have an allergy to gluten - more to come on that. i don't really miss it when i'm not eating it, but once i have a little, that leads to a lot. i'm not a moderator, i'm an abstainer. so i need to give it up and be consistent.  i'm actually pretty good about this.
  2. no dairy. i gave up dairy last fall and lost 15 pounds (over the course of a month). i went back to dairy and within a week i had gained 8 pounds back. this is actually the part where i need to be VERY consistent and i'm not as good at it. i don't even LIKE dairy. the only thing i like is a starbucks chai - its a morning habit. a ritual. but its not good for you. and its expensive. i could save hundreds of dollars a year by giving that up.
  3. no alcohol. i actually plan on giving up alcohol for march AND april, but i will allow myself some bubbly at my housewarming party. alcohol leads to inflammation, is drinking calories, makes me not sleep, etc. all sorts of bad.
  4. no tortilla chips. i wonder if i have an allergy or intolerance to corn. i need to explore this further, but this is my biggest vice. i LOVE sweet potato chips with avocado. mmm.  let's just try this for a month and see how things go.
i think that's it. for now anyway.

i'm recommitting myself to this journey and hope to write more about it soon.

what health principles do you try to follow?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Welcome! And Background...

Four months ago, I was visiting my family in the midwest (I live in Boston).  We were out to eat at a golf course, sitting outside under the beautiful July sun.  My brother burped, but I was the only one to hear it.  I looked at him and made some comment about how I never really burp.  Or fart, for that matter.  (Should I be saying pass gas??)  I said something along the lines of "I eat really healthy food and so my body never does those things."  He snapped at me, "You do NOT eat healthy food."  I honestly didn't know what to say.  I was so shocked.

I basically haven't lived at home in fifteen years, when I left for college, so our time together has been here and there over the years.  I should explain that I actually see my family often, at least for someone who lives 1500 miles away.  I typically go home 4-6 times a year for 4-7 days and then my family typically visits me once a year wherever I'm living (I've traveled around quite a bit).  Granted, when I was young I did not eat healthily.  Senior year of high school, I had a butternut cookie and a bag of bbq chips for lunch every day.  And I have always loved LOVED loved candy corn and general sugary candies (never chocolate, though, and I'm sure I'll get in to that in this blog).  I was a vegan for two years during college, and a vegetarian for thirteen years (both of which I'll discuss in later, as well).  During those times of admittedly unhealthily eating, I was actually thin.  And I looked in shape.  I was curvy.  And I was probably generally healthy.  I'll try to get a digital copy of myself from back then.  No one would have called me overweight.

And then... health got away from me.  There are a lot of reasons why, and I'll explore those, but suffice it to say that today I am overweight and have health issues.  I've been working on these issues for about two years and am starting to see results (will explain why it seems like its taking a long time later - basically, stay tuned, LOTS of stuff is coming), but its slow-going.

For the past two years, I eat fairly cleanly (relatively no processed foods) and would say that my only vice is alcohol.  I try to follow a gluten-free diet, am struggling to give up dairy and corn (based upon doctor's recommendations), and have learned a lot about nutrition and health.

So, why, on that gorgeous North Dakota summer evening would my brother think that I don't eat healthily?

The answer is: I don't LOOK like I eat healthily.

And that moment really made me realize that you can't judge a book my its cover.  You can't judge a person's health just by looking at him or her.  A model might be very skinny, but may not have proper health and nutrition.  When looking at an overweight person, it's easy to imagine him stuffing his face with donuts every morning.

When looking at me, you might not realize that I meet with a nutritionist once a month, do reformer Pilates three-four times a week, take supplements, have an adrenal gland problem, exorbitantly bizarre cortisol levels, low vitamin D levels, have problems sleeping, etc.

But all of that is true.  I wasn't an overweight child or teen, or even young adult.  I started to gain weight when I was about 24.  24?  Maybe.  I'm not quite sure, honestly.  For the past 7-9 years, I have been heavy and have had to buy new clothes.  I'm embarrassed when I meet new people because I think "this isn't me.  I don't actually look like this in my mind."  Friends and family know what I used to look like, so I assume they know the "real me."  And that is my goal here.  Get back to the person that I feel like.  Not the person I see in the mirror.