Tuesday, May 31, 2011

To Deadline or Not To Deadline...

that is the question.

Life is full of deadlines. They help keep us on track, get our work completed in a timely fashion, and make decisions in a reasonable amount of time. But when it comes to "getting in shape" do they help us or hurt us?

Everyone has something coming up in the future. A wedding, a reunion, a vacation (or some combination of those), and we all want to be the best we can be, but do setting our fitness goals based on these dates really help us get there? Lately, I've been thinking "not so much."

Life is a series of important events. And because of this, we can always push our deadlines back to meet the next one. In that way, we're never focusing on being happy and healthy, but instead focusing on our outward appearance for the next event. You can say that you want to lose 10 lbs. before you head to the beach. And you might (or not). But what comes next?

Being truly happy and healthy, and living life to the fullest, requires a commitment all the time.

Notice I didn't say it requires being on a diet all the time. That would be awful.

You are who you are, so let the events happen when they may. Set more commitment-based goals (I will exercise 4-5 days per week, I won't eat when I'm bored, I'll drink plain water instead of soda or juice). Soon you'll feel better than ever, and be happier, too. Why? Because you gave up the cycle of deadline dieting and started living. It's definitely better.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Say Yes To Stress

This is going to be short and sweet because I have so much to do tonight.

I was running around all day at work, and when I was on my way home, I had a mini-revelation. I was so busy all day that I didn't have time to sit and dwell on food. And, knowing I still had so much to do over the next few days, I saw eating as an opportunity to really use food as fuel. 

So many times people use stress as an excuse to eat poorly, but it's really a chance for us to give ourselves more of the healthy foods we need. When we know we have to be in a million places at once and burn the midnight oil, we should be turning to healthier options. Stress puts us in a situation of giving maximum output, but we won't be our best unless we fuel ourselves the right way.

Does stress turn you into a cookie monster or an extreme machine?

Also, on another quick note about challenges, it looks like I won't have an opportunity to work out much (if at all this weekend). I usually dread these times because I look to burn off some of those extra calories by hitting the gym. But, I think this is a chance to see how I do eating mindfully. If I'm not stuffing myself, I should be a-ok. Not that I advocate giving up fitness for any length of time, but realistically, a 30 minute workout only burns a few cookies. If I'm living the non-diet life, I should be listening to my needs and not my wants.

Ok, that's all I have time for. Happy Memorial Weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eating While Hungry

I'm not really sure what to write here. My thoughts? Struggles? Insights? Tell me what you think!

Did you ever notice that the worst time to eat is when you're hungry? Or really, the hardest time to keep your resolve is when you're hungry?

That happened to me today. I was *trying* to run some errands after work today. After getting turned around, "accidentially" driving in the HOV lanes (I was real low on gas, I couldn't afford to sit in traffic), finding the most expensive gas station in the DMV (seriously, I checked, it was outrageous), spending more than an hour driving three miles through the city to get a gift at a place that turns out not to carry it, I was starving.

And I was across the street from McDonalds.

So I went in.

Yea, you read that right. That's what this is all about.

I messed up in planning on zipping around town during rush hour and getting everything taken care of in a few minutes. I knew I'd be hungry around 5-5:30, but didn't have anything in the works or in my bag. I didn't know how long it would take me to get home, but I knew I'd be unstoppable once I got there.

Fast food doesn't have to be terrible. I didn't have to order everything on the menu. Or supersize my meal. Or even get a meal. I just had to get enough. But I didn't get a salad (I hate salads, more on that in the future). I got a 6 piece nuggets and a small smoothie. Because it's about listening to yourself and thinking about what you want.

Hunger can really overwhelm the signals. A 20 piece nugget meal sounded great, but that really wasn't practical. Or reasonable.

Reflecting on this, I probably should have gotten a water. I was really thirsty and that smoothie didn't do anything to quench my thirst. But this is a learning experience.

Welcome to the diet-free life

I've been on a diet almost my whole life. I've struggled with my weight almost my whole life.

Recently I've just become so tired of it all. It has to end. I have to get a grip over it. I have to be in charge of the food, not the other way around.

Do you have those friends that seem to eat whatever they want, when they're hungry, and stop when they're full? They don't agonize over menu choices. They eat what their bodies need. I want to be like that. I want to be in control, to have moderation.

I thought I could do this all on my own, but I realize that I do need to write about it. For me, I need to get some thoughts down on paper ("paper" haha). And maybe what I say can help someone else. It's a journey, but we all need guidance once in a while.

So, welcome to my journey.