When I started this blog at the beginning of 2014 my motivation was, and still is, to develop a Sound Mind in a Healthy Body, all the while sharing my research, findings and applications with you so that you too will enjoy a healthful life! Upon beginning, and incidentally in your endeavors always remember what Aristotle said, “Well begun is half done,” my goal was to gain strength and vitality as a result of losing excess. My bullseye was hit a size 8 from a 10 by exercising a ton via training for a duathlon. This training would allow me to burn lots of calories and simultaneously get me to my size. I did train, and I did complete my duathlon, but I didn’t reach my target number because of a back injury which forced me to significantly reduce my workouts. In a serendipitous manner, my injury led me to the truth about food, its consequences & what our body requires to survive effectively. It also forced me to evaluate myself honorably. Today’s blog is about being honest with yourself and how you treat your one and only body.
An injury will set you back, but you have to get back in the saddle one step at a time. That was my intention between July and September, to get back to my intense workouts so I could burn calories and lose weight. My healing endeavor involved physical therapy, epsom salt baths, stretching, Pilates, water running, massages and slow walking. All these actions helped in the moment, but not in the long run. After 3 months passed by, I was starting to feel a little hopeless and then one day, someone who remains unnamed, told me the truth, “Your back and legs are carrying too much weight.” Ughhhhh, I had been in denial that extra pounds would have such a harmful effect on my body, and as a result I couldn’t move fast enough to get the metabolism up and the weight down. In this moment, I wanted so badly to get pain free that I firmly decided to formally get on an eating plan that would allow me to rid my body of flubber and toxins and return to a healthy back. Mind you, I have been on dozens of eating plans and programs in my life, but now I needed accountability & a lifestyle change, not because I wanted to be in a smaller size, but because I wanted RELIEF!! On September 15th I signed up for Precision Nutrition- a program with purpose, education and simplicity. Day one was to weigh in and measure body fat. Before I went for the dreaded reality check on the scale, I hadn’t been on one in 2 years, I had guesstimated my weight. My guess was 10 pounds too light, and I was actually devastated that the number had crept up to where it had. Jenifer, who runs the PN class, also took pictures of me and those alarmed me as well. When I reach my goal I’ll share my weight and pics with you! To date I have dropped 9 pounds, and honestly my back is 50 percent better. Can you imagine what another 12 pounds off my joints will do for relief?
Precision Nutrition has been refreshing to say the least, and it totally supports my mission to develop a Sound Mind In a Healthy Body; here is why: the food choices are lean and foster a lean body, the choices are a result of thinking and planning which develop clarity, the amount of food is just right and doesn’t leave a feeling of bloating and heaviness and the content of food helps you run a clean engine. Incidentally, the food is a blend of veggies, proteins and good grains/fats. Nothing fancy or new, just balance and a combo of foods that fuel our bodies. Incidentally, I believe the only way to keep a healthy eating lifestyle is to eat fresh, organic and delicious. Thats where recipes come into play. Preparing clean foods with herbs, spices and flavoring will keep your taste buds dancing and interested. We have to eat to survive, but we should eat foods we enjoy and foods that allow us to perform well in life!
Honestly, food is a large and important component to feeling robust and living in a healthy body. An approach I’m taking to food, and will forever more take with food, is; where does this food come from and what nutrients are in it to help me live stronger? Is this food jammed with ingredients that my body cannot digest, or ingredients that rot my liver? Does the food I’m eating live on a shelf or a refrigerator? Non foods can exist for weeks and months and even years on a shelf. These items are detrimental to your well being. Foods that are grown from the earth (greens, plant life, veggies) are super good for you. Meats and proteins grown organically are good for you. I’ve recently learned that eggs and meats that come from animals loaded with hormones and antibiotics transfer those toxins to the person eating them. There is so much to learn about our food today, but remember this: When eating, only consume what is good and safe for your body. We can explore the organic way next time, but for now, remember to eat clean and lean foods that fuel your body, not harm it. AND- begin to avoid excess sugar, according to Tosca Reno, sugar is enemy number one. The effects are negative, and cause side effects.
Also- be aware that when you get frustrated with eating lean and healthfully, don’t feel isolated because our society perpetuates thoughtless choices. The offerings are centered around eating large quantities with empty calories. It takes planning and thought to eat healthfully. Daily, we are eating faster and at random. During one of my past radio interviews with Dawn Jackson Blatner, Food and Nutrition Expert, she reiterated the importance of sitting down to a meal with a plate, fork, knife and fully balanced meal. No standing and eating, and no eating on the go. Certainly that old adage about, it takes twenty minutes for your head to tell your body it is full is accurate. On the subject of habits, Nicholas Christakis, a physician and social scientist at Harvard, found when examining data from a long-term study of the residents of Framingham, Mass., health habits can be as contagious as a cold virus. By his calculation, a Framingham individual’s chances of becoming obese shot up by 57 percent if a friend became obese.
Additionally, it may not be only what we are eating; it may also be what we are not eating. “Are we doing something positive, or is it the absence of something negative?” Gary Taubes is a founder of the nonprofit Nutrition Science Initiative and the author of “Why We Get Fat” (and has written several articles for this magazine). “One explanation why people live so long is they eat a plant-based diet. Or it could be the absence of sugar and white flour. For example, from what I know of the Greek diet, they eat very little refined sugar, and their breads have been traditionally made with stone-ground wheat.”
Besides these helpful habits, I have discovered that when I eat foods that are clean, organic and fresh, I am naturally yielding mental clarity and physical soundness. My body reacts to the food I give it. It’s a simple formula.
Once you are sincere with yourself about the status of your body & the effects of your food choices, you will automatically begin to desire real food that tastes delicious & eliminate food and drink that is harmful, consequently allowing you to achieve the body you deserve-honest!