Creating a new you
Last updated 10/13/2006 at Noon
I always wanted to look my best in my 40s. After viewing some photos of myself (especially in that vacation bathing suit!) I knew it was time to get serious. I’m not sure why I waited until now, but maybe it was a way to get through the childrearing years when I needed to focus on my family of six. Unless you are Wonder Woman and highly organized and disciplined, it just isn’t easy to make yourself a priority while making sure the family is getting the attention they need. Moms tend to put others first, which is in their nature for good reason. But for me, now the kids are all pretty self-sufficient and while I still have a demanding growing business, it was time to keep that promise to myself.
Over the last year I have been successful in changing my lifestyle and eating habits a bit and I’ve lost 30 pounds and 15 inches, which is only half my goal. It’s taken a year, but it took about 15 to put it all on. I have to take comfort in the fact that I’m at least moving in the right direction.
The first three things I decided to focus on were: eating better, drinking more water and toning. I hate drinking water and I’ve tried lots of “diets.” I don’t really like exercising, unless it’s something fun like skiing or water sports. But, I found some things that have actually worked for me. I hope this helps some of you.
First I started buying different drink products like Propel, Smart Water, etc., which are flavored waters. 305 West, here in town, also has a great variety of flavors of actual fruit extracts to flavor your water that are good for you. I particularly enjoy the cranberry and peach flavors. The little bottles are easy to carry with you or keep at work. Convenience is the key for everything. I also made it a habit to drink a full glass of water before bed and as soon as I woke up in the morning. I was told that you should drink a liter for every 50 pounds of weight. While I didn’t enjoy it at first, after a while I really got used to it. Now I prefer water and the flavored waters are too sweet unless I water them down. I rarely drink sodas or even juices.
My good friend and co-worker Michele helped me get started eating better by inviting me over to her house, and together one Saturday we pre-made about 30 days’ worth of little chicken meatloaves made from ground white chicken, bell peppers, sweet onions, carrots, celery, curry, garlic and other spices. No salt! This was the best thing that I could have done. I now had pre-made lunches and snacks. I would throw in some salad or vegetables, or some cooked brown rice and eat a little fruit in between and boy, the weight just seemed to start coming off easier than ever. I converted my whole diet to a low-fat, low-salt and low-sugar diet. This is also my preferred diet now that my body is used to it. All it took was some pre-made food for a month! I don’t only each chicken. I use any low-fat meat. The hardest thing that I found to cut was salt. I’ve never really paid any attention to sodium contents in food, and boy, is it everywhere! Of course, the place where you rarely find high-sodium content is in fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade meals. See, our moms were right!
Anyway, I do fall off the wagon sometimes, and I make it a habit to do so once a week, which is probably why the weight hasn’t come off faster. When I go out to eat (which is regularly) I am just careful about what I order. There are lots of healthy alternatives at local restaurants. I’ll write about that another week.
Here’s the worst part—exercise! Can I just start by saying that I also hate exercise? It’s no wonder why I found myself in this shape in the first place. This is the last frontier for me. I love Club Paradise and 1-2-3 Fit, and it’s my goal to get there on a regular basis starting in January, but I did find something to get me started. I just felt so heavy and out of shape I needed a transition.
I was already going to 305 West to buy Color Science makeup, which I really like, and the extracts for my waters. I was intrigued by her ads for reducing weight without surgery, so I talked to Julie Bez and decided to try her Diamond Lift. It takes about an hour or so per session and it is something like physical therapy for your muscles. Two of my friends, one from Europe and one from South Africa, told me that they used to do it regularly in their home countries.
First of all, after four childbirths (one C-section) my stomach muscles were shot. I tried to do one sit-up and it was almost impossible. After going to 305 West for the treatment I could feel the difference in the toning of my muscles and after three treatments (one week), I was able to do 17 sit-ups. That was amazing to me. I also felt the serotonin lift (like you get after exercising) and there was no soreness. I did it for about seven weeks, took a break and now have started it again. The great thing about this is (like the flavored water) it is a great transition to working out, but I can actually get work done or listen to books on CD while I’m toning! It’s great for me, anyway. After all this, I’ve lost seven inches on my hips, three and a half inches from my waist and five inches on arms and legs.
It was important for me to set small goals and reward myself for reaching them. We have great spas in town and we happen to have an ongoing business relationship with both Simplify Your Life and Wellness Spa, so I rewarded myself by going to the spa.
We have great resources here in town to live healthier and happier lives. I encourage you to write down what you need to focus on and just start moving in that direction. Next I’m going to learn to love exercise. Don’t wait for the new year and forget resolutions—just start!