I’m not sure why I joined, but the sinking feeling that something was not quite the right fit for me began when the coordinator called me and told me where to check in to get my attendance noted and that I would be joining the lilies group. Lilies. Attendance. Really. Nonetheless, I forged ahead and attended my first “moms group” meeting.
The meeting began with breakfast, which was a variety of dishes brought by the group leaders. In short, this was NOT “my kind of food”. There was no kale. No quinoa. There were refrigerator cookie dough cookies, cheesy potatoes and other processed foods in vast quantities. In fact, my lactose-intolerance would have prevented me from eating about 80% of the dishes even if I wanted to try them. Next was an icebreaker exercise which began harmlessly with “what’s your favorite type of book to read?”. I can wax exponentially about almost any genre of book, so I was good here. But the next question asked about what kind of candy bar you coveted – you know, the one you hid from your kids and quietly consumed in the closet. The one I did WHAT with? Do people really still eat candy bars?
While I reflected on the myriad of issues involved with getting a processed sugar fix in the CLOSET and the various food issues implied by this behavior, the rest of the moms discussed Kit Kat Bites and other such wonders that aren’t on my radar. Soon, everyone had said their piece but me. When all the heads turned towards me expectantly, I frankly stated, “I don’t eat candy bars. I guess I have an occasional piece of really dark chocolate.” Add in my not-large body and cue the death-ray stares.
The immediate response from one of the largest woman was, “oh you’re so good”, but I think this isn’t quite the right phrasing. Maybe if people thought, “you must feel so good”, that candy bar would be less tempting because I promise that my body feels better without the extra weight (I would know, I had some for quite a bit of this calendar year) and without putting that chemical stuff in my body. And while I don’t have a thyroid, depression or other bodily factors working against my weight loss, the extra pounds post-baby didn’t just melt away. They were hard fought with both diet and exercise. While my breastfeeding status demands I consume quite a bit of calories, I’ve largely abstained from bread, pasta and other processed carbs that in the words of a personal trainer, “make weight loss almost impossible”. So this is my message today – eat food that makes you feel good not just for the moment it is in your mouth and not just because you ate the “right” food for a diet, but because your body truly feels more energized and healthy.
Also, sometimes you should probably lie and just use your blog as an outlet.
It’s easy to look at the athletes competing in the Olympics as something akin to aliens. How do the swimmers get their legs to do that funny wavy thing in the butterfly stroke? And exactly how does one flip upside down in the air and land facing the other direction on a beam four inches wide? The answer: a lot of hard work.
I think it’s easier to dismiss “those people” (Olympians) as genetically predispositioned to their sport. While there is a certain amount of this (can you name a 6’1″ female gymnast? I can’t), a whole lot more of their success can be attributed to complete and utter dedication. Ironically, it was a commercial during the Olympics that drove this fact home for me.
The ad is by Citi (view the 30 second spot above or by clicking here) and goes like this:
“Take a day off? I don’t even take a morning off.
I haven’t ordered dessert in two years.
You know that best selling book everyone loves? I haven’t read it.”
Two years off dessert? Gulp. Sugar and I are no stranger. But it’s not a surprising statement from an Olympian. Sugar is known as an “empty calorie” and athletes need a full tank to perform. The tank looks a lot like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein, which is how we all should eat. And honestly, I mostly do, but a recent bout of feeling “not great” had me cooking less and reaching for prepared foods more (which is the worst thing I could have possibly done). The difference in how my body felt was marked. I’m not saying that if you eat like an Olympian you’ll be able to do no handed backflips, but you WILL be able to sleep better, have more energy to run, bike, work or chase kiddos and generally enjoy a higher quality of life. Let the Olympians be your guide.
That’s-so-cool/cute-images-of-the-day: Underwater doggie pics!
Celebrating a new healthy habit like quitting smoking got me thinking. Do I have any heath anniversaries? I did get an email from my gym at the one year mark, but since I’ve always had an active lifestyle (often making ‘active’ an understatement), I didn’t really see this as a milestone. But then again, maybe I have mini-milestones all the time.
I had a nasty bacterial head cold funk thing going for the last few weeks and my diet suffered. I didn’t have the energy or desire to pour into meal planning and preparation and ended up eating three not-so-healthy meals a day instead of my typically stellar five meals of whole foods. After a weekend of baking fun (chocolate chip cookies and molten lava cakes in one weekend? What was I thinking?), I’m back on the wagon with a pleasant reminder- the wagon is never too far away.
It took a healthy dose of antibiotics (and a new cookbook didn’t hurt), but feeling healthy again leaves me wanting to offer support to you, my dear blog reader, in a totally cliche “tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life” sort of way. Do you have an unhealthy habit you can kick? It’s okay to start small – cut down the amount of soda before you cut it out or swap out your morning OJ for a whole orange. After all, it’s harder to get your body to do fun stuff when you put crap in every day. Pick a day, start a new health anniversary and thank me later.
Best-healthy-cooking-resource-of-the-day (I really love it): Clean Eating