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Where to start?

I used to be really good at this blogging thing. Ok, maybe not good, but at least competent.

I had lists, plans, and a direction. Now I kind of feel like a bag of bouncy balls has been released inside my brain, and they're all clamoring for attention. All of those little ideas wants to be let out now. They want to show the world what they can do, or at least get out of my brain, so its a little less cluttered.

A lot has happened since October last year, but I'm going to talk about my approach to fitness. I actually dislike that phrase a lot. Approach to fitness. Am I stalking it? Is it prey? A pretty bird that needs to be in a zoo somewhere? Is it a disease?

I more consider my running and exercise as a part of my life. Its a daily routine. Like brushing my teeth. Endorphins have become part of my happy place. I need them. If I don't get them I can give my toddler a run for her money in the tantrum department.

I've been asked numerous times how I started, what changed, what made me decide, how to you stick to your diet? Um is usually my first response. If you've read my Journey page, then you know I did not have a bolt of lightening moment when it came to getting healthy. I was enveloped. I adapted.

How do I stick with it? Determination, fear, and discipline. Two of those answers are probably expected. One, maybe, not so much. I've had this discussion with friends who've lost a lot of weight, struggle with a fluctuating weight or are just a tad neurotic. Just an FYI, I fall into two of these categories.
Think about why you started
I fear going back to what I was. It causes me a slight neurosis. Slight might be the wrong word. Moderate might be better. Luckily, I know what to do to abate those fears. Exercise. Eat healthy. Enjoy life. It could be as simple as a quick mile long walk with the kids. Kids make exercising that much more fun. I feel like patience required to exercise with your children means more calories burned. I'm joking (mostly). My kids are awesome about our exercising. They love our gym, and they've gone on training runs with me. My boys ride their bikes, while the girl sits pretty in her huge stroller while I push it around the hills. Exercising is a family affair in the house. My husband and I regularly talk about our plans and goals, what we're going to do to accomplish them, etc. It is a part of our family life. Same as school, work and chores.

I'm not losing weight. I'm getting rid of it.
The funny thing about a healthy lifestyle is it isn't one big change. Its a lot of small changes that equal one big result. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Eventually those stairs will not be as challenging. Cut out soda, and replace it with water. See what happens. The key to a healthy lifestyle is not to forget to cheat. Cheating is fun. On your period and craving a snickers bar? Have the freaking snickers bar. It won't kill you. If you've been good all day and minded your P's and Q's then go ahead and have 1/2 of that snickers bar. Its about 125 calories.

Now, I'm not one that has a diet, per se. I eat. I love food. I like wine. I love sweets. I am not going to give up coffee, but I am almost constantly dehydrated. Its who I am. So to try and deal with my chronic dehydration, I cycle in water. I allow myself 2 cups of coffee in the morning, and then the rest of the day I need to drink from Bubba. Bubba is my 48 oz jug of water. After those 48 oz of water are gone, then I can have more coffee. Then its another 16-48 oz of water. Then usually more coffee or a glass of wine or hard cider after dinner. I try to have at least double the amount of water to coffee. My usual cup is 12 oz. I eat sensibly too. I try to fill half of my plate with veggies. I don't take an enormous portion of meat. 4-6 oz is enough of any type of meat. Yes, I have weighed my food. Until I got comfortable with how big a healthy portion size was.

I've also learned to listen to my body. A lot. I know when I'm getting full. When I haven't had enough protein, not enough fiber, etc. I adjust. Being a woman is so much fun, because our nutritional requirements is constantly changing. Not that our caloric intake is changing, but what vitamins and nutrients our bodies need at any given time. Yay! Hormones! Not. Its really damned difficult sometimes to figure out if I really need that chocolate or if its something else. Usually its something else.

Keeping a food diary helps, and I was awesome at recording everything when I was just learning all this stuff and during training for my first half. Training for my first half was an adventure I'll detail in another post. Suffice to say my training was almost like a full time job.

I think I've made my point. Or at least a point. If you've made it this far, then thank you, and if you scrolled ahead to the last paragraph then I'll leave you with this -
A small change can make a big difference
I don't remember which poem it was I read in elementary school about the girl who ate the whale, but she did it one bite at a time. That's how I approached my goals. One bite, one step, one mile, one sweat droplet at a time. They all add up.


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