Sunday, March 8, 2015

No More Excuses - From Left to Write

I agree that we should exercise to be fit and not skinny. I don't know how many people, myself included, will go on some crazy diet because they want to fit into a wedding dress, or a bathing suit, or they have some event that they want to look good for. They (I) punish their body and if they punish their body hard enough they may lose 5 or 10 pounds, only to gain it back, plus more, within a few weeks after the event.

Very few of us make the commitment to exercise to strengthen our body, to prolong our life, to avoid illness. Exercise is not easy and it's not for the weak either. It takes dedication and sacrifice.

I'll be honest and admit that I'm not a big fan of exercise. The most I do is walk from my office to the bathroom several times a day which is just down the hall. Every once in a while I'll get on a kick and maybe do an exercise video, well about 5 minutes of one; or I'll get on my stationary bike and ride for...oh about 5 minutes and I'm done. I constantly promise myself to do better, when the weather is warmer, when I'm not so stressed out, when the Moon is in Jupiter, every time except RIGHT NOW.

Eat to nourish your body. I really try hard to follow that one. I follow a low carb/high fat diet and I really try to stick with it. During the week it's not so hard, I fast in the morning. I read recently about Intermittent Fasting and it made sense to me. I've been doing it for about 6 months now and if I stick to my low carb diet I can lose weight but since I'm not sticking to it as well as I should I'm just maintaining the weight I'm at right now.

I do know that since beginning to eat low carb/high fat I eat healthier because I eat a lot more salads. Salads filled with romaine lettuce, diced cabbage, jalapenos, cilantro, bell peppers, cucumbers and always some type of protein. I didn't use to eat many salads before. So I definitely feel better and I know that the last time I saw my doctor my blood pressure was good, my cholesterol was ok, no sign of diabetes, she gave me a clean bill of health, except for telling me to lose weight! Grrr! I also drink tons of water, hence making it easier to maintain my exercise routine of heading down he hall to go to the bathroom!

It's that next part in the quote above that gets to me, Ignore the Haters, Doubters and Unhealthy Examples that were once Feeding You. That is harder to do than even exercise! The Haters and Doubters live in my own head! For as long as I can remember I have had a hate/hate relationship with my body, my weight, my self-image. It had nothing to do with seeing pictures of beautiful, thin models. Nothing to do with the fact that my Barbie was thin, or the ads on TV of thin women living gloriously fabulous lives. I didn't want to be thin because Barbie was thin, anymore than I wanted to be blond because Barbie was.  It's something within that I was born with.

As young as age 14 I hated my body and felt that I was fat. I look back at photos of me back then and I was so thin! There's another saying that makes me laugh every time I read it. "I wish I were as fat now as I was the first time I thought that I was fat!"


I remember crying and begging my mom to take me to a doctor to help me to lose weight. My poor mom, what a hellion I must have been because she actually did take me to a doctor who prescribed diet pills for me. This was way back in the day and pretty much these diet pills were basically speed. I can remember taking them and not having an appetite at all. All I wanted to do was clean and I was like a little energizer bunny. But I lost weight and started high school with a thin svelte body, but still I struggled all through high school and after.

I punished my body in high school, I realize that now. I wouldn't eat any breakfast and for lunch my friends and I would walk about three blocks to a convenience store where I would get a small bag of Doritos and a bottle of Dr. Pepper and a bag of peanuts that I would put in the Dr. Pepper, and that was all I would have for lunch. I was involved in lots of activities after school, cheer leading, softball, volleyball, etc and I did all those activities with nothing in my body but the foods mentioned above. Is it any reason that my metabolism now is all screwed up!

Then don't even get me started on my body right after I had my first child! I can remember trying to lose the baby weight with my own version of what was a healthy diet. I remember eating one slice of toast in the morning with nothing but honey on it and my coffee. Then the rest of the day I would eat nothing but air-popped popcorn and water until my husband came home from work and I had to cook for him so I ate what he ate. I can tell you right now, this doesn't work at all, especially not for me that needs to eat as few carbs as possible!

So maybe it's time to just listen to that last line in the quote above, YOU are worth more than you realize. I really have no problem with understanding that. I love myself, I think I'm pretty great, I'm smart and kind and loving and generous and hard working and I could go on and on all day long about the great things I am...but, I'm not happy with my body and honestly that is not what makes me worth more than I realize. I understand my worth, I just wish I could fit all my greatness into a thinner body. 


This post was inspired by The No More Excuses Diet by Maria Kang who shares the no excuses philosophy that motivated her to become more fit. Join From Left to Write on March 12th as we discuss The No More Excuses Diet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.



 

16 comments:

  1. My mom was diagnosed with uterine and cervical cancer last year. Than and several other health issues she is dealing with inspired me to live healthier in 2015. It is funny how health and fitness challenges always end up being about losing weight. I didn't want my challenge to be about weight loss - because my mom is thin despite having high cholesterol, being a diabetic and having high blood pressure, but I still find myself focusing on weight loss. I am trying to eat healthier and Kang's book has helped me with that. Also, every time I've ever lost a large amount of weight it was from starving myself. Perhaps that is why everyone hates dieting so much. Also, I've added protein to my daily work salad too. It has really helped stop the sugar cravings in the afternoon. Good luck with your goals.

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    1. I hope that your mom's health has gotten better. I too have a very thin mother. My mom eats nothing but glutens and carbs and has all her life and is still super thin. I think we should focus on eating healthier, not being thinner. That is what I try to do now and it's working healthwise even though not as great weight wise. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your mom is going to be ok.

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  2. I can relate to this post. I hate my body, I don't like exercise, I try to eat healthy. But......Oh. I haven't found what works for me yet.

    How did you like the book?

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    1. I know...what is it about exercise! I keep telling myself I'm going to do better. I think with me I'm a morning person. If I didn't have to be to work until maybe noon I would be able to go walking or to the gym in the morning, but after a full day of work I'm too exhausted to exercise. With the weather getting better I am hoping to start gardening and that should help, all that getting up and down planting and weeding!

      I did like the book, most of it I knew. There is really nothing new in it, exercise and cut down on carbs. She does have some good recipes in there that I might try.

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  3. The concluding sentence of your post: ".......I just wish I could fit all my greatness into a thinner body" - is great! It's a line to remember.

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    1. Thanks DUTA, maybe that's why I'm pleasingly plump, because I am so stuffed with greatness! Hahaha!

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  4. I treated my body the same way, though my HS lunch was diet coke and peanut butter cups. I grew up in a home where women constantly criticized their own bodies and never had anything nice to say about anyone who wasn't super model thin. The value of you as a person was directly correlated to your size/prettiness.

    I have definitely distanced myself from that behavior, especially since I have a daughter on the way, but I hope to teach both my son and my daughter that you are more than your size.

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    1. And now I want Peanut Butter Cups! :)

      But seriously, I feel your pain. I was raised in a home with a mother that is 5 ft 8 inches and thin as a rail. She is the most elegant woman I know and any garment you place on her she looks like she's a runway model, even to this day. And here I am this short 5 ft 1 inch short-waisted person with a round little face that has always had to watch every bite she puts in her mouth. My mom never criticized or pointed out that I shouldn't eat this or that but just the fact that she had this perfect body always made me feel even bigger!

      And my sister while not as tall as my mom has my mom's metabolism and they can both eat almost anything they want and not gain weight and I gain weight from oxygen!

      Congratulations on your daughter on the way and hopefully with every generation women will be able to understand that you are more than your size and that your value is not correlated to your size/prettiness. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. Another person who has screwed up my metabolism with crazy things too. I enjoyed your take on the book. :)

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    1. Metabolism is a crazy thing. And I think that no matter what you do it only works for a while before you body adjusts to it and start gaining again, so you have to keep mixing it up which only goes to messing up the metabolism again. It's Crazy I tell ya!

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  6. In our society, everyone is so busy now and it's easy to just get take out or eat processed food. It's been challenging sometimes, but I'm making an effort to cook more meals so our family eats better. I want my kids to have healthy eating habits--unlike myself who was made to feel fat at a very young age.

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    1. My co-worker and I were talking about this very thing yesterday. Her kids are little, one is 2 and the other 7 I believe and picky eaters. They only want processed food. Yet she follows a low carb/high fat diet and is very informed on health and nutrition and it kills her to feed food to her kids that she knows is killing them. It's much hard for her than it was for me way back in the day when I didn't know that fries and burger, pizza and coke were doing so much harm to my kids.

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  7. I've found that the easier I make it on myself to eat healthy the more I will do it. For example, I will go ahead and wash/chop my fruits and veggies for salads. . .it's when I'm tired by the end of the day that I'll reach for the nutella and breadsticks simply because it's convenient! Thank you for sharing your "hate/hate" relationship with your body. It just helps knowing we are not alone in the quest to love our bodies!

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    1. Stacy, I find that works for me too. I'll bake several chicken breast or drumsticks and them wash and slice veggies for salads and put in separate containers and that makes it easy during the week. My problems are the weekend because someone always want to eat out, my mom or my sister and it's just sad to sit there and eat a salad when they're having chips & salsa and tacos! I just have to resolve to do better...and I will. Thanks for commenting!

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  8. Great post. Women seem to have a lot more body image issues than men do. Our culture of youth and thin puts false value on physical looks. What I find attractive in older women is a sense of knowing and accepting who they are. I have seen women who work themselves to death at a gym and apparently starve themselves as well. They have a skinny, hard, unhealthy look. They seem to suffer the unfairness of lost youth and beauty.

    Not that I am in the market, but I like women who handle themselves with character, dress nicely, exhibit intelligence, and yes have some meat on their bones. A woman in her 50s or 60s should look and act like a woman not a girl. I find what is often to be described as a handsome woman to be far more appealing than a beautiful woman. Wisdom and a sense of self worth is far more valuable than evanescent beauty.

    I as well should eat better and exercise. In fact I love walking, but my decrepit knees and totally screwed up back have made walking difficult. The other thing with modest exercise, it does much to help your mental functioning. I worry far more about that than what I look like. I have never been exactly pleasing to the eye. One advantage of being born ugly is that when you grow old, fat, and ugly, you only have two new variables to deal with.

    Excellent post Alicia. I admire your courage for frank confessions.

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    1. Thank you Sextant. It wasn't always easy. When I was younger I felt if I didn't mention my weight or talk about it then it didn't exist and no one else would notice that I was pleasingly plump. But as I get older I find it easier to talk about it and that really helps because then others can take advice or inspiration from me and from others that share their weight challenges.

      For instance in the commenter right before you, Stacy at The Novel Life, her last line is "It just helps knowing we are not alone in the quest to love our bodies!" It really does help to know we are not alone. That is why sometimes it's good to go to support groups or just talk on blogs or facebook like this, honestly and openly.

      Oh Mr. Sextant...I am sure that you were not born ugly, ugly is in the eye of the beholder and we are always our own worst critics. Thank you for commenting and for letting me know you enjoyed this post. I aim to please :)

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