Wednesday, February 4, 2009

according to joe cocker & the wonder years, sometimes i need a little help from my friends.

so i have this goal. i can't really call it a "new year resolution" because it's a goal i've had for about six months now. i just haven't been very good about it. it's a goal based on a theory and my theory is based on this: i'm tired of the roller-coaster ride that comes with dieting, then failing and giving up, then getting depressed & hitting rock-bottom, only to start all over again. i thought to myself, "why can't i just be happy with who i am? yes, i can do better. but once i do better, why can't i be happy with those results? why does there always have to be higher, better results that i need to try for...why must i always be out of reach of what i want to be?"

so i decided to redefine what i wanted. and this is what i came up with: i want to be healthy. i want to be better to my body by giving it regular exercise and eating the kinds of food that will assist it in performing the way it was meant to. but i also want to have the occasional hamburger, or the rare 10-tablespoon indulgence of ice cream (or 14 donut holes, if you want to look at it that way). i want to live my life without constantly denying myself and feeling bitter.

my big theory (or experiment) is:
  • if i exercise regularly (five days each week)
  • if i make wiser food choices (mostly choosing healthy food, but occasionally treating myself)
can i be happy with the results, whatever they may be...a size 14, a size 10, a size 12 (i'm estimating (hoping) it is one of those three)...can i accept myself for who i am, knowing that i'm putting forth realistic effort in taking care of myself?

i'm not saying people can't have high goals and push themselves to achieve them...who knows? maybe if i accomplish this goal, i'll finally have the push i need to even want more. but i'm at a point in my life where i'm just ready to "be"... i don't intend to sound casual or apathetic... i just want to do what i need to so i don't feel guilty anymore about how i look or feel... i can say, "hey...i exercise, i try to eat right, and if this is who i am, so be it"

there a bunch of key "friends" or helpers that are going to help me reach my goal. in other words, tricks that are going to keep me going. here are a few of them:
lunchtime is a lot tastier when i use thinly sliced lunchmeat. my current fave is the mesquite smoked turkey. it's great in a pita or on a bagel with lettuce and cucumbers, a little deli mustard or laughing cow cheese. i also read that if you add citrus to your water it helps burn more calories. since i actually prefer lemon in my water, that was a no-brainer!
i'm trying to get better at this, but i'm just not one to open a bag of carrots and start munching on veggies to help my hunger woes (as i said, i'm a work in progress). so i've started incorporating one can of V8 into my day to help my body get those vital veggie benefits. my dad says drinking V8 is like drinking celery juice. and while i have to agree that the celery flavor is strong, i like celery. so i enjoy V8, especially with ice. By the way, yesterday I had a whole BUNCH of delicious steamed broccoli with my bagel sandwich. Soooo proud of myself for that!
i can't tell you what sunlight does for my energy and happiness level.
i know i'm not alone here.
(and yes, my windows really are that filthy.)
i have a hard time eating soup in the summer, but you just can't beat it on a cold winter day. i love progresso's line of light soups (italian-style vegetable and the tomato basil are my faves), however i'm a little disturbed by the enlightening campbell's commercials that informed me progresso uses MSG (it's true, i checked). so i'm giving the campbell's light line a try...wish me luck.
i recently discovered these at costco. heaven! each yoplait bag comes with 5 pouches. inside each pouch you find frozen berries and yogurt chunks. blend it on high with 1 1/2 cups skim milk and you have a tasty and delicious smoothy. it's so easy to make and it makes 2 LARGE cups full--i can put one cup in the freezer and have it the next day. if you're familiar with weight watchers terms, one LARGE cup is only 2 points! that means i can have something else with it for breakfast and still not be eating too much!
i mention below the "need-for-cheese" that i have, so reduced-fat versions are a must. i love this with a greek omelette made with egg whites and green peppers. mmm.... it's a breakfast that stays with you.
a handful of almonds each day helps with the munchies and is good for the bod.
i'm not a milk-lover. but i have a desire to drink it because i know how good it is for me. fortunately, i do love yogurt and cheese, which are calcium alternatives, but sometimes i do crave a nice tall glass of chocolate milk. moo magic is cheap and yummy--little single packets of sugar-free chocolate flavoring i can stir into my cow juice. by the way, lately i've had a hard time finding it, so if you know what store and what aisle i can find it at, let me know!
one of the hardest, but most fattening things, i need to eat less of (notice i didn't say "give up") is cheese. laughing cow light makes that absence a little easier to bear. i love it with fruit, on bagels, on sandwiches, etc.
sometimes i'm not really hungry but my mouth needs to be doing something.
i can thank heaven for sugar-free trident tropical orange. i buy it in bulk at costco.

fresh herbs.
sometimes when you take fat or sugar out of something, it is left feeling as though it's painfully lacking. fresh herbs help fill that gap. but they can also be expensive. so i wait until they're on sale, buy a bunch, and save them by freezing them in ice cube trays. at the end of summer last year, the local nursery was knocking down the prices of their plants and i bought this basil plant for $1. i already had some soil at home to plant it in, so once i got a pot at shopko for $2 i was homefree. it's been a flavor-saver, plus it looks pretty in my kitchen.
ok...yes, denise austin can be totally cheesy. but this dvd was only $9 at wal-mart and i have to say, i don't think she's that bad in it. and if she ever does get on my nerves, the dvd has the option to work out with music only and no "denise instruction". the kids love to do it with me, which only makes it more fun! the best part about this dvd? it's a different work-out for each day of the week, so it gives me variation (some kick-boxing aerobics, some cardio, some weights, some abs, some yoga, etc), and each work-out is only 12 minutes long. while i wonder sometimes if that's long enough to really make a difference, my logic is that right now, that's all i can commit to on most days, so it's better than nothing. if it can produce even a little bit of result, it will have done it's purpose in helping me become motivated to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. maybe in the future i can do more, but once theory is all about not feeling guilty about doing what i can and not beating myself up over what i can't.
i love these flavored beverages and they are all sugar-free.
they are a lifesaver at 9 p.m. when those night-time cravings hit.
i'm a real bread and carbs girl. this helps me get through it. if i can whip up this yummy cornbread and have it with my dinner, i don't feel so deprived.
my eliptical.
it's collected a lot of dust since our weight watchers days, but i made a formal apology and we're friends again. especially if i can hop on it at 2:00 in the afternoon during the bonnie hunt show. then time flies.

getting more fiber is a big deal to me. in addition to switching my regular splenda to the "splenda with fiber", i love this fiber one cereal. the fiber one flake cereal isn't bad, but i can't recommend the nugget-style kind. HOWEVER...this fiber one Caramel Delight is deeee-vine! it tastes like cinnamon toast crunch. it can be expensive, but if you keep an eye out for the general mills cereals to go on sale, stock up! it's so good, i don't even share it with the kids...i'm pretty stingy with it. it makes the kids mad, but they know it's off-limits!

and lastly, the girls in my ward. thanks to mindy and marni who do the aerobics and pilates classes twice a week at the church. i don't go both times each week, and sometimes i don't even make it once a week. sometimes my schedule just doesn't allow for it, but when i do go, it's nice to know that's one less day i have to motivate myself at home. plus, i push myself harder and i definitely feel it the next day. thanks, ladies!

i'm all for hearing what helps others succeed
at living a healthy lifestyle (on a budget).
what tips or products can you tell me about???


Shelley said...

Thanks for the tip on the Smoothy mix. It is so yummy!
I have the same goals as you, I need to get back to exercising, it is like scripture study, I love it and I love how it makes me feel, and I love the benefits, so why is it so hard to make it a habit?
My favorite thing to satisy my hunger in the afternoon is 100 calorie packs of light popcorn.

Mandy said...

These are all such great tips! :) I need to incorporate them myself. Habits are so hard to make and CAKE to break. It's the pits.

Ashlee said...

you go girl. I just joined WW we'll see. What happened with Wyatt's ENT Doc. appointment?

Wonderland Pearls & Purses said...

seriously, how long did it take you to post that.

Jen said...

Good work, Hope!! My tricks are these: real oatmeal in the morning is DELICIOUS!! Not the instant stuff (the real stuff only takes about 7 minutes anyway), but the real deal, with about a tablespoon of brown sugar, and I usually add some fruit--I LOVE it with fresh blueberries and dried cranberries. 1/2 a cup is a perfect, filling, healthy breakfast. :) I bought a whole carton of eggs and boiled them, so I grab a boiled egg in the morning and eat that with my oatmeal to up my protein intake. And Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" video is FABULOUS!! The workouts are only 20 minutes, there are three different versions, and there are modifications for making things easy or difficult in each one. And I seriously saw results after just two weeks. It's awesome! (Jillian is the trainer from "The Biggest Loser." And I got the video for about $11 on Amazon.) Those are my best tips for now. Keep up the GREAT work!!

VJBlair said...

Wow! That was inspirational. I have never seen myself as a dieter. I felt that I made fairly good choices in what I ate and I love to exercise. However a recent phone call from my doctor tells me that my food choices haven't been that great. I have been instructed to reduce all fat in my diet and I have added low sugar to that. It is hard, but medical orders are very hard to ignore.

I love the tips. I wish I could help, but I am still new at this.

Good Luck.

Tami said...

This was a great post! I added my favs on my blog if you want to check it out. So Albertsons and WalMart doesn't have the fat free corn bread, where do you buy it?

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson