Monday, March 18, 2013

The definition of insanity

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.  I've been doing that for far too long. Every Monday morning, I refocus on my diet.  I start out great.  I track everything I eat. Nearly everything I choose seems to fall under the category of "good for you" (lots of fruits and vegetables). By Thursday, my resolve starts to peter out.  I get home from work and find myself with a cookie in my hand. Or maybe five cookies - who's counting?  Not me, that's for sure. Then I decide I need a glass of wine while watching "Project Runway." By Friday, I'm seldom still tracking what I put in my mouth.

Sometimes I go to Weight Watchers and sometimes I don't.  I did buy a 12-week planner, which has been helpful for looking at my food habits over a period of time. I continue to go to yoga twice a week and have been known to show up at my gym once or twice a week (I need to find a gym closer to my house, as the incessant snow has made it difficult to get there in recent weeks).

I think it's time to admit that what I am doing is not working. I think it's also time to admit that I am growing older and that my body may not respond to the tactics that have worked in the past.  So, I decided to email an acquaintance of mine and ask for some help.  Bianca is a trainer.  She used to teach step aerobics at my gym so I know her from taking her classes a couple years ago.  She and her mom also own a raw foods restaurant downtown, and I know she generally follows a vegan diet. I can also tell you that Bianca has the kind of body most of us would sell our soul to achieve.  And, to top it all off, she's impossibly gorgeous and does some modeling.  She probably sounds like the kind of person who would be a colossal bitch, right?  Au contraire! She's actually super nice and I knew she would give me some advice. I contacted her because I was also wondering if I could sign up for a couple of personal training sessions (she's not at my gym, but I could still go to her for a fee). 

While waiting for a response from Bianca, I resurrected my SparkPeople account and started tracking not just my food but also my fitness, habits, etc.  I signed up for a challenge (a sugar-related one, since that seems to be my biggest roadblock). The jury is still out on whether or not I want to track everything I eat. As you can imagine, it is profoundly time-consuming and tedious.

I received a response from Bianca and she gave me a lot to think about. A whole lot. Some highlights:
  • She recommended that I cut back on the soy products I am eating. It is true that I do eat a fair amount of them. I even eat steamed edamame as a snack pretty regularly.  She suggested that the estrogen in soy can lead to "lunch lady arms" and extra weight around one's middle. This is exactly the problem I am having, so I think she is on to something with that advice.
  • She suggested that I back off on eating fruit later in the day. It sounds like I need to keep an eye on my fruit intake in general. I never thought about that because I figured that eating so much fruit is a good thing (I don't know how much is too much - I eat 3-4 pieces a day).  I am thinking maybe I should figure out a way to snack on vegetables during the day at work.  I used to buy carrot sticks all the time but I really think I was driving my co-workers crazy with that.  The cubes are not that roomy. We can hear each other breathing so obviously one can hear the noisy mastication of a carrot.
  • Keep doing yoga and also add more resistance training and cardio.
  • Eat lots of greens (I eat spinach by the handful but I'm sure I could eat more).
  • She talked a lot about cross-fit. I'm not sure if I'd be into this or not. Must ponder.
I think the hard part for me will be to cut back on the soy. I have used it as a crutch for a long time. I am not sure what to use as a replacement. Sometimes I just need a good sammich,you know? Maybe I could replace with a portabella mushroom?  Again, much to ponder.

I'll keep you posted.  I know you didn't ask me to keep you posted, but really, I insist.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I would also suggest the same thing to you that Bianca did. I would suggest you change your cooking oils to olive and/or coconut oil to get the healthy fats you need to feel satiated. Add avocado and a small amount of nuts and seeds (raw). Add kale, spinach, bok choy, chard, (think green). As a vegetarian, it's hard to get good sources of protein. If you eat a lot of bread or pasta products, that is an area to cut back on...substitute with sweet potatoes. I avoid soy since it is GMO and increases estrogen in the body. If you like smoothies or juicing you can google terrific recipes out there using almond butter, sunflower seed butter, coconut milk, almond milk. Good luck to you!