No Guilt for Starting to Get Healthy

i try to be healthy, i really do!  but most of the time it just doesn’t really work out.  i’m a pretty sedentary person who enjoys unhealthy food.  i also enjoy the way i feel when i exercise and eat well and understand why i should do both more often.  but i have weak will power and a lifetime of bad habits to combat.  i used to feel guilty about all of this.  not so much anymore.  it’s who i am, what i am and i will just always be one of those people who struggles with this.  i’m not ashamed and nor should i be.

but knowing this about myself, i also know that i need to work in healthy choices in to my lifestyle.  being pregnant has really given me motivation to do that, especially now in the second trimester.  i eat a lot more fruit now, which i’ve always enjoyed doing but just didn’t do!  part of that is because of all of the conflicting things i’ve heard about fruit.  south beach says not to eat too much because of the sugars, other sources i’ve heard that it’s best to avoid high sugar fruits such as bananas.  and then, like every other food the health experts talk about, i’ve heard information that conflicts with this; i’ve heard that any and all fruit you eat is good for you for various reasons.  the vitamins, the minerals, the antioxidants, the good sugars, the good fats, and the full calories as opposed to empty ones.  weight watchers now allows any and all fruits for 0 points and encourages at least 5 servings a day.  that right there is the philosophy i’ve tried to go with on my fruit consumption: whatever i want, as much as i want, just make sure i get a healthy variety to maximize the potential health benefits.  i even accept fruit juice into my diet now for the vitamins and minerals, and i try to get the “no sugar added” varieties when i can afford them.  unfortunately i’m still not getting as much as i should be but i’m getting a hell of a lot more than i was 6 months ago.  it’s a start, and i can’t feel guilty for starting.  oh and did i mention, fruit can be damn expensive!  a bag of grapes for $5 that i’ll eat in a day and a half?  are you kidding me??

favorite breakfast: sandwich bread toasted, layer of peanut butter, layer of cottage cheese, and banana slices. finish the banana and add a glass of orange juice. i use whole grain toast then i get protein and calcium from the cottage cheese, more protein from the peanut butter, and lots of goody vitamins from the banana and oj.

i am in the same boat with vegetables.  i take em where i can get em!  whatever i want, whenever i want.  unfortunately i want them a lot less than i want fruit!  such a sweet tooth!  but i am finding my ways.  for instance, the sandwich i’m going to share (which is my current favorite meal) has tomatoes and spinach.  i also do not shy away from products like pastas that claim a serving or two of vegetables.  if that’s what it takes.  you may recall i posted about Kraft Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese.  as i said, i have no shame for making good attempts.  could i be doing better?  yes, and i know that.  but i am already doing better and this is just a beginning.

any bread toasted (this is ciabatta but i’ve also used bagels and sandwich bread; they’re all good with these toppings), mayo, mustard, 2 slices cheddar cheese, 2 tomato slices, baby spinach (about 10 leaves pictured), and phony baloney (fake meat). when i use the toaster oven, i will throw the cheese on one half of the bread and toss it back into the oven to melt, mmmmmm! eat with fruit! i love spinach! it’s a total super food! and if you reduce the cheese, you also reduce the fat and calories but it’s cheese and i’m only human!  also, you could lose the mayo entirely, use light or fat free, or butter instead.  i use mayo just because it’s been a craving lately.  better than braaaaaaaains!

my other downfall is exercise.  i don’t do nearly enough of it.  i didn’t when i wasn’t pregnant, and i don’t now.  actually if anything i’d say i do less now.  when i got married, my husband and i bought bikes and were building our stamina.  i think we had biked as much as 8 miles in one trip (to, around inside, and back home from the zoo).  we biked to the farmer’s market on saturday mornings, to the library for books, to the post office, to restaurants, and down around “the green belt” (a section of connecting parks and golf courses that runs through scottsdale).  and we didn’t necessarily stop when we found out i was pregnant.  oh no!  my intention was to continue and build more stamina.  we wanted to work up to eliminating the need to drive to any place within 3 miles of our home (first goal).  but then my ob told me to take a break from the biking for a couple of weeks.  i’ll have to ask my husband if he remembers exactly why.  i remember i had a cyst on my ovaries (that has since gone away; perfectly normal) and due to a LEEP procedure in october 2011 they have been very watchful of my cervix.  but i don’t feel like either of those were the reason.  oh now i remember!  the placenta had not yet attached itself to the uterine wall and they didn’t want me doing anything strenuous.  by the time it had attached and i was good to go, i wasn’t so good to go anymore!  the extreme fatigue of first trimester had set in.  one day we went for a ride and i actually cried because i was so frustrated and knew i was frustrating my husband.  i just didn’t have the energy in my legs to peddle, we weren’t very far from home at all, and my husband was VERY keen on going like we had done previously.  i just couldn’t do it.  by second trimester i had lost all get up and go.  it didn’t help that i’d been told that i shouldn’t start any new exercise routines; anything i hadn’t already been doing, except walking a few times a week.  that was my excuse!

well today i said no more!  NO MAS!!!  after about an hour of fiddling with different devices capable of playing DVD, i settled on my laptop.  i popped in a DVD i had purchased in the first trimester, “Denise Austin’s Fit & Firm Pregnancy.”  i only did 20 minutes which is the length of the entire “second trimester” workout routine but it felt lovely!  it was a slow speed so i could keep up, the stretches were comfortable but felt deep, and denise gave tips for how to do the exercises at varying levels of intensity depending on comfort level and ability.  the DVD also includes a cardio routine that looks doable and gives tips for workout during all 3 trimesters.  in addition to this, last week my husband and i started walking around the mall 3 days a week in the mornings when he gets home from work.  this is arizona… it’s hot… so yes i do the mall walk like a senior citizen and those grannies and grampies can out walk me i tell ya! so i decided to create for myself an exercise plan; goals.  i may only have 16 weeks to go, but it is never too late to start being healthy.  from what i understand, it is safe to exercise right up until the 40th week but  i’ve marked that week off as a week of rest; we’ll see how i feel then.  again, if i’m too tired in parts of the third, i won’t feel guilty for backing off from my plan.  some is better than none and doing what my body says is best for my baby is always going to be my best bet!

the plan:

after week 28 it all looks the same.  walking 3 times a week, 3 days of strength routine, and 3 days of cardio and not all in the same day but spread out over the week so that almost every day i can be sure to be doing something active.  each time i complete a planned activity, i will clear the cell of color so i know it’s done.

so this was a very long post, and if you stuck with me through it, thank you!!  what little things do you do in your life to bring in a little bit of the healthy?  any food suggestions or exercising suggestions?  especially once the baby is here, i’ll need quick and dirty (fast and healthy hehe), suggestions??  please comment below!


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