Lazy Dieting Works!

Along this health and nutrition journey I’m on, I have discovered something very important about myself.  When it comes to dieting, I’m lazy!  As Dad would put it, I have a terrible case of Yzal Syndrome (that’s lazy spelled backwards).  The funny part is, this laziness works for me.  Let me explain.

When I started this journey back in October, the mess got real!  Not only did I start walking and doing more resistance training and toning, but I also began to use the food tracker in my phone’s health app.  It has an impressive amount of food already in it; it’s nothing to find a Trader Joe’s cinnamon raisin bagel or one of the half-dozen varieties of Canadian bacon we could have in the fridge and with which I’d make a breakfast sandwich (with a blend of egg whites and Egg Beaters, also in the app).  Basic foods, especially my typical breakfast choices, are pretty easy.

Then there are those dishes that reflect our family’s love for cooking.  Around Christmas especially, we made a variety of cookies and confections, plus we were given some homemade goodies, as well, and

English: Plateful of Christmas Cookies
English: Plateful of Christmas Cookies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

each and every one had to go into the app.  That means, I had to figure out all the nutrition information (I do that at Spark Recipes), putting every ingredient in the computer and seeing what I get.  Oh my gosh, who has time for all that?  Dinners and lunches are one thing, but it’s just not worth it for snack foods.  This is the point where I get lazy.

Let’s say I’m feeling peckish, and my choices are a couple of cookies whose recipes I’ll have to input, or a half-serving of cereal.  I will literally determine if I want to go through the trouble of dealing with the recipe, or if I want to take the cereal option before committing to the snack.  The cereal will have far less sugar than the cookies, less fat, and fewer calories, plus have a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals added.  Even better, if it’s one of my usual breakfast cereals, it’s already in my phone.  Being lazy like this has saved me a lot of empty calories over the past few months.

Do I eat cookies and sweets?  Yes, but only if my calorie allotment leaves room for them and I really, truly want them.  My health app gives me 2100 calories a day; I personally strive for close to 1600.  If I’m sitting at 1543 after dinner, then the sweets aren’t happening.  On the other hand, if I think I want sweets because I’m bored, I’ll pick up the knitting.  (So far since Christmas I’ve knitted a scarf and two hats, and am working on a prayer shawl.  I fight a lot of boredom munchies.)

Give yourself permission to be lazy in some areas as you’re striving to meet your goals for the year.  Unless your goal is to be more ambitious, in which case, this won’t work for you.  Be diligent in working towards your goals, but also know that you’re going to miss your mark some days.  There is grace for those days; shrug off the disappointment and tell yourself, “Tomorrow is another day and another chance to get it right.”  It’s better to start over anew each day than to quit completely because of one screw up.  You’ve got this!

Why Exercise is So Important to Me

No mystery here, I’m a control freak.  I can’t control the weather or my customers’ responses to my products or my husband’s business, but I can control me.

Sara, owner & CEO
My New Year‘s Day walk. Cute new headband and proof that I do actually wear makeup occasionally. What a great way to begin the year!

I began my fitness program three-and-a-half months ago with specific goals in mine, the first being to lose fifty pounds in a year.  I’m going to have to rethink that one, lest I get discouraged.  Why?  Because the combination of toning, weight training and cardio is resulting in the increase of some lovely muscle mass while I’m getting rid of some less-than-lovely fat.  That’s a yea, right!  Muscle takes up less space than fat (imagine the difference in volume between a pound of feathers and a pound of brick), though it weighs the same ounce-for-ounce.  So, while I’m shrinking, the scales aren’t looking like it.  Myeh, who needs them, anyway?

My goal is to hit the pavement at least 3-4 times per week, with a goal of walking briskly for at least 75 minutes each week.  I usually get that in the first two days, so the rest is calorie-burning icing (mmmmm… icing!).  To keep that muscle-building, fat-reducing thing going on, though, the toning and resistance work is vital.  Yet, I need the walks (and soon rides; I’m getting a new trike!), because I get so much more out of them.

  • Walking gives me private time.  When I walk through the neighborhood, I’m generally free of all kids, which gives me time to think, reflect, pray, and, sometimes, listen to downloads or podcasts without distractions.
  • At the same time, walking is also social for me.  Being the social bug that I am, I’ll also wave and say hi to neighbors, maybe even exchange a few pleasantries.  Being outside breaks the ice with people I may never usually see.
  • Pavement pounding keeps the stress down.  Doing arm curls and crunches is one thing, but feeling the vibration of asphalt singing through my trainers up into my legs connects me with the earth and helps relieve tension.
  • Nature helps the body.  Fresh coastal air revitalizes the mind.  Sunshine helps my body metabolize vitamin D, which is good for the bones.  Both the fresh air and the sunshine help improve mood; my annual “I hate winter” doldrums have dissipated in the face of the chemical changes in my body that exercise produces.  (The atypical temperatures and greater amount of sunlight don’t hurt.)
  • Exercise helps alleviate other ailments.  Trouble sleeping.  Knee stiffness.  Menstrual aches and moodiness.  The strength training and walking alleviate all these, though walking is the most effective.  Those who know and love me certainly appreciate the benefits!

This far in with miles to go, and I’ve discovered I’m a happier me from all this exercise.  I’m also a more comfortable me – comfortable physically, psychologically, and emotionally.  Exercising is making me a better me.

As I say in my videos on my Facebook page, keep it going!  Whatever your goals are for the year, keep at ’em and create the life you want.