Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't Forget To Eat Right

Yesterday I talked about my Twitter friend (@kokogirl) and her Twitter Trim Up Challenge. I am quite excited that I decided to take part and am dedicated to making my fitness goals.

Then it hit me.

I really need to address my diet.

First, let me clarify a few things. As a child, I was that little girl that was taller than all the other kids in school. You know - the tall, lanky one that everyone else made fun of. That is, made fun of until high school when they all realized that ending up being 5'10" was actually pretty darn cool. In addition to being tall, I've never really had horrible eating habits. Even as a child, I was never a big fan of chocolate, fried foods, soda or other decadent ills that break diets. I'm sure growing up in a place where there is fresh fruit year-round and plenty of access to healthier foods helped out.

That said, being a tall girl with a smallish-medium bone structure means that I would never be 100-120 pounds. Trust me on that one. I was 118 when I graduated high school and I looked like Skeletor (well, a skeleton actually). This wasn't due to an eating disorder or anything of the sort, I was just an active girl that ate right.

Today, I'm more like in the neighborhood of 150. Some tiny people tell me that means I'm "fat" or weigh a lot. Really? Hmm...so I've got muscle (you know, that will just happen when you paddle a surfboard on a regular basis), a relatively flat stomach, and wear a size 6-8 at my height. How am I "fat"? Sure, a lot of time I feel bigger than others because I am. Period.

At any rate, I do have one big vice when it comes to eating. Salt. Salt, salt, and more salt.

In my teens and 20s I avoided it completely and only in the last several years did I start adding it to my food. I'm not sure what started it but I use plenty now. Last night as I was having dinner I realized that I really need to stop. Sure, I've never had high blood pressure or any other salt-related issues that I know of but why encourage it.

So I stopped right then and I avoided it for breakfast as well. It's really just a matter of retraining your taste buds. It will be odd for the first few days but then it will be easy.

Oh, and for the record, I've never been one to add sugar to food and drink. I drink my coffee and tea plain and otherwise only drink water. I won't even drink processed juices since they've got so much sugar. If I do have a juice it is fruit alone from a juicer (try Robek's ABC - it's an acquired taste but quite refreshing if you like it). If I do happen to try something that has a ton of sugar it just tastes simply awful to me.

I have a few simple rules to eating:

1. If it wasn't food 200 years ago, it probably isn't food today
2. If it comes ready-made and frozen in a box, it probably isn't food
3. If it has more than 8-10 grams of sugar, don't eat it
4. Don't add sugar to anything
5. New rule - don't add salt to anything.


kokogirl said...

No salt! That is a hard core. I am not sure if I can make that my goal right now. I am cutting out a lot of other stuff, and I want to make sure that I am making goals that I can stick to for a few months.

I am not sure why people are so hung up on what the scale says. (I am one of those people). At one point in time I was actually weighing myself 2 times/day on 2 scales. That is just nuts! I am kind of muscular at 5'2" and like how I look at 120-125lbs. (Right now I am just over 130). My SIL does not even weigh herself. She has a ribbon that is the length that she likes the size of her thighs to be. If she can get the ribbon around her thigh, then she know she need to lose a few pounds. And 150lbs at 5'10" is a good weight. I do not know who is telling you that you are heavy!

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, only cut out a little bit at a time or else you are setting yourself up for failure! Notice I am not cutting down on beer yet! Hee hee!

Yeah, I know, what a "fatty" I am!

Mike said...

Apryl, I'm a bit confused by that "chocolate, fried foods, soda or other decadent ills that break diets" remark. I thought chocolate, fried foods, and soda WERE a diet!

Seriously, my diet approach is simple: moderation. There's nothing wrong with fried chicken... as long as you don't eat it every day. And I have some healthy habits mixed in; I still love milk, but I drink skim. (Note to people who don't like skim: Start by using it on cereal. Skim doesn't really taste different; rather it feels different in your mouth.) I allow some vices; soda is my main one, but I don't drink either coffee or beer -- no moral qualms, I just never developed a taste for them. And of course, chocolate, but I love dark chocolate so I don't consider that a vice. (I always remember Elayne Boosler's comment about how wonderful ingredient panels were, because when friends asked why she ate that 5 lb bag of M&Ms, she could say "Needed the zinc!")

And I agree with koko -- both of you sound like your weights are fine. Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but doctors have finally realized that people who weigh more than those stupid weight charts recommend are usually healthier. Someday we're all gonna realize that you can't determine health merely by numbers.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yes - moderation!

I neglected to mention another rule of mine - don't eat when you aren't hungry and stop eating when you're full!

I know many that refrain from caffeine and alcohol but I'm not there. Although, I do go without caffeine for stretches of time for various reasons I don't think I'll completely eliminate it from my diet at any point in the near future. I already have a rather healthy lifestyle but I'll bore all of you with the rest of my eating details another time.

Oh, and I just got on the chart for "normal" weight when I reached 150. When I was in my early 20s and about 135ish I was considered "underweight" by the physicians charts but told how "fat" I was by smaller people. It's amazing how much some rely on that number. I've seen people who weigh very little but are in terrible shape as far as endurance, muscle mass, and the like.

It's really all relative and I only weigh myself when I visit the physician. I don't even own a scale. For me, as long as my clothes aren't getting any tighter and I don't have to buy bigger sizes then all is well!

Lindsay said...

Sweets are my problem. And eating tons of cheese. I also tened to add tons of butter, mayo, Ranch, sour cream, etc. So, today I decided to cut WAY back on fatty dressings. And with everything else, I need to focus on moderation like you said. I like your rule that if it wasn't food 200 years ago it probably isn't food today.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks - it's one of my favorites as well. I heard it on the radio some time ago. A gentleman had talked about how he lost a lot of weight and that was his main rule.