Monday, March 29, 2010

Food Motivation

The one thing I like best about having that Facebook Fan Page is that it gives me a chance to interact with my readers more. I sometimes write notes and share pictures that don't make it to a blog post. Or I'll share a random thought and it might generate some discussion. Yesterday afternoon, I shared this picture:

And I explained the picture... 2 years ago, Christy and I joined our gym. We jumped in with lots of energy and motivation. Our trainers (the gym is owned by a trainer- Brad- and a personal trainer- Bridget- is employed there) started a lunch hour boot camp and we started to see body changes. I was very excited to see things firming up. I wasn't changing my eating, just adding in 3-4 days a week at the gym, 2 of which were this intense session of calisthenics. I bought some jeans from Old Navy online. A size 16 "flirty" style and a size 14 "curvy" boot cut style. I figured I should be able to wear the 16 right away and then shrink into the 14. I couldn't get them on- either pair. It was very frustrating. I folded them up and tucked them away. Yesterday- I pulled them out again. And tried them both on. And the size 14 jeans actually fit better than the size 16! I wore them for the afternoon and really liked them! There is a friend I've made recently- through Fit City, in fact- that was another drip in my pool of inspiration to start the Couch to 5K running program. Her name is Emily and we keep finding things we have in common and we both want to meet up someday. Emily left this comment on the photo: Oh, and post topic request (or point me in the right direction since I'm a newer reader!)- you have referenced your new eating habits- food for fuel, but I'm curious how you got your head around how to shift what you're buying/cooking/planning for your food. Where did you start- how has it evolved- where do you look for food inspiration? I'm looking to clean up my food habits- and *I* am looking for that inspiration- I knew you were the place for me to start! Motivation is hard to pinpoint, I think. Because if it was easy, none of us would struggle to be motivated to eat better and exercise more, right? The thing that motivated me to get back to the gym- after months of slacking off- was the episode of Desperate Housewives with the fantasy sequences of what life would have been like "if." It was the Fat Susan episode. It was a lightbulb moment for me. It happened to coincide with a time that my blog friend Amy was starting the BetterU Challenge (you can find the links to her blog in my Fat Susan post). Those 2 things combined lit a small fire.

In February, I started my new gig as a mom blogger for Fit City. This was another boost. I had this new focus and awareness of opportunities for healthy living, moving more, eating better. I attended a Fit City Twitter chat with a trainer from the YMCA who was talking about keeping motivation through the winter months. The thing that stuck with me that time was the idea of breaking down daily activity into 15 minute increments. Finding 15 minutes 4 times a day to get up a move- I can get on my Wii, I can do calisthenics in front of the TV, I can march in place at my desk during a conference call. A couple of weeks later, there was a chat about nutrition. Yet again, something stuck with me- not something I never knew before, but something that hadn't stuck in the right place. You get out what you put in. If you consume junk, your body's performance will be junk. If you put in healthy foods, your body will perform better.

Around this same time, I had been having conversations with Bridget (trainer at the gym) about what to eat and when before a workout. My energy was sliding, my stamina would fade by the end of the 30 minutes of our boot camp sessions. I'd burn out and my body would start to fail. There were days that my body wasn't working right because I wasn't feeding it properly before the workout. Bridget made some recommendations and one worked- a mini whole wheat bagel with a little peanut butter.

Because that tip worked, I suddenly began to take notice of how my body felt and performed based on what I would eat. At the end of February, I blogged about making a change in what I chose to eat for lunch. And soon, I wrote about this new desire to be a Healthier Me.

Pretty soon, my focus was really sharply focused on what I consume. I would have something in front of me that would normally tempt me... but I wouldn't want it because that would mess up my planned intake of fruits, veggies, healthy dairy, lean protein. I didn't want to fill up on Cheetos, I wanted to fuel up on strawberries with plain yogurt. Something about the way food was impacting my body had clicked in the course of events leading up to March 1.

In the past month, I've become completely aware of what I eat and why I eat it. I'm not eating clean 100% of the time. This past weekend, I totally made some stress eating choices in the midst of my "single parenting" weekend. But I made them knowingly and was fully prepared to make up for it in the gym today.

Emily, I don't know if I answered your question really well. I guess the things that motivated me... my goal to become a runner, paying attention to what is in food (reading labels), focusing on fuel and not feed, and a building up of a desire to become healthier and stronger... those are the things that eventually became my motivation.

And fitting into those size 14 jeans is certainly giving me a push in the right direction! Photobucket


Emily Myers said...

This kind of says it all:
"If you consume junk, your body's performance will be junk. If you put in healthy foods, your body will perform better."

It went a long way to answering my questions- just curious if you did a purge in the house of the processed stuff and started over- or slowly worked it out of the house, etc. I've done WW off and on a few times right before, and between, pregnancies. While I ate better then, it was also often processed and quick. I'm weaning myself from that and going more on the Core side of things- and trying to eat whole, fueling foods- but its not a change to take lightly. Signing up for a Fresh Food Co-Op certainly helps though- and I get my first delivery this week!
Thanks for answering Liz! (and we'll have to work on getting together soon- even if it is meeting up after the race on April 17 to start!)

Eternal Lizdom said...

I've been thinking about signing up for Farm Fresh Delivery or soemthing like it. A friend from my theatre days apparently started her own co-op so I want to check it out (Purple House in Noblesville, I think).

I haven't rid the house of anything. My husband still eats chips and cookies and stuff. I am more aware of what I have available for my kids and what has refined sugar in it. But we've not been a hugely junky house- just moderately. Surprisingly, I haven't been tempted by my husband's stash- not even the Chips Ahoy he brought home last week! I think it's because I totally give myself permission to have crap if I want it. Nothing is "off limits." A cookie or a glass of ovaltine or half a cupcake isn't the end of the world because I went off plan. A few bites of a treat satisfies the sweet tooth. And for the most part, I'm fidning that I just don't want that stuff because there isn't room for it in my planned out meals and snacks that I need for optimum fueling.

Barbaloot said...

Wow-good for you! Finding my motivation has been so hard lately! One of the things I struggle with is how much time I take up getting ready AFTER I work out. I can't bear to do it in the morning cuz I'd have to be up SO early in order to get to work by 7:45. Then, it's hard once the afternoon comes to not let excuses get in the way. I'm working on it though!

Liz Mays said...

Once you get into the mindset of fitness, it all kinda clicks in place. Awesome!!!

Katherine said...

You look great! Congrats on the weight loss, and more importantly, congrats on just being healthier!

Nancy C said...

THis is fantastic, Liz. Keep it up! We're all in your corner!

Anonymous said...

I eat really good Monday through Friday and then the weekends we eat out and i always like getting back on track, but I will NEVER give up my Red Robin!

Garret said...

Liz, you totally rock! By the way, post idea: "I rock it!" or "I rock!"

Shell said...

Sounds like you are doing great! I like the suggestion of what to eat before working out. I get crabby if I don't have something.