Monday, August 20, 2012

Conversations in our Home

Quite a few things have been happening around our house over the past month. Today, I'm going to write about some of those changes and the conversations surrounding those changes. Why? To serve as a reminder and an encouragement to myself.

Conversation #1 - Wedding Weight Gain
Participants: Jon and myself
Marriage is great for a lot of reasons, but in our experience the waistline is not one of them. After coming home from a long weekend away (months ago), Jon and I both realized the amount of weight we'd gained since getting married. We decided it couldn't be healthy, so we did what any rational person would do: make a bet! We bet each other that whoever could lose x number of pounds first would get $100. Now I realize our money is all the same, but still having $100 to go buy some new clothes with sounded pretty awesome!

Conversation #2 - Less Gluten
Participants: Myself and a good friend (then later me and myself)
We have some good friends who are reducing the amount of gluten they eat. They are getting creative and using spaghetti squash instead of actual pasta, making lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles, etc. She has said she doesn't want to completely restrict herself, but be more purposeful in the choices they make. So it got me thinking. I love bread. I mean, I really love it, but I might be able to do a gluten-less diet.

Conversation #3 - Paleo, Gluten, and Poison
Participants: Me
We have friends who have decided to adhere to a Paleo diet. If you haven't heard of it, it's basically eating the way hunter-gatherers did in the Old Stone Age (also called Paleolithic Age): fruits and veggies, grass-fed meat, eggs, nuts, but no dairy or grain. After reading about their decision to go Paleo, I started researching it, which led me to a search on gluten. And then the internal dialogue started. While I've generally thought I had a desire to eat healthy, I came to realize my perceptions were way different from reality. I'll spare you the nitty gritty details of my internal "duh" moment. It will suffice to say I realized I was poisoning myself, and I was inspired to stop.

I understand that may sound a little extreme or harsh, but it was the realization I came to for myself and how I was not taking care of my body.

Conversation #4 - Let's look into a gym
Participants: Jon and myself
The other day Jon brought up the possibility of us joining a gym, and my insides yelled, "Yes, yes, yes!" But since I wanted to do due diligence, I simply replied, "Yes, we can look into it." Jon did research on about 7 different gyms, created a spreadsheet to compare, and we went to tour one: Planet Fitness. It's about 8 miles from our house, but all freeway, and an incredible deal! I told Jon I didn't want to join right after taking a tour, so we didn't. That was Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, we were members of Planet Fitness and toughing it out through our first workout.

Some of the changes we've made are apparent in our conversations above, but here are the rest.

  • We are slowly changing our diets. We have food that I'm not crazy about in our pantry, but I'm even less crazy about wasting it, so we are slowly phasing it out.
  • We are reducing the amount of gluten we eat. This could be anything from substituting zucchini for noodles in lasagna or making cookies without flour. At the same time, I've promised Jon that we won't go crazy overboard, so once in a while we'll still go out for pizza (we'll share and order a salad now though). And he still gets pretzels in his lunch.
  • I'm buying more organic produce. When I ordered a Bountiful Basket last, I made it organic. When I grocery shop, I'm choosing the ones I think it's important to have organic (grapes, apples, potatoes, etc.). Again, we aren't going overboard on this one.
  • We are eating less processed food. I am literally standing in the grocery store counting the number of ingredients in the items I'm buying. If it's more than 5, chances are it's going back on the shelf. I'm not being a super stickler about this one, but I am trying to be more conscious of it.
  • We are eating out less. It's really easy for me to get home from work, think I'm too tired to cook, look at what food coupons we have, and convince myself we should go out. But now, I think about not knowing exactly what's gone into the food I order at a restaurant and it kinda weirds me out, so eating out is less appealing now.
  • And, I am drinking way more water. I'm aiming for approximately 5 refillable cups worth in a day, and most days I'm getting pretty close. I also am drinking one cup full of water before I even think about having coffee in the morning (and I eat my breakfast before drinking coffee).
After a few weeks, I can tell a difference in the way I feel and my attitude. Overall, I feel healthier. I know it will take time for the weight to come off, but I feel lighter, brighter, and better. Unhealthy food doesn't sound as good. For example, the new Pizza Hut commercial pretty much makes me want to hurl. (A close-up shot of the pizza does not make it look better, it just makes the grease that much more apparent.) It doesn't feel like we've made earth-shattering changes, but they are starting to add up.

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