Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Day Sunshine

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that this was a looong winter. Here in the mid-south, we just don't know how to cope with weeks and months of freezing temperatures without a few days in the 50s and even 60s mixed in. I see blogs from Utah talking about how it's still snowing and think that I would be throwing myself under a bus right about now if I lived there.

We are having a much warmer, faster spring than we have the past few years, thus all the early gardening activity. All of us at the compound have been spending hours outside soaking up the sun, playing and digging in the dirt and dreaming of green leaves as we toss tiny seeds into the soft black earth. All that fresh air and sunshine has been invigorating and soul saving in ways I didn't even realize I needed so badly.

So, a whirlwind cleaning spree involving a lot of bending and squatting led into hours of turning over garden beds with a shovel and haluing dirt and leaves. I was moving and it felt great. Then SAM bought Jillian Michaels's (yes, I promise that is right) 30 Day Shred plus a book and DVD to help me use my hoop more. Long story short, SAM, BD, and I have all gotten into the idea of eating better and exercising more. We didn't plan it that way, but it helps to all be on the same page. We're all working on limiting our portions at dinner and finding ways to make our staple meals healthier. We're all trying to do some form of exercise every day. SAM is doing great with the daily shred and has only missed a day since it came over a week ago. I've done some hooping (can't get the tricks!), some shredding (twice), some walking, and some heavy gardening that I consider a workout when it involves half an hour of heavy breathing and sweating as I turn over a whole bed without a break.

The biggest dragon I had to slay in order to even think about getting in shape and shedding some of the unhealthy poundage I'm carrying was, you already know, sweet tea. I was already feeling fat and sluggish from all the winter blahs and heavy, warming food, so slipping back into a gallon of tea every three or four days (but not every day, where I have been before) didn't seem like a big deal. Add that to my morning travel mug of hot tea with honey each day, and that was about 2500 calories a week I was drinking. So, it's gone. I've been drinking nothing but water for over a week now, and lots of it. The caffeine withdrawal was not bad at all, really. The first two days, I eased the late afternoon headache with two Excedrin Migraine (but the Kroger generic version), which have 65 mg of caffeine each. the next two days I had only one. Sunday I had one cup of Constant Comment with breakfast, and that's it. Since my goal was really to break the daily habit for the sake of cutting calories, I still plan to allow myself the occasional cup of hot tea, or maybe a glass of iced tea when I'm out, once in a while.

And really, that's why I feel like this can work for me. I'm not setting any lofty, outrageous goals or swearing I'll never touch pasta or ice cream again. Life is too short for that kind of nonsense. I just want to eat reasonably, add more fresh produce and grain-based meals to my diet, and feel healthy and fit. If I can get comfortably into a size 8 and feel good, that's really all I'm looking for. I think that's doable.


Anonymous said...

Yikes! 2500 calories per week on tea! Maybe that is part of my problem. I had to give up soda last year for all the same reasons (and it's just bad for you). It was easy enough to do but has just been replaced with tea. Unfortunately I sugar my hot tea and drink it all day long during Illinois' long winters. In summer though, I like stevia in my cold tea. So, I'm good to go until winter at least! You can absolutely do this! Glad everyone is on board. That should help.

Sweet Sassy Molassy said...

Amy, I take honey and cream in my hot tea, so even more caloric than just sugar, but that was just once a day. I wish I liked stevia but I just don't.

Rita said...

Giving up the sweet tea makes sense, but caffeine? That's like inhumane. Plus, didja know that if you have caffeine before a workout it helps you lose more fat? It does. It somehow "readies" the fat so it's easier to melt. Then if you eat lean protein right after a workout, it helps to build muscle faster, so you keep the muscle and lose the fat.

But, yay for the eating better. It does make a huge difference in my energy level when the food I eat is good quality stuff.