Healthy Living

29 Mar

A couple of weeks ago I had this epiphany about my health.  I started thinking about the foods I was eating and the way I was living my life.  I had not been watching what I was eating, and in truth, I had gotten lazy in terms of exercising at least 3-4 times a week.  I noticed that by the end of my work day, I was feeling sluggish.  I barely felt like climbing up the stairs to my apartment, let alone going out for a jog before or after work.  That's when I realized things had become pretty bad.
It also doesn't help that it's been an emotional year for me.  I got married last year, moved to a new town, was unemployed for a while, then got a somewhat stressful job, and had to deal with the ordinary stresses of being a newly married, busy, twenty-something young woman.  I gained 15-20 pounds in this last year, which has never happened to me, even when I was in college.
So what did I do?  I hurled myself back on to the South Beach Diet with gusto.  Suddenly I went from eating ridiculously unhealthy fast food lunches to stuffing my face with delicious vegetables and salads at lunchtime.  I traded vending machine snacks for healthier ones like peanuts, rice cakes and yogurt.  In the first two weeks, I lost 7 pounds!  It felt pretty awesome.
The biggest change, however, was adding a workout to my daily routine.  I started waking up early to do Pilates, the only workout that has ever really seemed to work for me, my body, and my lifestyle.  So these days I find myself doing crazy stretches and despite the fact that I'm not exactly graceful and probably look like a complete spaz when I do it, I'm enjoying Pilates and the effects that it seems to be having on me.
So why do I write this?  I'm not trying to pat myself on the back or say that I need to lose every single pound I gained.  I'm just here to be real with you all.  Do I think that being 135 pounds (which is what I weighed when I met my husband) is proper for me?  Not really.  I'm a 5' 6" young woman of average build, and according to my doctor (who I consulted about this), I should be around 145-150.  I have about ten more pounds until I'm in that range and I'm committed to getting there.
For years I was obsessed with my weight.  I wanted to be a size four forever, and clearly that just didn't happen.  When I look back now, I'm glad.  I had an unhealthy image of what I was supposed to look like.  I was eating crappy foods (or let's face it, not eating enough foods), but my metabolism tricked me in to thinking that I was living a healthy lifestyle. 
Now that I'm older and have to really work at this, the veil has been pulled down from my eyes.  Being healthy doesn't equal being a twig.  It's making good decisions about the foods you eat, doing what you can to give your body the workout that it needs on a daily basis, and in my opinion, striving as best as you can to live a spiritually and emotionally healthy lifestyle.  What does that last one look like?  Pray more.  Let things go.  Drink in the important moments, and forget about the crap that doesn't matter.
I don't know if this will benefit anybody out there, but I really hope it does.  I only get one body and one mind in this life.  Who else will take care of them if I don't?

3 Responses to “Healthy Living”

  1. Kate March 29, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Some of us just aren't built to be teensy tiny people – I'm 5' 4", but I've got big viking genes – there's no physical way I could be a size 4. I sit pretty solidly at 140 and size 8 or so, and that's okay with me.My reason for going to the gym and eating right has nothing to do with my weight – I think of it as an investment in my future health. If I'm out of shape at 22, nothing bad will happen, but if I stay like that as I age, it'll catch up to me. I'm getting into the habit now so it'll be easier later.

  2. Kelly @ The Startup Wife March 31, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    That's really inspirational. I need to exercise more, too, and be much more conscious about eating better. How do you stay motivated to run/etc?

  3. Meg March 31, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    @Kate: You are SO right! Why try to be something we're not? And you hit the nail on the head with one of your statement: "If I'm out of shape at 22, nothing bad will happen, but if I stay like that as I age, it'll catch up to me." Thanks for sharing your thoughts hun!@Kelly: I won't lie, I have my good days and bad days. This week, for instance has been particularly bad. I've been sick with sinus headaches all week, and haven't worked out as much. I think the key in those moments is to stick to your eating plan more diligently when you know you're too sick or don't have as much time that week. Then when you're feeling better, you make yourself get back into it. I usually throw in an extra workout in the following week as well to kind of kick-start things. Thanks for your comment!

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