I recently wrote about Rhonda, my fat-woman-within, on one of my pages. I finally have a real explanation for her.
I started to be interested in being healthy in college. I was never unhealthy but in college, I started to pay attention to what it is to be healthy. I ate right at home with my parents. I ate vegetables every day because we had to, and I always drank milk. At school, exercise was not an issue. I went to the University of Maryland College Park. I lived on one side of the campus and a few of my classes where on the other side. Most of my classes were in the middle of campus which is at least a mile walk from my dorm to my Calculus class.
I didn’t drink milk at college. I drank 1% and they didn’t have that. (I am very particular). I didn’t eat vegetables unless they had collard greens because I didn’t have to. My food of choice was cheese steaks with American and onions (slathered with mayonnaise and BBQ french fries and a soda. I majored in Kinesiology (the study of human body movement) and learned plenty about the body. That is when I began to take vitamins to supplement my eating habits.
I made small changes during the course of my college career. I started to drink more water, I exercised at the gym, and I watched my portions. I didn’t have a problem with weight but I wanted to be healthy and I knew that weight is only a small part of what it is to be healthy.
Something happened to my body at 25. I thought it was a combination of being engaged, moving out of my parents house, planning a wedding, and eating on the go four months before our wedding. I soon heard that it is common for our bodies to change at 25. Our metabolism slows down and things spread. I never had hips or a butt in my life but by the end of 2002, the year I turned 25, my backfield was in motion! (Don’t get me started on what happened to my butt during pregnancy. My oldest daughter talked about how big it was!)
I started fighting Rhonda then but at that time, she was not yet named. I went to the gym twice a day for an hour each time and exercised portion control. I did this for almost two weeks but I had not had a significant drop in weight like I would have had before. I had a wedding dress to fit into so I was really pressed to get this weight off. Granted, it was only about ten pounds but it was a big deal to me. I refused to have the dress let out because the alterations just to put three buttons on it for my train was $15 a piece as it was but mostly, I was stubborn. My thought process was if I fit the dress in August, I should be able to fit it in December. I wore the dress but, despite my best efforts, it fit better in August.
I still hit the gym at least four times a week the first year we were married. After a while, the gym fees plus the time I was putting into the gym became too much. I bounced in and out of the gym for the next five years. I didn’t begin to do anything crazy about keeping healthy until I got married. I have done a lot of things to try to undo any food no-no or food binge I would have. I have had spinach and drank prune juice. I’ve drunk Super Dieters Tea. I did the Lemonade diet. I’ve tried not eating. I’ve tried Perfect Green Super Food supplements, mineral supplements, carb blockers, and fat blockers. I’ve tried juicing but that was too expensive for me. I’ve stewed vegetables and turned them into baby food which I then blended with juice and fruit and drank it in effort to get my 5-a-day. As far as exercise is concerned, I’ve tried a few. I’ve tried the Ab Swing, rebounding, running, walking, belly dancing, salsa dancing, Brazilian dancing, Pilates, 10-minute solutions, and Wii Fit. Let me define my definition of try. In this case, try means that I used something or did something for a short, and sometimes very short, period of time and stopped because it wasn’t working fast enough for me, I didn’t see/feel any results, or I got bored with it.
Of the things I’ve mentioned, they all work. You just have to do them. They stop working when you stop working it. Darn shame actually. If someone can invent something you can do for two weeks and keep the effects for a lifetime, they would really have something.
In my effort to be healthy, I have tried things that were not good for me. The Mayo Clinic diet for one. The diet has claims that you can lose up to 10 pounds in a short amount of time. I am sure that works for those it was designed for but I don’t think it is meant for the average person trying to lose vain pounds. I did the Body for Life program too. That worked well but I was no good at the maintenance part. As soon as the program was over, it was over for me. It was the same with Atkins. On the first day after the first two weeks, Brian and I both went and had a Cheesy Gordita from Taco Bell. The 3-Hour Diet by Jorge Cruise is great but I had a hard time sticking to the three-hour rule when we would go out to eat or if we had a couple of events to attend in one day.
I know. It’s a lot of excuses. A lot of looking for the quick fix instead of digging in my heels and eating right. I know better and I am doing better. Kinda of. I start off well in the morning but by dinner time, I want my salt sugar balance met. I have not yet found a “healthy” sweet snack that hits the spot. If they would just make Double Stuffed Oreo cookies a good-f0r-you food, all would be right in the world.
As of today, June 18, 2010 this is where I am. I take my vitamins daily (Nutrilite brand). I have a healthy dose of whole grains in the morning. I take a probiotic daily (Intestiflora also by Nutrilite). I drink the equivalent of at least three XS energy drinks a day (they are full of B vitamins and no aspartame). I drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. I do indulge in a Jersey Mike’s sub if the mood hits me or I may have Chick Fil A on occasion but for the most part, I stay away from fast food. I am still looking for a non conventional way of eating my veggies everyday. I have a weakness for sweets so instead of acting like it doesn’t exist, I do indulge in it from time to time. I drink my milk, eat cheese, and yogurt (if it is on sale). I take a belly dance class twice a week. Each class is 1.5 hours and she works us. My goal is to practice for 30 minutes two times a week on my own. That is hit or miss right now but I am still working on it.