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Archive for the tag “fitness”

Top 10 Healthy Eating Habits

I have read so many diet and exercise book that I could write my own. The funny thing is, how many times they contradict each other. One tells you to eat 5-6 small meals a day, and another tells you to eat 3 well balanced meals with absolutely NO snacking.

It can get confusing!

I have SIX times put on pregnancy weight and FIVE times lost it. I have recommitted myself to doing it again.

These are the habits that I have found to be the most helpful and effective in dropping unwanted pounds and keeping them off…

  1. Get rid of temptation.If you know that chocolate cake donuts or chips or (fill in the blank) are your go-to treat, give them away and DO NOT buy them again. If you don’t have it, you can’t eat it.
  2. Don’t shop hungry. This is especially true if you are pregnant! If you (or any shopping companions) are hungry while shopping  you are more likely to grab quick snacks, junk food, candy, or processed foods. Anything that looks good will end up in the cart.
  3. Look at the ingredients.There are lots of rules about ingredients – what to avoid or look for. I simply see how many there are listed. More than five usually means it is a “food-like substance” and not actual food.
  4. Turn off the TV and sit down at the table. Make eating with family the entertainment. With the TV on, you are more likely to eat more because your eating is mindless. Even if you are eating alone, get a plate and a drink of water and sit at the table. This tells the brain that you are eating. Grazing from the pantry and refrigerator (even if you eat the same amount) leaves you unsatisfied and unsure of what you have eaten.
  5. Eat on time. If you let yourself get too hungry, you are more likely to eat more. Or you will snack on “little” things and the calories will add up.
  6. Say a blessing of thanks before each meal. Take a moment to thank God for the food on the table. This helps you remember to be grateful for what you have and not take for granted the blessing of your body and the ability to nourish it.
  7. Know portion size.Learn what is a “serving” of each food. If you are counting calories, it is important to be accurate.
  8. Eat 3-4 veggies or fruits at each meal. Fruits and veggies really are the best fuel for your body. You plate should be 50-75% veggies and fruit (more veggies than fruit). If you do snack, pick a veggie or fruit.                        
  9. Don’t drink your calories.I usually stick with water. If I drink my calories, I end up hungry and the eat more than I should.
  10. Skip the bread. Yes, the breadsticks at the Olive Garden are SO yummy, but bread is basically simple sugars with a Fast Pass to tummy fat.


***Don’t reward yourself with food. You are not a puppy. Don’t give yourself treats for good behavior. (example: If you run 3 miles, you can have ice cream.) You don’t want to train your brain to associate one leading to the other because that will form habits. If you are going to splurge, don’t justify or rationalize. Don’t hate yourself or punish yourself. Eat a little. Enjoy it. Move on.


Keeping up with the Littles!

We have six little ones at our house. Their ages are 12, 10, 8, 4, 2, and 4 months. It is crazy to think how the older ones are not so little any more, but I digress.

One of my goals that I have always had as a mother was that I could be healthy (read: not fat) enough so that I could play with my Littles. Actually I have been fairly successful at playing with them, even when I am not at my goal weight. (I have recommitted to that.)

I have found that playing with my Littles helps me to keep the goal to be able to play with my Littles. Like the chicken and the egg.

So while I am not as strong as I used to be (I love lifting weights!), I am getting back into shape by playing with them at the park! In the early morning, before it gets too hot, they bike and I walk to a park in the neighborhood. I do not have a fancy runny stroller, just an old double stroller. Pushing it gives me quite a workout. It is heavy and it pulls to the left, so my arms are constantly working simply to keep it straight! Once I get momentum going, I don’t like to be stopped, so the Littles all know not to stop in front of me – they might get run over! The best part of the stroller? The passengers…


They love playing on the playground. They go across it like it is an obstacle course. They challenged me to do it. Wow! That was hard. I felt awkward, but I did it. Good thing no one was there to witness it. The kids cheered me on, then told me I was slow. 😉


I taught them how to play Freeze Tag. It is lots of fun, but I seem to always get frozen, because I cannot outrun any of them! They know I am an easy target. I guess I need to work on running…


This was the first time I had ran since before Baby! I was tired and sore. But it was fun!


What game should I teach them next?


Finally – Fitness

I just realized that I have not had any “Fitness” entries… probably because I am NOT fit! I have boxes of cute skinny clothes that I would like to fit into!

Baby was born almost 5 months ago and I am still hanging on to EVERY extra pound I gained during pregnancy. Before I got pregnant with her, I was seven pounds away from my goal weight. SO CLOSE!!! And even though this is beyond embarrassing, I am just going to put the number out there. I need to loose 30 pounds! Yikes! I even took “before” pictures and cried as I looked at them. I had to hurry and download them on a secret file on my computer and then delete them from the camera because I just could not run the risk of someone seeing them. I considered putting one here, but then I convinced myself it will be better to wait until I have an “after” photo to compare it to… Yeah, that’s it.

Weight has always been a struggle for me. I am not naturally athletic like my sisters. Growing up, I was the “fat” girl in our family (2 boys – 5 girls). I was often asked to put on a pair of my sister’s jeans to stretch them out for her. I shared some clothes with my sisters just older and just younger, but they were always tight on me. I was painfully aware that they were skinnier and cuter than me. For breakfast I usually had a granola bar on the way to school. At lunch, I would eat ONE roll – no butter. Then at dinner I would eat whatever dinner Mom cooked – I really didn’t have a choice. I never knew how to eat to be healthy. I just figured if I ate less, I would loose weight. It didn’t work though. I was heavy all through high school. The funny thing is, that weight I was in high school is now my goal weight!

So when I started having babies, I knew things had to change. With babies 1, 2, and 3, I was working full time as a school teacher. I didn’t have time to sit around and snack – so that helped. I also started reading. Any book that was written by a scientist or health expert or scholar was fair game. I stayed away from fad diets, and tried to eat well and get exercise. It worked. I was pretty happy that even though I was never quite to my goal weight, I was still able to loose weight and get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I had energy to keep up with my Littles and my hubby.


My hubby’s business was doing well, so I stopped teaching and became a stay-at-home mom. I love being at home with my Littles all day. They make me laugh and teach me many life lessons. But the big problem is, the kitchen. That is where we are – doing school work, cooking, playing at the kitchen table – and that is also where the snacks are! I have a HUGE weakness for chocolate, ice cream, candy bars made with chocolate, and dipping chocolate into peanut butter. We have a cupboard in the kitchen that we call “The Candy Cupboard” because that is all that is in it! So, with the last three babies it was hard to get fit again. It was hard to not snack, eat healthy foods, and get in that 30 minutes of exercise.

Exercise. I have a love/hate relationship with that word. I LOVE to exercise. I love lifting weights. I love feeling sore the next day. I love rowing on a row machine until I can’t row any more. I HATE not being able to exercise. There always seems to be something. I sleep through the alarm. I turn off the alarm because I was up all night with Baby. I come downstairs at 5:30 to exercise and one of my Littles comes down a minute later. If I don’t get my workout in first thing in the morning, it usually doesn’t happen. Once I had a gym membership so that I would workout after the kids were in bed. That was amazing, but I live too far from a gym now.

Basically, I know what to do. I just need to get the willpower and get it done. I am reading a new book called The Daniel Plan. I am only 40 pages into it, but I definitely recommend it. I like how the authors incorporate God in the healthy body plan. He is the one who created and gave me this body.  With extra help from Him, I can do this. So here is my plan… Someone please hold me to it!

  • Exercise 5-6 times a week. At least 30 minutes. If I don’t get a morning workout in, go for a walk with the Littles.
  • Fruits and veggies at every meal.
  • Stay away from candy, junk food, soda, and ice cream.
  • No late night snacking. (You know, after the Littles go to bed.)
  • Keep reading fitness books to stay motivated.

So mark today. It is the beginning of the last time I will have to loose baby weight! I am ready to drop those extra pounds and BE HEALTHY!!! Besides, I have boxes of cute clothes calling my name!

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