Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A lifestyle change is forever, not just for now

My sick Peanut!

Today sucked!  My little guy was home from school with pretty bad diarrhea   I had to stay home from work to take him to the doctor and make sure he got some electrolytes in him.  I was up all last night every two hours 'cos poor Jules had to go to the washroom.  Poor peanut.   It broke my heart to see him in so much pain.  He's doing better now, but a sick child completely threw my day off.  I didn't run this morning.  Instead I ran this evening in the pouring rain.  Pretty unpleasant, but I had to getter done!  I also didn't make my weigh-in with Dr. Stephen.  I did weigh myself on my home scale and guess what?  I weigh 168.  Exactly the same as I did two weeks ago.  I guess that this is what I'm supposed to weigh.  I was at 166 a week ago.  When I was consciously doing maintenance a couple months ago, my weight fluctuated between 165 and 168.  Makes no difference if I do Phase 1 or 2, I pretty much stay the same.  I know my body continues to change and I'll keep taking comparisons at the same weight every few months.  I have less than a week of Phase 1 left.  I'm looking most forward to having fruit again, spaghetti squash and almonds.  It takes so little to make me happy now!

Soaked after my evening run but I don't care.
I did it!

I got an email from a reader yesterday who asked me how I balance life and fitness and motherhood and work and all the other million tasks I have in a day.  A great question and one that I've touched on many times in different posts.  I think that in order to clear things up for inquiring minds, I'll answer Sandra's questions in a post.  This is for you Sandra!

So, Sandra asked what a typical day looked like for me.  I should start off by saying that I work five days a week in Toronto (One hour commute with NO traffic) or surrounding area.  I run 5 days a week (Monday and Friday are my rest days), I will start  teaching a new running clinic next Thursday which means I have to commit to Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings for the next 10 weeks (it's worth the employee discount at the Running Room), I have physio twice per week (3x when I'm training hard, which will be happening in the next few weeks), I have 30 minutes of core exercises I do per day for physio, and I'm a mother to a very active 5-year-old boy!  And that's not everything.  I haven't even mentioned the house chores!

So a typical day for me starts at 5:30am.  I'm out the door by 5:45 at the latest Tuesday to Thursday for my run.  I run anywhere from 6-8 kilometers depending on where I am in my training. Even though Monday and Friday are rest days, I still wake up at 5:30 and make myself lie in bed for a half hour before heading downstairs for coffee.  I'm back from my run by 6:30am, I stretch, eat, shower and dress for the day.  I'm usually out my door by 8am.  Earlier if I have an early meeting (then my day starts at 5am).  I'm lucky because my hubby gets Jules ready for school. They're usually just getting up when I'm leaving.  Neither has any idea that I've already run and been up for 2.5 hours.

I'm back from work by 6:30 pm (unless I have physio or running clinic).  If I have other commitments, I may not get home till 8pm or later.  Just in time to put Julien to bed.  It sucks, but I limit those nights to only twice per week.  I blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays and either Saturday or Sunday (both if something exciting is going on ie: a race).  Weekends are spent running (in the morning still), doing laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, socializing, playing with Julien, family stuff!  My life is pretty boring and mundane, but it works for me!

The only way I can make this lifestyle work for me is to make everything routine.  Running is part of my routine.  Meal prep and grocery shopping is part of my routine.  I spend a lot of time planning meals, making lists, purchasing food, making meals.  I have two slow cookers I use at full force on the weekend and a time or two during the week as well.  I love my slow cookers and don't know what I'd do without them. Something that always annoys me is when I hear people claim that eating healthy is too expensive.  I go through flyers and do price matching at either Walmart or No Frills.  It pays to take the time and plan.  Just this week, I got six huge boneless, skinless chicken breasts for under ten bucks!  That is a deal.  My freezer is full now!

I can't make excuses and I can't be lazy about my lifestyle.  Dropping the ball will get me back to 300 pounds in no time.  Diet with exercise is important.  You can't have one without the other. You can't out-exercise a bad diet!  I have made the very conscious choice to not return to any of my old eating habits or my sedentary lifestyle.  No more processed carbs or sugar.  No more dairy.  I've been without dairy for almost six weeks and feel great!  I'm not one of those people who can eat whatever they want just so long as they are physically active. You wanna know why? Because what would happen if for some reason I could no longer run?  Then where would I be? Three hundred pounds again, that's where.

I've been toying with going Paleo, and Lynda kindly pointed out that red wine is allowed on the Paleo diet.  I am currently reading up on it and I am sold.  Hubby is going there with me.  Although the boy won't be eating Paleo, there are lots of meals that we can easily make family friendly by simply adding a dish that Julien would enjoy and that hubby and I won't eat.  Julien will see us eating very healthy and it's bound to rub off on him.  He's an impressionable young mind.  As long as he sees us fit and healthy, he will follow.  He's already asking me when I'm going to teach him how to run.  We'll sign him up for soccer first!

So there you have it.  This is how I balance it all.  I make my fitness and diet a priority and it's just second nature now.  I'm not ever caught unprepared.  It's definitely and effort, but an effort that is completely doable if you really want it.  If you're ready to make the commitment, put in the time and make yourself a priority, you will get the results you want.  And remember, the changes you make are not just for now, they have to be forever.