Thursday, April 23, 2009

The big steps

I've been at this for a few weeks now.  As I mentioned, I took a few big steps right away, to kick off this journey.

I stopped going into my neighbor's office, to snack from his bins of free candy.

I stopped buying junk snacks from vending machines and convenience stores.

I stopped drinking soda.

I started drinking a LOT more water.  Sometimes I'll add a green tea bag, but mostly it's pure H2O.

I'm cutting way back on salt, and learning to love the taste of unsalted vegetables.

We eat very well at home. We subscribe to a CSA for fresh and organic local produce, we buy the rest of our produce from organic vendors at the local farmer's market, and we mostly stick to free range eggs and chickens, and pasture-fed beef from a local ranch. We take all this excellent stuff and work it into recipes from the pages of Cooking Light magazine.  My wife's an amazing cook.  You should taste her homemade breads!  So, I just changed up the proportions on my plate: smaller entrees, lots more salad and vegetable sides.

I started reading about Glycemic Index, and paying attention to the kinds of carbs I was eating.  So, lots less bread made from refined flour.  Lots more whole grain bread, pastas cooked al dente, and whole grains like quinoa.

Maybe the most important piece of advice my doctor gave me was this: you need to make exercise a priority.  Everything else fits in around it.  If you try to fit the exercise in around everything else, you're saying up front that other things rule, and it won't stick.

So, my wife and I sat down together and worked out an exercise plan that let both of us get in some cardio.  I walk in the mornings, or at lunch time.  I'm taking two Yoga classes (one Anusara...very relaxing and wonderful stretches, and one Ashtanga...much more strenuous.  A real workout).  And I'm doing strength training in the gym one morning a week.  So far, I'm loving it.

These are all terrific changes.  I'm past the cravings stage that happens when you cut out something you're used to eating.  I've lost eighteen pounds (40-50 to go!), and already feel a lot better.  More energetic, less fatigued.  Wonderful stuff.

So that's the start.  Now it's on to the path forward.  One step at a time...a little more each day.

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