That title, “What Can I Eat Now (that I’m fit)?” is what I want this blog to be about: Congratulations, you achieved your health goal. But what about long-term wellness? How do you realistically maintain this success and lifestyle? Welcome to my journey as I discover these answers for myself and share my experience and tips. But first, here’s my personal story that started it all.
About six years ago, I lost 90 pounds.
Late 2009 was the most transformative time of my life. It began with the darkest, lowest period of my life, a surrender of sorts, and then by accepting help to get up and out of it. I did that by changing my thoughts, habits, spiritual practice and perceptions. Basically, I had to change everything — except my job as a lifestyles journalist at a Florida newspaper.
I’ve always wanted to write for a living, ever since my older brother Paul gave me my first diary at Christmas when I was 10. The pale pink little book with a combination lock and gilded pages was beautiful to me. One early entry: “I like hot dogs. They are yummy.” Clearly, I was destined for food journalism.
But what really laser-focused my writing career (besides the advice to specialize when moving from Florida to NYC) was a health crisis and emotional breakdown, followed by a life overhaul using a support system that I continue accessing to this day.
When I was overweight, my ankles were swollen. My blood pressure was so high that at 29 years old, my doctor wanted to prescribe me hypertension medication. I couldn’t stop eating. I was depressed. Suffice it to say: I was a mess. The only thing going well was my journalism career. I loved writing about people and their lifestyles through the arts, entertainment, wellness (ha!), restaurants, fashion, decor and charity. I still do.
So the transformation in my personal life infused my professional life. My passion for cooking, fitness and wellness took hold of my writing, and that’s become my journalistic focus ever since.
By the way, I’ve gained about 20 pounds since then, the last 10 since moving to NYC. (Adjusting to boyfriend cohabitation and the crazy-awesome NYC food scene!) While my first instinct is shame, I am trying to be gentle with myself and monitor the internal dialogue. I used to exercise daily, then six days a week, and now it’s three to four days a week with an off time here and there. My diet has changed somewhat. I don’t want to follow this trend to the point of becoming unhealthy again. Lifelong maintenance is the idea. I still pretty much like how I look. And I sure couldn’t say that six years ago.
More importantly, I love what my body can do. I am amazed at its potential. I am trying to focus on performance rather than appearance when it comes to fitness. This healthier, more holistic motivation is critical. For instance, it’s not about doing sit-ups to get a flat stomach, which doesn’t work anyway if you don’t change your diet. It’s about strength training to get stronger quads and glutes so I can run longer and faster without injury for the coming Shape/More Women’s Half Marathon April 17, and the big one — the NYC Marathon Nov. 6. (Aaak!)
My passion in life is about forming and maintaining a healthy, holistic relationship with food, fitness and wellness. All these ideas are integrated throughout life and affect everything I do, feel and think. That’s true for everyone, whether they realize it or not. When it comes to mindful eating, I don’t like to think about what I can’t eat, but what I want to eat more of: More vegetables, more fiber, more lean protein, more whole fruit. Stuff like that. I enjoy the more side of things rather than the less. Call me greedy, call me capitalistic, but nutritionists call this the crowding-out method, which I did without realizing that it was a thing. So, bottom line, I want to live life to the fullest, follow my passion and celebrate the joy of living.
That’s all. Ha.
My first goal is to post once a week, and then determine where to go from there. Future posts will be more you-focused, but I hope there is something in this post you can relate to. Thoughts, opinions, suggestions or questions? Please tell me. Share with a comment under this blog post, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.