As I read the last post about the things I changed in my life to get me losing weight and moving to get fit, I didn’t mention that I log everything in the MyFitnessPal app, which is a handy (yes, there is a free version) tool for tracking everything you eat, drink, every workout, your weight, etc. I like this app, and there are others that are good as well, but I like the articles on the blog from this app. It links up to my fitness tracker, I have a Fit-Bit right now, and it also links up with the MapMyWalk app I use to map any walking routes I take and keeps track of distance and speed. I also started taking Collagen Peptides a few months ago, which I believe are helping with some of my achy stuff I have/had. There are great articles on-line about collagen peptides and their benefits, so I do not have to go into detail here about what I learned.

What I have done isn’t that difficult, it just takes some determination and some self informing research, all the information is available on-line, and available to anyone with a computer or smart phone and connection to the Internet.

How the process worked/works: I had to be painfully honest with myself, I had to write things down and really admit what I was doing to myself. This is probably the hardest part, you aren’t writing it down for anyone but you, but you have to take a good hard look at your habits and figure out what needs changing and what that change will look like. Once I had listed my personal “sins” or weaknesses, my bad habits and my falling off a cliff cravings that would and had sabotaged me in the past, I then took each one of those as smaller parts of the same whole and decided how I would eliminate them from my life. I do not plan on picking up those bad habits again, I do not plan on going back there. With my lists and notes to myself, I began searching for information that made sense to me, and once I hit on an idea I would go deeper into the research from that point. I looked at both sides of every discussion, looked for the science or lack there of, and moved forward when I felt sure that was the right path. I could have turned back and started over again in a different direction if I had needed to. As I have continued on this path I have continued to read, to research and to follow the signs I find toward a healthier and more fit me.

Why I am not calling this a diet: because it isn’t. Well, it is a complete life overhaul and one that will continue for the rest of my life. All the research indicates that if I want to live a long healthy life I need to work out for the rest of it, working out is not a punishment it is a reward, follow the logic, because I am active I am more able to go out and do what I want to do, the activity of working out leads to the other activities I want to do. Somewhere along the way my workout has become something I look forward to, so it really is a win-win. What I eat is what I want to eat as the new person I am becoming, I do not want the things I left behind, I feel so much better now, cleaner now, vibrant now, why would I ever go back and reintroduce into my life, diet and body the things that made me, not just obese, but feel bad. I am not taking this in stages, where with each new stage I get to add back something, I am actually regularly looking at my life and seeing where I can take away and where I need to add. I am regularly listening to my body and trying to live in such a way that I am working with my own body and not against it.

Where am I getting this stuff? Well, one of the things I decided was to figure out what got me where I was in the first place and I figured out that while it was all my own doing, some of it was also some of our cultural norms, so I pondered that and wondered what do other cultures historically do differently, recently and ancient, that keeps their populations thinner and living longer. One of the things I am working on adopting and implementing is the Japanese practice of “hara hachi bu”, this means that you eat until you are 80% full, no matter how much food is still on your plate. In our culture we eat all of it, if it is on our plate, we don’t know what 80% full even feels like, because we are not paying enough attention to our body and the signals it is sending out. If you want to learn more about the philosophy just perform a google search for “hara hachi bu”. It sounds so simple, yet I am undoing a lifetime of cleaning my plate. I wish this was something we taught our children, because instead what we do is fill their plate with adult sized portions and tell them to eat up or there will be no dessert and that is a recipe for disaster, just look at our obesity rates in this country. Ah, but this is not a lecture from a reformed “fat” girl and we must all decide where we are, where we are going and who we will be when we get there. So, to keep it in perspective, where I started was at 283 pounds an obese 52 year old woman. Where am I going, I plan on being below 140 pounds, my ideal goal when I started was 135 pounds, but not just a thinner me, a stronger and more fit me, picking up healthy habits along the way toward living a long, happy and healthy life.

Who will I be? That is still being decided, as I lose weight and work out I am discovering things about myself, my likes and dislikes, my style and outlook, I am discovering and rediscovering myself. I try to practice a Japanese philosophy as it relates to food, I drink my Matcha tea and use Matcha in baking. I do Zumba everyday. I take collagen peptides. I drink Kombucha, which if you haven’t tried it, there really is a difference in taste between brands. I continue to take some of my supplements, and look into changing some things, like looking for a better multivitamin. I am changing, for the better, I am more connected to my faith, probably because I am not cluttering my life with so much junk, I am writing again, which is great for my mental state. I want to live to be 104, a number based on doubling how old I am now, because I am finally getting it right.

I am heading in the right direction, and for now I am taking it one day at a time. I had a messed up relationship with food, I am recovering from that, I was not working out, I am remedying that, I was not taking care of myself, I am changing that. For now, I have to go get ready to do my workout this morning, so, make today an adventure.