Thursday, June 26, 2014

Say No to Diets

I hate diets.

For me, the word, "diet" translates to deprivation, monotony, flavorless and failure. Going on a diet automatically triggers a pseudo starvation panic during which I can't stop thinking about food, when I can eat next and what I'm going to eat when that time comes. I get on Pinterest and stare longingly at brownie recipes. Inevitably, I end up jumping - no, diving into a bag of M&Ms.

I have a very warm and loving relationship with food.

I like to cook. I like the aroma and presentation of food. I like to share it with friends around a big table. I have my favorites but I'm willing to experiment. I like food that changes with the seasons like butternut squash in the fall and berries in the spring. I like the food traditions that come with holidays and special occasions. And I love to eat.

So I'm breaking up with diets but I'm not breaking up with food.

I've tried to come up with a new term for diet. Nutritional regimen sounds too much like military boot camp with someone screaming at me to eat my kale. Clean eating sounds antiseptic.

My new name for diet is my EATS plan.

  • Eat and cook real food with ingredients you can pronounce and recognize. 
  • Accept that you can't eat everything you want all the time. But you can have a little of it once and awhile.
  • Take the time to plan, prepare and eat a meal. Take the time to exercise every day. Try for balance, not perfection.
  • Savor every bite. 
That's a plan I can embrace.
But I still don't think it will motivate me to eat kale. Ditto for chia seeds.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What...This Old Thing?

I'm all about finding motivation. And one of my favorite ways to light a fire is to have something new to wear. For some reason, new workout clothes just make it easier to work up a sweat.
Shapeless t-shirts and slouchy sweats just don't do it for me. I'd rather dance, lift and run in something that makes me feel powerful and fabulous.

I love this top that Lindsay got out of the Jazzercise catalog, I think. It's a sheer fabric worn over a red midriff top, perfect for the heat of summer. It looks like something Audrey Hepburn would have worn in a Jazzercise class. Cool and elegant.

And what's better than a tee with an attitude?

Cropped pants come in such  a variety of pattern, color and design. Mary's zebra patterned crops and blue top would look great with the new Jazzercise tote, right? The blue and white patterned crops I got recently are so soft and comfy, I could sleep in them.

 The only trend I haven't been able to pull off (yet) is the crop top.
Maybe that will be my new goal: baring the midriff at Jazzercise
by the end of the summer. I need to work in a few more Core classes!

I may be a fitness fashionista but that doesn't mean I spend a lot of money on workout wear. I've been able to find great sales at places like J.C. Penney and Target. Friends of mine say they find bargains on workout clothes at T.J. Maxx.

Where do you shop for workout wear?

Saturday, June 7, 2014


I had minor surgery last week to repair a blocked tear duct in my left eye. It was an outpatient procedure and I anticipated I'd have to take it easy for a few days. I'm now on Day 5 of no exercise and I'm losing my mind.

I am NOT a good sick person. I hate being sidelined and I have no patience for sitting still and twiddling my thumbs. I like to get things done, check them off the list, power through. Sitting on the sidelines is not for me.
Not to mention the fact that I look like Quasimodo meets the Elephant Man. 

Can you tell I'm a tad grumpy?
I miss my Jazzercise.

It started me thinking about setbacks and how best to handle them. I've tried to value the time I have to read, knit and watch TV, pursuits I usually don't have much time for. But it's not working.

Because, for me, exercise is about more than physical health. I rely on it as a mood-booster. An hour at Jazzercise just makes me feel better. When I'm sidelined, I turn into a crotchety, sullen, bad-tempered shrew. Just ask my family.

There's plenty of evidence to support the link between regular exercise and enhanced mood. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, chemicals that interact with the brain and trigger good feelings by reducing your perception of pain. Regular exercise has been shown to ease depression, control anxiety and improve sleep.

The social aspects of exercise also provide benefits. The support and encouragement of a friend, a trainer or a class can work wonders for a bad mood. Positive feelings are contagious.

Due to this minor setback, I've lost a major source of stress relief, the kind of anti-depressant that doesn't come in a bottle. But it's only temporary. As soon as I get the okay from my doctor, I'm bustin' outta here.
I'll be back.