Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You Are What You Eat

How many times since elementary school have we been told to eat five a day, get 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, and drink at least eight glasses of water? By now it should be part of our lives as breathing and wearing clothes, but national health reports will tell you differently.

I used to weigh 170 pounds, none of it being muscle. The fifteen-year-old I was then wouldn't have ever imagined to be a slightly muscular just-above-120 with no real obligation to the scale anymore. But like most every woman in Los Angeles, I am preoccupied to some degree by the circumference of my thighs. It just is what it is. However, as an active person trying to maintain performance ability, I can't think too much on looks alone. In an effort to balance the scales (figuratively speaking) I've decided to take on The Daily Plate at Livestrong.com again.

Livestrong.com is a [free!] community resource on all things nutrition, fitness, and health. Last year a few friends and I tried it out with different goals - some of us wanted to eat better, others wanted to lose weight - but of course we all were faced with the potential mistake of not looking at it as a lifestyle change. Realistically, if you're aiming for a clean-running engine or to modify your body outside of subdermal implants and enlarged lobes, that's the way you have to look at it.

In anticipation of warmer weather activities, I've started and modified a number of new workout plans. What I wasn't expecting was for my body to respond in ways that I wasn't previously used to (retaining uncomfortable amounts of water the biggest one). Despite the hard work, I can't say for sure that I've lost weight or inches thus far, although I feel and look more solid. But like last year, I'm going in with the goal to be more in tune with my body and make good nutritional decisions. It's not like I eat crap to begin with. I eat organically, with complex carbs thrown in, every 2-3 hours, minimum 64 ounces of water. It's just that I've just been a fan of the occasional kamikaze and slice of tiramisu in recent weeks (and as we learned yesterday, I could probably stand to sleep a little more).

So starting today I'll be keeping myself in check by entering foods, supplements and drinks, etc., into the application - from gold star achievements to caloric indiscretions. I hope to do a top-notch job athletically in coming months as a result, whether running or cycling. And if I get a better-looking body out of it, even better. Goodness knows I don't have the money for elective surgery.

Feel free to join me and several others!

Photo via extension.unh.edu

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