It’s been a while since I published a diet and fitness update on this blog and I’m definitely in need of accountability right now. When I was blogging daily like a journal, I would often talk about the current trials and tribulations associated with diet and exercise. These days it’s more automatic. I just go through the motions, but as I learned again just recently, this can be a problem. I am again in need of a body reset.
For a little backstory, I’ve pretty much always enjoyed working out. I’ve talked about my running journey and more recently my yoga journey. Here’s a quick summary of my history with exercise and diet, and why I need a reset following two years of the pandemic.
High School and College
In high school I worked out with the old Jane Fonda VHS tapes. I also did some Denise Austin workouts when she had her daily program. I was active for fun with exercises such as biking and roller blading as well. I was never overweight. I never had any issues with food. I just liked working out. It was a hobby. Something to do.
I carried on my workouts in a similar fashion when I went to college. I added in attending classes at the student recreation center both alone and with friends. This was my first experience with a “gym” and group exercise classes.
After graduation I started my first full-time job and signed up for a YMCA membership, which I kept for five years and through three moves between two states. I would do cardio workouts, lift weights, use machines and take group exercise classes.
I grew up on a meat and potatoes kind of diet. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I tried foods such as: mango, avocado, grapefruit, edamame, brussels sprouts and squash. In college I maintained what could easily be described as poor eating habits, but metabolism wasn’t an issue then or my first few years out of college.
Body Reset Diet
Fitness After College
In 2008, I began running recreationally and then got into racing within a year. I also started to read about nutrition and diet. I began making changes: swapping out white bread with wheat bread, moving to whole fat dairy instead of skim or reduced fat, reading ingredient labels, trying those new foods I just mentioned, making an effort to cook and meal plan, and more.
Many of these efforts have stuck long-term. I also renewed my passion for yoga and attended my first studio classes. I was at my most lean in 2010 and 2011 when I was running approximately 50-60 miles a week and training for half-marathons.
After another move, around 2012 I left the YMCA and joined Planet Fitness for a few years. This is an affordable gym with basic equipment but no group classes or child care. Everything was pretty status quo during this time. However, I had a stressful period around 2013 where I was running and racing but not at my healthiest weight or state.
When I Became a Mom
I kept up my workouts and improved diet even more during my pregnancy. After having my daughter in late 2015, everything was chaos. I would eat whatever was available. There weren’t a lot of rules in place and I was constantly starving because I was burning extra calories due to nursing. I lost the “baby weight” quickly.
Around 2017, I was attending studio yoga classes, would go to a sort of baby boot camp workout with my toddler daughter and attend group exercise classes here and there. I also performed my own at-home workouts, did online workouts and keep active through walking our rescue dog Lulu.
During the weaning process, and soon after, I noticed what I was eating was beginning to impact the scale and how my clothing fit. Metabolism was slowing down. I wasn’t burning as many calories. Overall, things were sluggish. I pushed through and trained for and ran my first road race in years in 2017 , which was the Cleveland 8K. I also completed a 10K race after that.
I continued to work out through the end of 2017, but my diet was in need of help. I’ve heard this described a few ways and the best way for me to describe it is I stopped paying attention to my diet and I stopped caring. I just wanted to get through each day. It caught up to me.
My First Diet Reset
By late 2017, I wasn’t feeling too great. I was tired. I was also dealing with sinus problems. I felt like my immune system needed to be recharged. And my clothing wasn’t fitting well. I really didn’t want to go out and buy a new wardrobe. I like saving money, remember? Instead, I decided to start making some changes.
I started implementing these changes before Christmas, which is kind of crazy. But, I did, and I let myself enjoy the holidays – within reason. After New Year’s Day and I was continuing to improve my diet and exercise habits.
The strange part about all of this is that during the time that I wasn’t giving myself much care or attention, I was spending tremendous time and planning in feeding our daughter high-quality, whole foods. I understand the trap now. It’s a trap of time. It’s a trap of priorities. It’s a trap of thinking I’ll always have tomorrow to make changes.
A healthy daughter is nothing without a healthy mom. The same goes for my spouse, my family, my friends, my clients and everyone else who knows me and interacts with me. I was not at my best and it was time for a body reset.
I Started a Body Reset
How do you perform a body reset? I’m not an expert, but I want to share what I did for one week to jumpstart my health. I also want to share the changes I am continuing to implement to improve my health. This body reset can be performed by anyone. You don’t need to be a mom. You can be single. You can be married. It doesn’t matter. The body reset is about caring for YOU.
The reset started with one week of what I would best describe as a “cleanse” or “detox.” During that one week I eliminated: dairy, gluten, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar in all forms. I also made a point to stop eating past 6 p.m. or at least three hours before bed.
I also made sure to drink at least half of my body weight daily ounces of water. I also exercised every day, even if it was simply walking our dog. The point was to get moving. It took about four days, but I finally started to feel better and to have more energy.
Feeling Better After a Body Reset
After the one week plan, I felt like I had the body reset I needed to continue with making healthier choices. I was not being as strict but was consciously reducing foods which can cause inflammation such as sugar, dairy and gluten. I was also adding more protein to my diet and drinking more water.
I had begun, once again, to view food as fuel for my body. I evaluated each bite, each meal plan and each grocery item I bought. I was reading nutrition labels again and paying attention to portion sizes during this body reset. I felt so much better. I had more energy and was confident about my health continuing to improve.
This reset helped me get to my leanest since 2011. During this time (2018 and 2019) we also changed gyms so we had child care allowing me to work out even more easily. I maintained this until March 2020. The pandemic started and our gym shut down, later we ended membership due to restrictions.
Unfortunately not much has changed in almost two years now, except that I am in need of a reset once again. With no gym membership in sight it’s time to double down my efforts. I haven’t been consistent with diet or exercise. It’s been an ebb and flow with more bad days than good.
But I recognize this is not where I want or need to be long-term. Also I think I am beginning to feel the metabolism shift a bit more. I understand this is a common struggle, especially among women. My body has been through a lot but I also want to have it carry me through much more over the coming years.
Well Body Reset
Diet and Fitness Books
During the time of my first body reset I had been reading a few books about health, diet and nutrition. I wanted to share what I was reading in case these books could be beneficial to you as well:
• Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Female Hormones: I actually read this book a few years ago. I have met Dr. Bob himself (his practice is in Westlake, Ohio) and I’ve met his immediate family members who are involved in the practice. I have not gone to the practice for my own medical care, but I remain intrigued over non-traditional medicine. This book contains a lot of information about healing the body from the inside out, through food, and without medication.
• The Maker’s Diet: This is another book that I already read once, when I first began my quest years ago to eat healthier. I want to review the diet suggestions in this book as I’m a strong believer that God would not give us food that would make us sick.
• The Daniel Plan: This book is new to me and I haven’t started reading it yet but it’s on the pile. It was a best-seller a few years ago and also covers biblical-based eating and fasting. I didn’t realize until just recently that one of the authors of this book, Dr. Mark Hyman, is also based in Cleveland, Ohio. He leads The Center for Functional Medicine Department at the Cleveland Clinic.
• 131 Method: This book is a few years old but I just discovered and wanted to check it out as I work to reset my diet and fitness again and get back to where I was before the panedmic. It offers weight loss tips, gut health and detox. I follow Chalene Johnson on social media and have done her Piyo workouts. She’s also petite like me.
I’m so thankful I came to my senses once before and realized I needed to make some changes to my diet and self-care routine. The body reset was just what I needed. If you are struggling with diet, exercise or simply not feeling your best I encourage you to make some changes today.
Read about health and nutrition. Experiment with changes in diet. Try eliminating or reducing foods that can cause inflammation in the body. Star moving more. Give your body time to heal and experience a body reset.
Have you felt that you weren’t giving your body your best? What did you change?
*This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.