It’s been a while since I published a diet and fitness update on this blog. 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 my diet and exercise are more automatic. I just go through the motions, but as I learned recently, this can be a problem. I found I was in need of a body reset.
For a little backstory, I’ve pretty much always been a fitness person. I talked about my running journey last year but I didn’t get into detail about my “working out” journey. Here’s a quick summary of my history with exercise and diet.
I Started Working Out in High School
I was moving along with the old Jane Fonda workouts back when I was in high school. 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 when I went to college and attended classes at the student recreation center both alone and with friends.
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 was game for all.
Related blog posts:
• The Immune System Your Body’s Natural Defense
• A Seven-Day Shakeology Challenge
• How to Stay in Shape and Active at Your Desk Job
• How to Make a Filling Breakfast You Will Enjoy
About two years later, I began running recreationally and then got into racing. I also renewed my passion for yoga and have kept that fire burning until present day. At some point I left the YMCA and joined another gym. I tried out different yoga studios and classes – which leads me to present day.
As of now, I attend yoga classes, go to a sort of baby boot camp workout with my daughter and attend group exercise classes here and there. I also perform my own at-home workouts, do online workouts and keep active through walking our rescue dog Lulu.
My History with Nutrition and Food
Now, for a brief summary of my history with diet and nutrition. 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, brussel sprouts and squash. This is not a joke and those are only a few.
In college I maintained what could easily be described as poor eating habits, but metabolism wasn’t an issue then. It also wasn’t an issue during my first few years out of college. Around 2009, when I also began running seriously, I 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.
How Things Changed When I Became a Mom
I kept up the workouts and improved diet through my pregnancy. After giving birth in 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.
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.
By late 2017, I wasn’t feeling too great. I was tired. I was 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. Now, here we are after New Year’s Day and I’m continuing to improve my diet and exercise habits.
An Unhealthy Mom is Not a Good Mom
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.
I’m Feeling 100% 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’m not being as strict now but I’m consciously reducing foods which can cause inflammation such as sugar, dairy and gluten. I’m adding more protein to my diet. I’m drinking more water.
I’ve begun, once again, to view food as fuel for my body. I evaluate each bite, each meal plan and each grocery item I buy. I’m reading nutrition labels again and paying attention to portion sizes during this body reset. I feel so much better. I have more energy and I’m confident about my health continuing to improve.
Books Helping with My Body Reset
During this same time I have been reading a few books about health, diet and nutrition. I wanted to share what I’m 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.
I’m so thankful I came to my senses in late 2017 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?