Monday, July 4, 2011

Healthier Habits

Right now I’m on my way home from a trip to St. Louis, a preplanned time to visit with family and let the boys experience Six Flags for the first time. Last week we made an unplanned visit up to St. Louis to attend the funeral of my brother-in-law, the husband of my husband’s sister. His wasn't in the best of health, though we weren’t expecting the heart attack that led to his death. His passing has made me more reflective about my own lifestyle and inherited propensities for illness. Heart disease and cancer both run in my family and I’ve already had two precancerous spots removed from my skin. This past year I’ve allowed increased work and increased blogging(!)to interfere with pretty good eating and exercise habits.

In addition to my brother-in-law’s death, I’ve been inspired by D’Ma’s post on the couch-to-5K program she’s begun. While I’m taking on the 5K challenge myself, I’m also returning to the activities I really enjoy the most: yoga and biking. I’ve also resumed strength training. My body is most fit when I incorporate a variety of exercises. I’ve joined my husband in entering calories into MyFitnessPal (there’s an app for that!). The great (and dreadful) thing about it is the ability to add friends who can see whether you’ve entered your caloric intake and exercise into the program. Accountability is terrific and intimidating. I’m not only interested in reducing calories, I also want to choose foods that will decrease my risk of cancer and heart disease. MyFitnessPal provides a summary of the nutritional content of the food I enter, so that assists me in food selection. I’ve used other programs, but I’ve found this one to be the easiest and most useful.

5 comments:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss. It always makes you re-evaluate your choices when something like that happens.

    I'll have to check into MyFitnessPal. Although I'm not too sure I want other people to see that I ate fried chicken for lunch yesterday or that I had banana pudding for desert last night. hehe...

    These are not my normal choices, mind you. But when I want something bad for me, I just go ahead and have it...in moderation. I've found that telling myself I can't have it just makes me want it more. Yep, I know. Lame.

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  2. DMa,
    thankfully, MyFitnessPal only shows if you stayed under your calorie goal, it doesn't reveal whether you chose banana pudding for dessert :)

    It's human nature to want what we can't have and do what we aren't suppose to do. And you're smart enough to realize that and work within this reality.

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  3. You all will have to keep up with this to encourage me to start running again after January! Good for you!

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  4. D'Ma, you may enjoy reading French Women Don't Get Fat. One of her main principles is not to let yourself feel deprived, and to learn how to really enjoy food--responsibly, which is the only way to continue to enjoy it longterm, I think.

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  5. Thanks, Sheila. I've heard of that book, but haven't really paid it that much attention. I'll have to check it out.

    That is something I'm trying to learn, though. Everything in moderation is just fine. I'm trying to do that in many areas, not just food and health. I want to enjoy and savor life, not just mindlessly plod my way through my existence.

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