It always starts with a thought. I really oughta get healthier. Lose a little weight. Cut back on the fast food. Have a salad instead of french fries. The voice of your mom pops into your head about that time, too. Eat your vegetables. Finish the healthy stuff on your plate before dessert. We’ve all heard it, we all know it, but truth be told, most Americans ignore it. Eating healthy is expensive (and fast food isn’t!?). There isn’t enough time in my day to work out (but how much time did you waste on facebook?!) Yeah, I have used all the excuses in the world. I have heard some good ones that I saved for later practice. But truth be told, it’s about time something was done. Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and a number of other diseases can be prevented by a good diet and exercise. It’s high time I got my butt off of my excuses and onto something better. Yay for motivation. Here comes the hard part. How?
Smart phones are the most frustrating wonderful invention of our time. Done incorrectly apps, games, text messaging, email, and the internet can easily take over face to face interactions and human contact. Used, well, smartly, the smart phone is a tool that can help you get an answer to the question, “how” much faster than before. Here’s what I mean. Sure, the “how” could include a fad diet, something more tried and true, or something in between. There’s lots of possibilities. Slimfast, alli, Weight Watchers, Atkin’s, Jenny Craig- all household names and all can definitely help you lose more. But what happens when you end those programs. What happens when you stop worrying about your weight because you’re at that “goal”? You put down that chocolate shake that fixed your craving for a chocolate bar and…? Yeah, I have been there, too. I don’t need a diet, I need a lifestyle change. That’s not just a buzz word. It’s just true fact. I need to retrain my body to want the right stuff for it. I want to crave broccoli, cheese, yogurt, whole grain breads, and teach it that the best dessert in the world can be in-season fruit. Sometimes the answer, is simple, and in my case, smart. There’s this cute little program on my phone that helps me count calories. Not just the normal way, either. Let’s say I decide on a black cherry yogurt. I pick up my phone, scan the barcode, and put in the amount of servings that I had and it calculates the calories for me. Then, my running tab for calories is not that far away from my window to the world when I am on the go. The neat thing about this program is that you can add your own recipes, or if you scan something that isn’t in the system, you can add the item, and within 24 hours its in the database. It’s a way to count calories the smart way and frankly, the cheap way. It’s been teaching me that I can have a bowl full of vegetables or one fun size candy bar. Or that I could really snack all day, and as long as I stay within my caloric intake, still lose weight.
But that really is only half of the “how”. The other half is exercise. Ick! It’s been a dirty word since I was little. I had trouble breathing when I ran, felt like I was going to pass out or cry from the pain in my chest. Now, I know I have asthma. This is where my health insurance was a plus. Little did I know that it had this cute little perk called the fitness program. For a flat fee every month, I could go to virtually any fitness club of my choosing and I didn’t have to stick to just one. I could decide what worked best for me on that day and go for it. What an amazing prospect! But I know I am overweight and everyone in the gym is going to be disgusted at my untoned body, be grossed out, and I’ll never look like them anyway… ugh! So much for motivation. Good thing I found it again. Curves. My fitness program included curves. Even if they looked toned and beautiful, the ladies there had to understand what I was doing and why, right? I swallowed my fear, and I walked into Curves one day. The day after Memorial Day, I started working out. Three times a week is minimum. If I am serious about this, three isn’t enough for me. My goal is five. Five with weekends free. I am going to do it, too. This is week two, and I have lost nine pounds. Here I go!