May 182014

(or “enemy action” depending on what Rule of Three definition you want to go by..)

As always I’ve been in a start/stop mode with the whole working out thing. I was doing really well when I was training for the half and even signed up for another half to try to keep it up. Unfortunately somewhere in the working, commute, trying to dinner made, kids fed and bathed and into bed, I fell off the wagon. Seems that falling off the wagon, which I’ve done more than three times for sure, has become my pattern.

Fortunately for me, patterns can be changed if you try hard enough. I realized that I have to stop viewing my efforts as a diet and rather look at it for the lifestyle change that is necessary to live healthier.

Before kids DH and I were out every night doing something active. Our mountain bikes never sat idle for more an a day or two and our backpacks got a regular beating at least every other weekend. It was our lifestyle.

Fast forward a bunch of years, a house, a dog, kids, and the responsibility that surrounds those, things changed (as one would expect them to). Our lifestyle changed and while we’re just as happy as we were before we’re not as healthy. Face it, trying to cook a healthy dinner every night while dealing with a long evening commute and kids that are starving when they get home doesn’t always happen. It’s really easy to resort to bag meals, frozen chicken nuggets and PB&J sammies and exercise is the last thing on my mind.

So when a friend of mine was looking for accountability partners for a 90 day challenge and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to kick off a lifestyle change and try to get back to that active state as a family.

What this meant for me (which will hopefully trickle down the family) was:

1. Planning my lunch and dinner menus for the week and shopping for it (generally on Saturday).

And writing it down on the menu board so everyone knows. Having the plan means that I can avoid the 20 min “oh-shoot” stance in front of the fridge wondering what I’m going to make. It also allows me to try to prep things ahead of time on the off occasion I have the energy left over at the end of the previous day. I’ve been doing this since Lia came along but have in the most recent weeks skipped it. So, I’m trying to get back into the habit. I don’t always follow the menu but it’s nice to have it there when it is needed. (I usually plan 4 meals, 2 backups and one assume “out” night per week). I added my lunches to this plan as well to keep from eating out every days.

2. Switching to a more whole foods diet and cutting way back on the processed foods

This is the biggest switch I think. This means ditching soda, alcohol (except for special occasions), and as much processed food as possible. And switching to lots of whole veggies and fruits and meats. I’ve been really trying to shop the outside walls of the grocery store vs. the aisles (because you find more of the prepackaged and proceed foods in the aisles generally).

We’ve also cut our eating out at restaurants way back. Which, aside from being an awesome calorie saver, is a money saver too!

3. Logging everything in MyFitnessPal

So that I can keep a sense of what I’m eating on a regular basis. One of the goals of this lifestyle change is to get back to a healthier weight. Which I know will come with improved eating and activity but while I’m still learning portion control and making better choices in the food department, I have MFP to back me up (and the community that surrounds it).

4. Picking up a work out that I can do in my limited time in the evenings.

My friend introduced me to the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge which is what spurred much of this change. I’d love to get out for a run every evening to keep active but truthfully I have about 20 min to spare and that’s generally after the kids are in bed (so it’s dark out – I don’t like running in the dark). In those cases in the past I would just make up an excuse and move on (and I still may some nights:). However, BBM takes 30 min or less but still gets the heart pumping so I’m able to fit in a quick burn and feel good about the day. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to jump at the chance for a long run or ride, but as for daily exercise – this does it.

We’re also, as a family, trying to find activities that we can do together. DH and Noah go out for a kayak ride sometimes in the evening or a bike ride as I’m putting Lia to bed. We’ve been grilling out a lot so that we can play soccer or kickball in the back yard as dinner cooks. On the weekends we go for at least one big family walk or bike ride a day.

Bottom line, I want to make sure that as Lia and Noah grow up, they favor the outdoors like we do and want to do things that get them out and stretching their legs and lungs. So far so good – they’d rather be outside playing than inside so we just have to keep it up!!

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