I accidentally mentioned I was on a diet while at a social gathering last night. My friend responded with, “You’re on a diet?” Well, I did call it a diet when I mentioned it, but I like to think of it as “healthy eating” instead… Diet has become such a negative word.
But, yes, I’m on a diet. At 5’4” tall and 149 lbs I look pretty fit. Yet various ideal weight calculations put my ideal weight between 123 and 145 lbs, so I’m over my ideal weight even after losing 5 lbs. I’m aiming for 140 lbs, because I want to be within that healthy range for once.
Well, not for once. I was pretty fit in high school and early in college too. After I got married in 1999 I succumbed to the post-marriage weight gain. At one point I remember being up to 165 lbs. The number doesn’t matter to me so much, but I felt it. Sluggish, not sexy, grumpy… I feel it when 155 starts appearing on the scale too, or when I haven’t been exercising enough in general.
Which brought about my most recent diet. I noticed that I was snacking a lot when I was home for no really good reason. I wasn’t hungry. It was just a distraction. Too, that number on the scale was inching up, I decided to do something about it.
I found a calorie counting app, MyFitnessPal, that would help me to be more mindful about the things I was putting into my body. The app also asked me about my life style (I put sedentary, because I work from a desk), and my weight loss goals (140 lbs). It then told me how many calories I should be eating per day to reach my goal in a reasonable, healthy time span. The app syncs with RunKeeper, the app I use to keep track of my jogging and other exercise, and MyFitnessPal adjusts my allowed calorie intake for the days I run.
This app has been a great help to me. It has definitely made me more mindful about what I’m eating and when. It’s also been a great help in identifying what a serving size really is. One ounce of cheese really is an Ok amount! A 6 oz glass of wine is ~160 calories. If I’m feeling hungry and craving a snack, but I’m almost at my calorie limit, an apple is only ~70 calories. Or if I really want a cookie, I’ll eat 70 calories worth of cookies (usually 2-ish ).
I find that it’s not helping me so much when I go out to eat or go to social gatherings, and I end up overeating. Hence the comment at the party last night. I’m still figuring that out…
My overall point of this post, is that I’m trying to live a healthy life. People may view me as fit, and overall I am. I run a 5k a couple of times a week, I practice yoga sporadically, and I’m not severely overweight. I’m proud of all of that, but the fact is that I am overweight and I’m getting older. Just like everyone else, if I don’t stay mindful to remaining healthy, I’ll end up in a place I don’t want to be again. I have to struggle with it just like everyone else.
Here’s to everyone who does healthy things for themselves, no matter what stage we are at!