I'm not a nutritionist. I'm not a fitness expert.

I am a 57 year old woman who has never felt more healthy and fit in my entire life. Five years ago, at 52, I weighed about 80 lbs. more than I do now. I felt much older, with stiff joints and back aches and no energy. And don't even ask about clothes!

My goal was not just weight loss, but to get healthier. I did not "go on a diet," I did not count calories or carbs. I made lifestyle changes, a little at a time. I tried to eat healthier and move more. You can do this, too. You can make changes to look, and more importantly, feel healthier and fit. You don't have to be overweight to be unfit. You will feel a difference in strength, energy, stamina and flexibility. I'm talking to you, men, too!

I can tell you how I did it. Not everything I do will be right for you. Through posts about my progress; tips and ideas about nutrition and exercise; links to sites I like and find helpful, I hope to inspire others to get fit and healthy and encourage a community of support and an exchange of ideas. And have a little fun on the way! Much of our information will be about local Cape Ann sites - walking and bike routes, gyms, types of exercise, yoga studios, good buys on healthy food - but Guests and commenters from anywhere are welcome as well.

Okay, I know you all want to know. Right now I'm wearing a pair of Levis - size 8. A comfortable size 8!

Twenty year old daughter:
"Mom, why are you wearing my clothes?"
Mom: "Because I can!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Food Rules

Last Spring, Michael Pollan, author and New York Times Contributing Editor, wrote a column asking readers to submit their "Rules to Eat By" for inclusion in an up-coming book, "Food Rules."

Boy, do people have a lot to say about food and eating! There were thousands of responses.

My own responses might have been:
  • Know what you are eating and make the healthiest choices whenever you can.
  • I don't need no stinking rules.
I didn't read through all the responses, but after browsing through them for a while, I picked out some of my personal favorites, ones I agree with - simple, practical, sensible and humorous:
  • I indulge in bad cravings every now and then (that’s being fair to myself), but recognize that every day is NOT now and then. (that’s the being fair to my body) Forbidding oneself from eating certain foods gives them more power than they deserve. By telling myself it’s okay to indulge every once in awhile those foods lose their power over me.

  • Don't create arbitrary rules for eating if their only purpose is to help you feel in control. I try to eat healthfully, but if there's a choice between eating ice cream and spending all day obsessing about eating ice cream, I'm going to eat the ice cream!

  • Avoid snack foods with the "OH" sound in their names: Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Hostess Ho Hos, etc.

  • It's better to pay the grocer than the doctor.

  • Calories count, but don’t count them.

  • Never wear elastic waist pants. Never eat anything directly from the box or bag. Never eat “mini” anything.

  • Don’t eat anything you can buy at a gas station.

  • Count nutrients, not calories.

  • Don’t waste precious calories on things that are only mildly satisfying. If I’m going to eat something fattening I’m not going to waste it on oreo cookies or low fat ice cream - I’m going for the chocolate mousse or the really high quality dark chocolate bar or hagendaz. I’d rather have something really excellent on an occasional basis than fill up on just ok.

  • Eat food, not merchandise.

  • Don’t eat fake food. Kool Whip is the work of the devil.

  • Get exercise. Frequent and regular. With sweat.

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