Just after the first few days of the new year, I began a workout and diet program that I committed to and surprisingly stuck with. I purchased a Groupon (if you haven’t signed up for this yet, you must!) for a 20-day Boot Camp. When I first saw the deal I kept hesitating; my finger itched to click my mouse on “buy” but I couldn’t help but question whether or not I could do it. Me? Boot Camp? After a little investigation on the offer’s website, I found I could have a choice of the boot camp or revolution training. So, I bought it. 20 days for $25.00.
Next, I signed up for a 28-day challenge offered by our local Whole Foods Market called “The Engine 2” diet.
For the whole month of February I followed a plant-based eating regimen. I purchased the book, which in all respects if very well written; but I could have saved myself the money because the philosophy behind the diet is something I am familiar with. Eat “live” food, don’t eat meat, and incorporate lots of whole grains into every meal. What was different was the omission of any oils and animal products. Basically, for a month I’d be a vegan. In a previous post I admitted I was not ready to be a vegetarian, much less a vegan, but I figured I could handle this limited experiment. So, I dove in with great enthusiasm.
I decided to try these two programs because, frankly, I could not stand the body I was living in. As one who pays attention to instinct, I knew when I started avoiding mirrors and cameras, deleting photographs I shunned looking at, it was time to do something. The truth of the matter is, I wasn’t yet ready to stop having my picture taken with my grandchildren and I wanted my family to want to take and display them.
So, I took the leap of faith that if I paid for it, I would see it through.
The combination of revolution training – that is resistance machines mixed with cardio, and the vegan diet really worked! And, I stuck with it. For eight weeks I went to the gym three times a week (if I had to miss a day I made sure to walk) and ate the prescribed foods with nary a cheat. By the fifth or sixth week I noticed a difference – my pants were falling off my butt! Really! I was like those kids who find that look fashionable, hiking up their trousers every couple of steps. The best part was I was proud to share a recent photograph of myself, compared to the one taken of me a few months earlier. Even better? My daughter said, “You look good. Whatever you are doing, keep it up.”
So, did I? Kind-of.
I said to my husband, “I hate Easter! “
He knows me too well. For the weeks leading up to Easter I resisted the temptation to buy, cure (by that I mean leave out in the open air until they are nice and stale), and gorge on peeps. Even when my best friend Nancy thought she was being nice by buying some for me, then eating them with relish right in front of me, I stayed firm. Until one weak moment when I bought four packs. By the time the third pack was furtively (my husband never knew!) consumed, I was disgusted with myself and threw out number four. Then, yeah – I did it again a couple weeks later. Same thing; eat three, shove number four into the depths of the trash.
After that I ate pastry, made cookies and homemade bread, and pretty much fell off the Engine.
It hasn’t all been for naught, however. I am back to working out because I felt the weight creep back on. I go to the local YMCA now and do my workouts on my own; no trainer prompting with “keep it up, come on, PUSH IT!” But I do well on my own. I also have eliminated many things from my diet: processed sugar (of course, after my fall from grace), table salt, meat (I’ll eat chicken once in a while); and I eats lots more fruits, fresh vegetables and really interesting grains such as farrow and quinoa.
Sure, I’m mad at myself for my slip-up, but I think I turned a corner and realize that the foods I grew up with: meat, potatoes, pasta, was meant for a different era. I also truly understand that any diet, in order for it to work must be in conjunction with exercise.
I have come to realize that if I want to live long and (key word here) healthy, I had to accept some changes.
I’m a work in progress, and my philosophy is, it’s never too late to start.
This picture was taken in Sept. 2010. That's Paula, little Rain's other grandma. She looks fantastic! Me? I look so bloated and fat! I hated this one and wished I could have posted it on Facebook but was too mortified.
This photo was taken in April. I was proud to share it. By the way, both pictures are with beautiful Rain.