When, just about two and a half years ago, I decided to lose weight, that was the most important thing to me for the six months between my decision and my goal date.
I followed the nutrition guidelines my trainer gave me to a tee. If I was somewhere where everybody was eating sandwiches, I’d usually eat the contents of the sandwich, but not the bread. I’d try to convince my mother to make something other than her spaghetti if I went home for a night or a weekend. I tried to be quiet about it, but I think that just resulted in my being quietly obnoxious, and totally being “that girl.”
But I still lost 35 pounds in six months and went off to Aruba for MaryBeth’s wedding happy to be a normal, healthy weight and not be the girl trying to figure out how to strategically lie on my towel so that nobody could see my fat. Happy to be the girl who could share clothes with her friends and not look on wistfully as the other girls swapped clothes. (Maybe not happy to be the girl who lost weight so quickly that her bridesmaid dress couldn’t be altered quickly enough to keep up with her weight loss.
The other night at dinner with some blogger friends, I mentioned how I’d interviewed at a health-related company a few months ago. It was a company I admired, but when I interviewed, I got the impression that if I got the job and mentioned to coworkers that I’d had fries that weekend after a few beers or that (gasp!) I didn’t always buy organic, they’d look at me like I had ten heads. I stay healthy in the real world, not in an all-organic-food-all-the-time utopia. I try to eat as much of that stuff as possible, but I don’t get bent out of shape if I don’t.
Health is still really important to me, but it’s not the most important thing to me. I’ve changed my definition of health to fit in with my lifestyle, not the other way around. I’m no longer trying to lose weight (whew), so if I go to a party and there’s stuff I don’t usually eat, it doesn’t faze me. I just eat less of it.
I mostly cut out wheat and dairy when I was trying to lose weight, and while I can’t deny I felt great doing that, my stomach wasn’t a fan when I tried to add some back in. (I’ve fully added wheat back in now. I’m training for a marathon.) I don’t want to completely cut anything out if I’m not allergic or don’t have an intolerance, because I don’t want to be able to not enjoy some of those foods sometimes. In the real world, there’s cheesecake. And I will have some.
Yesterday, I had a multi-grain wrap from Trader Joe’s with spinach, hummus and turkey. I stayed away from deli turkey for awhile because I thought there were too many ingredients (there are), but you know what? It’s easy. No cooking required. There’s much worse I could be eating.
This morning, I had my favorite breakfast, again. (Sunflower butter and banana, on a bagel thin.) Are there healthier breakfasts? Probably. Is this easy and filling? Yup.
How do you stay healthy in the real world?