Fit, Fab, and (Not Quite) 40 – Pt. 5

Now that I’ve got my exercise routine down, I’m starting to concentrate more on my eating habits which aren’t the best.  I picked up a great little book at the library called, Doctor’s Orders: 101 Medically Proven Tips for Losing Weight by Kent Sasse, MD (360 Publishing, 2009).

Some of my favorite tips from Dr. Sasse include:

Make short-term goals.  My first goal was to get to my pregnancy weight. No, not pre-pregnancy weight.  My full-term pregnancy weight.  I’ve done that.  My next goal is to reach my pre-pregnancy weight.  I think achieving this goal by August is not unreasonable.

Take the stairs.  I hate to admit it, but I’ve been using the elevator at the library for a long time now.  It’s just pure laziness.  I know, we only have two levels, but it saved me a little energy.  Well, those days are over.

Have dinner and a walk.  Walking after dinner feels good, doesn’t it?  Better yet, skip dessert in favor of the walk.

Get enough sleep.  Being over tired is a huge trigger for me.  I will literally eat to stay awake.  When I start scrounging around in the pantry late at night, I know that’s my cue to go to bed!

Blog it!  Seriously.  It’s in the book.

Learn to live with some hunger.  I’m still working on this one.  I’ve always maintained that the key to losing weight is learning to like feeling hungry.  Dr. Sasse would agree.  Please understand, he does not advocate starving yourself, but he doesn’t believe in running to the refrigerator at the first sign of hunger either.  I know there are diets out there that promise you’ll never feel hungry.  But let’s be honest – it just doesn’t work that way, does it?

Make food cuts that don’t hurt.  Drink diet sodas instead of their sugary versions.  I’ve learned that fat free mayonnaise isn’t so bad.  Try substituting protein packed non-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream. I love it with baked tortilla chips and salsa.   As I said, Dr. Sasse does not advocate starving yourself.  Instead, he believe that lots of small changes add up to big results over time.

Do a mini fast.  Eat nothing from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. one to two times a week to step up your game.

Move the candy bowl.  We almost always have a candy bowl full of chocolate in the staff lounge at the library.  But my co-workers have been helping me by keeping it out of immediate sight by putting it on top of the microwave, which is in a corner, or covering it up with a paper towel.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Build your exercise program gradually.  I started my exercise regimen back in April.  I couldn’t hold the plank position for more than a half a second.  No joke.  Now I can hold it for 10-15 seconds at a time.  Now that’s progress!

Working out with weights.

Avoid rebound weight gain – work out with weights.  I work out with weights twice a week with my personal trainer, James.  He told me from the very beginning that lean muscle burns more calories – even at rest, but lots of women still don’t like the idea of weights.  They mistakenly think weights = bulk.  Not so.

Feed your brain.  Read articles on health and fitness.  I personally like Weight Watchers Magazine.  No need to purchase a subscription – we have it at the library.  I’m also a big fan of Hungry Girl – she introduced me to the Greek yogurt and Laughing Cow light cheese.  We’ve got her cookbooks at the library too.  Everyone has heard of the South Beach Diet.  While I don’t exactly follow the diet, I do like some of the recipes.  I just checked out (Where?  At the library!) South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook: 200 Easy Solutions for Everyday Meals by Arthur Agatson (Rodale Books, 2010).  I had a bowl of the Thai Vegetable Stew when I got home from spin class tonight.  It’s super filling, full of fiber, and yummy too!

Thai Vegetable Stew

James is planning to change things up at the gym this week.  He was smiling when he said this after spin class, but he was in a hurry (didn’t want to miss Last Comic Standing) so I wasn’t able to gauge if his smile was genuine or sinister.  I’ll let you know next week.

Jill Prouty

Jill is a reader, writer, and professional librarian who enjoys spending her free time with her husband of twelve years and their two sons. She has an MSLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.