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I am so excited each day to wake up and think about what I am going to do or eat!  Never before did I think that living healthy would be fun.  It is.

As stated in my first and second part to this post, I have lost over 24 pounds in less than six months.  And although I had previously tried many, many other diets, programs, work out systems (haven’t we all?), none stuck.

I had high blood pressure and was diagnosed with border line Celiac disease as well as lactose intolerant.  I.  Felt. Horrible.

I can honestly say I now feel better than I ever have.  I am in a size that I haven’t seen since high school (though that is not the important part) and I look forward to my life again.

Me and my youngest.

So what did I do?  What am I doing?

First know that just because this is working for me, does not mean I assume it will work for you.  But what will work for you? To choose to do something. Take what you want, trash what you don’t and feel free to share what is working for you.

My ten commandments of health and fitness

  1. Never drink calories (except wine, of course).  I only drink water.  All day long.  I do not drink milk, or tea, or Gatorade, or juices and never, ever drink soda.
  2. Count calories (I still do this everyday though not with the intent to cut back necessarily). Before you count calories you MUST make healthier choices though, so read on before you think this is the answer to losing weight.  Knowing how many calories you put in your body each time you eat is education.  Educate yourself.  But more importantly choosing what you put in  your body is critical.  To count calories I use a fantastic free program, my fitness pal (it is also a free app on your phone-which is how I use it).  This is also how we control our moderation (we can make healthy choices but all for naught if we eat two tons worth in a day).
  3. Eat veggies, veggies and fruit.  Yes everyone knows to eat vegetables and fruits. Do you do it?  I will tell you to eat more vegetables and some fruit (like melons and berries).  Fruits are high in calories and yes, they are natural sugars, but sugar is still sugar and should be in moderation (listen if it is a choice between a banana or a HO HO, pick the damn banana).  Vegetables on the other hand are SO good for you and very low in calories.  And yes…you can make them taste good.  Delicious. It’s all in the seasoning.  Meats are fine in small portions; red in low moderation.  I stick mostly to turkey and fish but heavy on the veggies.
  4. Use fresh.  Always, if at all possible, use fresh.  Fresh vegetables and fruit- not canned (frozen if you have to), fresh herbs (I have my own garden but you can have something simple and small in your house even, or grocery stores sell fresh herbs).  Do not buy the processed stuff.  Use organic when you can, especially with your veggies and meats.
  5. NO PRESERVATIVES.  This is easier for me due to my allergies, but everyone can do this.  If it has preservatives in it, skip it.  Do you know what preservatives are?  To preserve.  To last.  To not break down. How the heck is your body supposed to break it down then?  It can’t.  Not effectively anyhow.
  6. Remove the gluten and dairy.  I have to do this.  But research and other fitness experts will tell you they do it also, but for health and fitness reasons, not allergy reasons.  These are two things that are not only high in calories, but very hard for your body to process and break down into nutrients.  Don’t make your body work so hard to get what it needs to flourish.
  7. Important vitamins and stuff.  Yes stuff.  I have slowly added, moved, changed and finally settled on the things that work best for my body.  You will have to do the same.  These things help my body function its best, which affects my energy and my bodily functions (yes, I now poop much much more- which is a good thing albeit not fun to point out or discuss thank you very much).  My list:  *daily liquid vitamin (our body absorbs liquid way better than pills), *daily micro-lingual B12 and D (melts on your tongue for better absorption- I do this at lunchtime for an extra kick in my day), *hemp and chia seeds in my fresh fruit smoothie each morning and occasionally in my cooking so my family gets it too, a food based calcium vitamin, and lastly a daily pro-biotic.
  8. Lose the caffeine.  Can I tell you this was one of the hardest?  My morning cup of coffee was integral to my day (oh ok, my two or three cups a day on some days)!  My iced tea was integral to my day!  It took me months on my road to fitness and health to finally do this. I am so glad I did.  It was the turning point in not only losing weight (my weight starting falling off- literally), but in how I felt.  This isn’t a popular choice, and one I would have reversed if I hadn’t seen and felt dramatic results. I do drink decaffeinated detox tea each morning so I’m pretending I have my hot coffee.
  9. Do something active everyday, and purposefully active three days.  I don’t care if it is walking, running, biking, swimming, hiking, tennis, whatever.  Be active.  Do not sit in front of the computer or TV all day. Do something every day.  Do something purposeful a minimum of three days: Yoga (for me it is hot yoga and I LOVE it),  a fitness program, circuit training, personal coaching.  I do yoga four times a week and weights three days a week (in compliment to yoga) though I started at 5-6 days a week.  I still however rarely work out longer than an hour per day and most days 45 minutes….though the minimum should be 30 minutes.
  10. Get rid of artificial sweeteners.  Really get rid of all sweets.  I occasionally will have something sweet (like a once or twice a month birthday cake or special treat- though it is gluten and lactose free still).  But never, ever use the fake stuff.  Not in your drinks, your cooking, nothing.  This is coming from someone who lived on Splenda.  I did all my cooking with Splenda.  But after doing my own research I realized what I was putting in my body. Use the real stuff folks.  Just in moderation.  My favorite?  Agave Nectar.

So there you have it.  I am not an expert on fitness and health; I didn’t attend classes or am not certified. I am not selling you anything or getting you to join my cult.  I am sharing what worked for me via my own online research, conversation research and trial and testing on myself.

I invite you to do the same.

Share with me too.

Also..it is important to understand that there will be obstacles.  I had many.  I got sick with Pleurisy and also a herniated disc in my back (which I have had for years but man each time it is inflamed its like my life is taken from me), along with good days and bad days (which I still occasionally get bad days..or better.. just a bit off days). Please do not give up. Do. Not. Give. Up.

Now..I am off to have my glass of wine (or perhaps two), which yes is an important part of my health and fitness plan.  Hey, I have four kids and run small businesses, I am not a saint.  Gotta have my grapes (it’s still fruit you know).