Tuesday, July 28, 2015

These days.

So after my birthday in May, a couple of things happened.

My friend and personal trainer of years past, Diana Haggerty, invited me to take part in the beta testing of a new program she's developing for her business Femme Power Fitness. For me, this meant I could afford to jump back into training session twice a week. For Diana, this meant she got fresh flabby meat to test her programming on, and my *valuable* feedback. One round of testing turned into two, and we're still going strong. This was exactly what I needed, starting exactly when it did. I talked about being really busy most of last year, and one of the things that definitely got sidelined was activity and exercise of any kind. Working with a personal trainer is good for me because I have to be held accountable, or working out generally doesn't happen. So while Diana doesn't technically have me do anything I couldn't do at home, and I definitely want to work up to a point where I don't need a very well trained, paid workout buddy to get 'er done, this is right for me, right now. Also, Diana is just awesome, so I don't mind buying her friendship twice a week.

The second thing to happen, that went hand in hand with the training, was a nutritional adjustment. The first few weeks of the beta testing the hubs and I also used Diana's meal prep services. So we had prepared meals to pull from the freezer 4 nights a week. If I'm being truthful, Tim ate more of the meals than I did. I didn't really start taking nutrition seriously for about another month - but I'll get to that in a minute. 

Tim being on board with a nutrition fix was a game-changer. It's not that he was ever anti-eating well, we just both supported each other's bad choices. Once he was on the wagon with me, it felt like a team effort and we were making the hard (but right) choices together. His vice is beer and overeating, and mine is fried food and sweets... and pretty much everything else bad for you. The prepared meals really helped him with portion control (Diana assigned us each a certain amount per meal) and kept us eating at home, instead of ordering out so much. A couple of other things clicked at about the same time that really helped motivate us both - namely I had a lot more time to focus on this issue and get my stress levels back to semi-normal, I turned 30, and we both hit our max weight EVER. I realized that for the last 3 or so years, I'd been looking toward year 30 as this goal - where I would be in the best shape of my life. Then the old birthday rolls around and I'm actually in the worst shape of my life. Time for a change.

I think a lot of women my age can identify, but at this point I'm not really concerned with being a skinny-mini as much as I am with feeling strong and healthy. Even if I weighed my goal weight, that isn't going to look on me what it would on someone a foot taller with genetically gifted long and lean limbs. I don't have that build. That sounds obvious, but it's taken me a long time to realize that being fit for me isn't going to be poster-worthy, and it isn't all about pounds and ounces. My new goals were (yes) to lose some weight, but also to build muscle and have more energy. 

And then came the real "experiment." We decided to cut out gluten and wheat-based products from our diet. I did this once before and didn't feel like it made a huge difference for me, so after a month I gave it up. Bread has always been my first love, so giving that up is always a challenge. This time it was like magical things were happening for our intestines. After a mere two weeks we had a cheat day and both felt like warmed up dog shit, so the proof was in the pudding, so to speak. 

Oscar judging us on a cheat day at The Launderette.
 Gluten-free has become a cliche these days, and specifically in Austin it feels uber trendy to be gluten-intolerant. I roll my eyes when I hear people request it at restaurants because half the time I don't think they really know what it means, but I can't anymore - because I'm doing it, too. In our favor, this does makes it really easy to go out to eat around town while still maintaining our dietary restrictions. Most places here have a number of GF options, or are very accommodating if asked. All I can say is, I feel bad when I eat it, and I feel better when I don't. I'm not going to get more scientific than that, because I really don't care. The next step will be to eliminate all processed foods. But for now I still need my GMO-free, GF, organic blue corn chips and salsa to get through the day.

Ignore the bread. It came with the meal and wasn't eaten, by us anyway.

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