Sunday, May 18, 2008

Something Healthy This Way Comes

It's no big secret that I enjoy working out. A lot.

I have a shelf dedicated to all my Firm tapes in the movie closet, and a stack of (albeit wimpy--no more than 20 lbs) weights in the corner of the living room, ready to be used at a moment's notice. I also use my trusty Firm Box, which is a 14 inch step for extra leg/fanny work.

I also try to eat healthy, whenever I'm not totally PMS-ing (and scarfing down chocolate in various forms). After getting sick a few weeks back, my chai habit has also been significantly curbed. Instead of 4-6 cups per day (ahem), I only drink 1-2. Wow.

However, with all that said I must admit that the rest of my family hasn't exactly jumped on the "healthy" bandwagon. Granted, my son does eat and enjoy a significant amount of fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis, but my girls do not. Nor does my husband.

I can *make* my daughters eat healthy food. I can't force it on Dean. But to be fair, he does enjoy a variety of food--he's not picky by any means. It's just that instead of ordering a healthy meal for lunch or bringing one from home, he'll opt for a fat-and-grease-injection from the nearest fast food joint, or else eat a large unhealthy meal at a restaurant and wash it down w/ a beer.

Not good.

He also doesn't get enough exercise during the day, especially with a desk job. Yes, we bought a recumbent bike for him to use at night, but he's only used it a handful of times. (I use it more than he does.)

He also enjoys snacking at night before bed. Chips, peanuts, beef jerky, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, candy bars...and a beer. Or two.

Soooooooo.....when he asked me, rather casually I might add, before bed the other night whether or not "high blood pressure was bad" (?!), I freaked.

He said the nurse commented on his blood pressure (which, according to him was "140 over something or other"--nice that he remembers details for me), and scheduled a complete physical for next month.

The alarm bells in my head were ringing LOUDLY.

I decided enough was enough. No more beer(s) at night. Maybe 1-2 a WEEK, tops. They're too high in calories and sugar. I suggested a glass of wine with supper instead. That pleased him.

Then I suggested switching from 2% milk down to 1%. He was all for it.

And the clincher...Absolutely NO fast food, and no more sitting on our rear.

We/he was going to start moving his body more, eating better, and improving his health. No ifs, ands or buts about it!

Granted, he won't be joining a gym any time soon. If ever. Nor will he be quick to lift weights with me (pain from pinched nerves and herniated discs in the neck have a way of curbing that). But I refuse to let his health continue to deteriorate simply out of convenience.

So, I'm very pleased to report that this weekend was a really great start. With our abundance of sunshine, Dean's been taking the children on bike rides and mowing the lawn. Later, we stopped by our local farmer's market and loaded up on TONS of fresh fruit and veggies (to Ethan's delight and Sierra & Abby's dismay).

Next I'll be digging out his little lunch cooler that he used to take to work (months ago...) later this evening. Then I'll stuff it full with all sorts of healthy things to eat for lunch tomorrow. And every day thereafter!

Moving along...

I've been reading two books this weekend: "The Clean Eating Diet" by Tosca Reno (a columnist for my favorite magazine, Oxygen), and "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano.

Both books have their good and take-it-or-leave-it points. I personally don't care for wine as the French do, and don't believe walking is the only/best way to exercise (obviously). Nor do I care to cook a lot of meat as Tosca Reno advocates, and cannot do without chocolate once a month. But I do agree with several points both authors make like:

Drink more water.

Move your body.

Eat foods in moderation; even the ones you love, like pasta or chocolate. (Ok, Clean Eating Diet says "NO" to chocolate....)

Eliminate junk/unhealthy foods.

(No-brainer advice, I'd say.)

There's something about sunny, spring/summer weather that helps me get back on a healthy track. Perhaps it's the fact that googly-flappy arms just don't look right in a tank top. Ditto for wobbly, mushy thighs in shorts.

In any event, I pray that this decision to get--and stay--healthy sticks with my whole family this year.

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