Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Little Insight...

Recently I have received a couple of emails and a few comments from new readers asking me about my food philosophy and healthy lifestyle. I thought I would dig out this information I put together about a year or so ago and re-post it for those of you that missed it the first time around. I have really put a lot of thought into this over the last couple of months since I’ve really gotten into the food porn and become aware of my desire for healthy balance. I am very excited with where my journey has led me so far, and look forward to venturing forward to see where it takes me!

I was never what anyone (other than me) really considered overweight. It was just one of those cases of getting older, getting a desk job, and getting complacent in the fact that I wasn't very active. My clothes got tight, I was always tired, and life outside my apartment was somewhat passing me by.Three summers ago I joined a recreational rowing team with some girlfriends and that was my first venture into what I can now call an active lifestyle. Prior to that I had attempted a few yoga classes and had a failed gym membership at the Y. I just hadn't ever had a ton of motivation and because I wasn't ever "sporty" (I'm still a clutz with very little coordination!) I thought physical activity would never work out for me. Boy was I wrong!

Once we started rowing I really felt the effects of the 20 or so extra pounds I'd starting toting around after 5+ years at a desk, so I decided that it was definitely the time to do something about it. Better than waiting to become really overweight and have more troubles, right?

So my Weight Watchers journey began. I chose WW because it seemed doable and wasn't completely restrictive. I started out at 173+ set my goal to 150 lbs. It should be noted that I am 5'11" so this is well within my healthy weight range. The initial 10 lbs just about fell off because my eating habits became so much better (hello portion control!), but then it took me almost a year to get the other 13 pounds off (I know now that my body was craving more activity). Once I hit 150, my body immediately went right back up to 153lbs and I've fluctuated around there ever since. I'm perfectly happy with that, but occasionally get back on the bandwagon for that elusive 150. I still follow WW to some degree...averaging food points in my head and planning my meals each day helps keep me on track. These days I am much more about choosing healthy options and real food (but it does help to know off-hand how many points that banana bread/chicken strip/bowl of clam chowder might be when I'm looking to indulge).

After rowing ended, my girlfriends and I took up non-contact kickboxing (Muay Thai). This was a hardcore class twice a week taught by a champion female martial artist that kicked our asses! We learned moves and skills we never could anywhere else. I realized that I am a lot better at these things than I ever thought and I really owe my new found love of fitness to that class and our instructor. I had to give it up when I moved across the country, but I missed the activity in my life (and the muscles in my arms!) so that is when I decided to join a gym and consult a personal trainer. From there I took what I learned and started pairing it with fitness information I found through my own research, and mainly from other bloggers. I have also found other local bloggers who are on the same path and together we have taken on hot yoga, hiking, frequent lunches, and fun times (and a sick love of all things lululemon).

Some days (weeks!) it's tough to feel that groove that gets me moving but by Embracing Balance I can remember to keep it real. It's a great journey. And who knew? If you'd asked me about working out or eating healthy even 5 years ago I wouldn't have known where to begin. Look at me now! Pin It


Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) said...

You are awesome :). I've always wanted to try kickboxing!

Lex said...

Awesome post, Jaime. I see a lot of similarities such as the getting older + desk job & the effects it has! I am kind of where you were at the starting point - I know getting involved in the booty challenge, and even my flirty fitness class (hehe) it's definitely going to help out but I still have a huge issue with
a) portion control
b) knowing the 'right' and 'wrong' foods to eat
c) planning meals
basically - all things food related!

All of you ladies yesterday had said you were in WW, which I'd never been and I think if I had been, I'd be more aware of the things I'm consuming. I do find it pretty hard to count points/cals, etc etc. As much as I love numbers, when it comes to food consumption it drives me a little basserk!

Bec said...

rowing =amaingness/love of my life:)

Sharper said...

Yay for WW! I also have lost 10lbs with WW, and have been hovering at 10 lb loss for a few weeks now. I still have another 10-15 pounds to loose! I'm trying to change up my workout routine and see where that goes.

I have chronic hypothyroidism which has caused so much ridiculous weight gain. It's so hard not to gain wait or loose weight. And no other diet has helped but WW! It's been my miracle. I never realized portion control and concentrating on filling foods till joining.

If you love non-contact combat - you would LOVE BodyCombat!!! Check it out:

Then find out if this class is being taught near you.

For me, there are 3 classes a week at my Gold's Gym and they also teach BodyStep, BodyJam, BodyPump, BodyFlow, RPM and others. But BodyCombat is my absolute fav!! It features a ton of kick boxing, karate and muy thai. It's so much fun and really INTENSE!

Anonymous said...

I loved hearing your background story Jaime! :)

Jen said...

I definitely need to regain that insight...I had it and then I pushed it to the back of my brain stating that I just wasn't MADE for an active lifestyle *cough-bullshit-cough*

Look where that journey has taken you my girl!!! I will speak for EVERYONE when I say that you look FANTASTIC and you have such a lovely long and lean body that you have OBVIOUSLY worked very hard for!!!

Trainer Shauna said...

You are a true inspiration!! Love those kickboxing classes, so much fun aren't they!?

Rachel said...

Looks like I picked a good day to come across your blog :) It's nice to hear your story. I love you header!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

What an awesome post! I've been doing WW for a couple of weeks now (before I was a calorie counter) and it's going OK. Lost 2 pounds initially and I'm hoping to lose 7 more!

I'm working on this whole embracing balance thing, reminding myself that the food WILL be there tomorrow and I DON'T need to overstuff myself! I'm getting better and better at it. Then again, some days (like yesterday) I go overboard and eat 6 oreos in one sitting! Oy! But it's an ONGOING battle and that's what so many "dieters" don't realize. It's not a diet, it's not temporary it's a LIFESTYLE!!

Thanks for a great post on the importance of balance!!

Fatinah said...

thanks so much for sharing that - and for answering my e-mail!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! What a great story and the perfect name for your blog! Have a great day :-)

Jaime (Embracing Balance) said...

Amber: It takes some time to get used to, but keep up the good work and it will start to stick!!

Lex: It helps to find a model to follow...whether it's WW or another plan to count calories or whatever you decide...just something to hold you accountable...then it will start to stick. In the mean time, break out the scale and measuring devices and start watching your portions. Portion distortion was one of my biggest obstacles (and still is when I'm having a crappy day).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for re-posting your journey, it's so inspiring! You're truly AWESOME!