Not a bad sight to usher in a Friday morning on my bike commute to work. I hope your morning started off as beautifully as mine did. I just love being able to enjoy the view along my 30 minute trek to work. Austin is such a lovely city! Lately I’ve been doing some thinking about how I can make 2013 a healthier year for me. I have a birthday coming up and while I don’t “feel” old enough to enter my last year of my 20’s (however that is supposed to feel) I do feel an urgency to start preserving and even improving my good health. Two things I have struggled with in the past few years as I have become more active is nutrition and body image.
Now that I use my own muscle power to get around most of the time I burn about 600 extra calories a day. At least five days a week I work out for at least an additional hour on top of that. I weight lift, run, swim, spin, and do a long training bike ride. Needless to day, I am HUNGRY! I feel like I am constantly snacking to keep my blood sugar from crashing. Even though I usually make healthy choices, I still wonder if I am picking the best fuel for my body.
One new dietary change that I have tried since the first of the year is supplementing green smoothies for part of my breakfast, some snacks, and occasionally part of my dinner when I am on the go. I’ve been using kale, carrots, fruits, and protein powder. I’m surprised at how filling they are! They also make me feel very alert and refreshed instead of sluggish. I’ve even cut back on my coffee intake because I feel like chugging a smoothie on my way out the door makes me feel more awake. This is nothing short of a miracle as I rely heavily on my daily coffee fix just to feel like a functional human being. I am still considering seeing a dietician in the coming months especially if I am going to increase my training for a half-ironman.
Although I know I am the healthiest I have been in my life, I still struggle with issues of body image. For example, even though I am constantly exercising I am not necessarily smaller. As a good friend kindly put it, “Ummmm…. I think you could kill someone with those thighs.” It is so nice to have honest friends 🙂 It is very difficult, I think, for women to reconcile our strong, athletic bodies with the super lean (or scary skinny) images we are bombarded with in media and advertising. I’m not quite sure the best approach for improvement there. A lobotomy, perhaps? How does one actually make a step by step approach to “Feel awesome about yourself?” Of course, deep down I know I am awesome. I just don’t feel like it when my thighs won’t fit into my pants.
On an off topic but slightly related note, I’ve also been thinking about better nutrition for my dog. I have, unfortunately, become one of THOSE DOG LOVERS. You know, the kind whose whole life revolves around their pet. I didn’t want to turn into this, I swear. But, now that I am considering making homemade meals for my sweet Lola I know that I have arrived in that place and there is no going back. Lola, bless her heart, takes five pills a day for her seizures. She started taking pills about three and a half years ago when she began having cluster seizures that lasted for more than an hour. She was having them once a week. Now she is on two different medications and has seizures maybe every other month. She has her own prescription savings plan at Walgreens. Good grief.
Since she was a puppy I have fed her Purina. I know it is not anywhere near the best, but I just haven’t had the money to spend on high grade dog food. However, now that I am spending about $20 a month on pills for her I wonder if I could switch to an all natural dog food and wean her off the medication. If all that processed junk and additives have a negative effect on humans the same must be true for animals. I’ve thought about including some homemade foods in her diet, too, so I have more control over what goes into her body. Has anyone tried this or have suggestions for an all natural dog food? Also, any suggestions for athlete nutrition or pants with roomy thighs are also welcome! Have a happy weekend!