I’ve mentioned that my (expanding) behind hasn’t seen the inside of a gym in quite a while.
And before I get all excusey and apologetic, I have to say: I’m not all that sorry. Petulant, I am.
The fact is: right now, in the summer, even with its four-billion-degree temperatures and often-blinding pollen counts that can turn even the non-allergic into drippy messes, I’m more active now than I’ve been in YEARS. Literally. This whole downshifting thing has left me with more and more days where I’m not just sitting here in front of a screen, while still keeping my productivity fairly high. (Not the insane levels of the coffee+all-nighters era, but honestly, I do understand “sustainability”.)
I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I feel better, even if I’m not getting anything that’s structured like Exercise with a capital E and a strict schedule and a bunch of machines that cost more than I make in a year. (And by better, I mean specifics. Things like not feeling like I want to die upon being dragged into consciousness every morning. Sleeping longer and deeper. Not being so achy for no apparent reason. Having the energy and motivation to actually go and do things. My hair looks better, and so does my skin. And I’ve had fewer migraines since March than in any other year I can remember. It’s actual, quantifiable stuff, folks.)
That said, I found an article today that got me thinking.
See, I’m pretty sure that my diet right now is about 90% bread. Ever since we gave up the gluelike store-bought wonder-bread kind of crap they sell in the grocery and started making our own — well, let’s just say that the baked goods have to go somewhere, and that somewhere has usually been my gullet.
I’ll be honest here, too: this week, being my birthday week of Doom, has been all about the cake. Because if you can’t have guilt-free cake on your birthday (even for breakfast), then really, I don’t want to live in that world.
So I’m probably still dealing with a bit of a sugar hangover, to be honest. Fair warning.
This article, by Civil Eats (which is an awesome blog and you should probably subscribe right nowish), relays some interesting findings from a small-scale experiment with diet. In it, a group of folks were given a “regular-ish” diet, another a low-fat diet (what we usually tell people to eat when they’re losing weight, etc.), and a third a low-carb diet.
Not all that surprisingly, the low-carb thing did really well. (We’ve all kind of known that for a while, I think, and I get all squicky when I hear people talking about low-fat foods, largely because when you say “low fat”, you may as well just say “this never saw anything but the outside of a lab in its whole pathetic existence”. It’s been pretty clear that all that low-fat crap is more of a marketing ploy that’s probably health-detrimental, while being touted as good for you. Ugh.)
Over online at TheNew York Times, Mark Bittman wrote about the JAMA study with a conclusive evaluation, “The message is pretty simple: unprocessed foods give you a better chance of idealizing your weight—and your health. Because all calories are not created equal.”
But it did make me stop for a second and consider that, even if I’m processing things myself, it’s still processing the food.
So it’s time for a little course correction.
Since I’m pretty sure that swilling five tons of bread every week is probably not helping things with the booty-size issue, and I’m way too lazy to do anything like counting calories (no matter how good/bad they are), coupled with the fact that there’s no way in Hades that I’m giving up pretzel rolls — this week, I’m going to be trying to figure out how to make eating more of the good stuff can happen with more ease. (It is, frankly, getting easier now that some of the garden stuff is coming into harvest. I just need to remember that eating the tomatoes is all fine and dandy, but maybe I should avoid throwing it onto a chunk of bread first.)
I’m resistent to the word Diet, which makes me twitch. I want to eat better, not like a bunny with anorexia. And according to the study, if I can lay off the sugar and the glue a little, eating better kind of gets easier.
I’m all about the easy.
Also, and update from our readers:
The amazing gaaythari responded to my concrete deodorant fears from last week, and tried to set my mind at ease.
I just wanted to say that don’t worry you will never look like a female body builder, even if you trained like one, to look like that takes an incredible amount of effort. It is very difficult for the vast majority of women to grow and then maintain bulky muscle (this does not mean you won’t get stronger, a bigger muscle is not necessarily a stronger muscle), but unless you spent years trying to look like that, and ALSO took some “special vitamins” it aint going to happen, so please don’t be afraid of building muscle and if you go back to the gym in the future lifting weights. Maintaining (or increasing) muscle tone is what prevents us from becoming fragile as we age.
You people rock the big monkey.