Saturday, January 5, 2008

Life Sentence

Alot of what I've been hearing about dieting lately is the new catch phrase "lifestyle". In fact I, myself, recently wrote a guest post (on Jens Gym) about how I realized that to stay at a healthy weight, consistently, you have to make good food choices part of your lifestyle. Good food choices are not only the type of foods that we choose, but the amount of those foods that we eat. So how do you change the type of foods that you eat and/or the amount of foods that you eat without feelings deprived. As someone commenting on my blog described it, feeling like they're in jail.

This was the start of my approach.

Realize the foods that are convenient, alot of times fast and cheap, are simply not good for you! Crappy, calorie dense, foods are not healthy. They're over-flavored (salted and sugared), they're loaded with fake fats and other ingredients to make them look better, "taste" better, and last on the store shelves longer.

I could go on, (and I will another time!) but accept the fact that we are not eating in a way our bodies were intended to eat, that's why we're fat. We have to eat cleaner, more natural, real "live" foods, that we can control the quality of. That means cooking and preparing more (in my case most to all) of the foods we consume. And that's not a bad thing! It's about changing our habits...making it part of our lifestyle.

The good news is that good, healthy foods can become easier to prepare as we get in the habit of doing it regularly....I promise! And good healthy foods can taste better, and you can eat more food for fewer calories. Easy, better tasting and more food!

If you can't or don't want to make an extreme change, like I did (I have to take everything to an extreme, it's my personality, lol), start with one meal, breakfast or lunch, (or both). I don't have to tell anyone how to do that...especially if breakfast is currently a latte and scone or breakfast burrito, and lunch is take out... Breakfast and lunch, I think, are the easiet meals to change. Oatmeal (obvious, how many times do you hear this suggestion?), yogurt, fruit, and try making you own about small portion of leftover dinner, or a sandwich, or even better, a salad (the best choice!)

Feeling healthy and lean does not feel restricting to me, it feels free. Free to move easily, free to breathe easliy, free to live my life happier. The way I eat, most of the time, not only makes me feel better and look better, but tastes better!

Staying within a healthy calorie range to keep my body at a healthy weight does not feel like jail to me. Surrounding my body with extra weight and fat that keeps me from....wearing clothes that I want to wear.....joining in physical activities that I might want to be included in, (or other simple things like climbing stairs or walking all day at a convention or fair without my feet killing me!)....... taking pictures with family and friends because I don't like the way I look....going to the beach...etc.... I can list many more simple everyday activities that become harder or impossible to do when we become overweight or are in bad health.....that feels like jail to me!

Which life sentence do you want for yourself ?

PS the last part of the comment that inspired this post was "how do I stick to my regime?"...My answer is, look at my all day lunch photos! They show the large amount of food that I get to eat, as well as, I hope, the quality of nutrition that I get by making my own meals.


leslie said...

Once again, perfect!
I sent you a couple of emails -- hope they find their way to you. Have a fabulous day!

Ariel said...

Hi Tracy!
Thanks so much for the thoughtful response to my query. I guess what it boils down to is what *kind* of jail we are choosing. Maybe it is just choosing a certain discipline that leads to freedom over habits that lead to a self-imposed prison.

I HAVE noticed that you eat well, healthfully, and without deprivation (i.e. starvation). I decided to do as you suggested and change two meals a day-breakfast and lunch. I also decided to spend some time cooking for myself each week. I am always taking care of others but find it hard to take care of myself. Food for thought.
Thanks again-you are the best!


Well said. I recently found your blog after doing some research on kettlebells. I did my first kb workout on Thursday and couldn't wait to do my second one today! Thank you for providing so much information on kbs on this website and the girya website. I have been wanting to incorporate strength training into my workouts but don't like traditional weight lifting. Working out with kbs will be a great addition to my regular running schedule.
Congratulations on losing the weight and keeping it off. You are an inspiration.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Yes, I got your e-mails I'll be sending back my reply!

Tracy Reifkind said...


When we aren't at our best, we forget what it feels like or, if we have never been at our best it's hard to imagine. And without motivation it's hard to practice the willpower and self discipline it takes to regain or achieve our physical best. But you can regain it and it is acheivable!

The instant gratification of fast, convenient, over-flavored, foods is a dangerous thing. Part of a healthy lifestyle is making better foods convenient, (you should see my freezer, especailly since discovering the pressure cooker!), maybe I'll address that one next!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you so much for your comments, and recognizing just how much information Mark and I make available.

I know you're going to love your KB's, I think it's a great addition if to your current that I can swing, a little bit, I'm anxious to start including video again!

Jennifer said...

As always, beautifully said. I would like to add one thought for ariel to ponder. Over the last 6 months, I have finally gotten control of my eating. Before then, I ate well in terms of variety and choice with regard to meals, but I was in no uncertain terms a sugar addict in the truest form of the word. With some effort on my part and the help of encouraging words from friends and a few challenges from my trainer, I finally have control of that addiction. And I've done a lot of thinking here lately about how liberated (that's the word that resounds in my head) I feel. I'm no longer controlled by the next time I think I'm going to get some candy or dessert or cookies or WHATEVER I could get my hands on that was primarily sugar. I wish I could adequately describe it. The lack of cravings, the consistent energy level, the unbelievably improved mood are all so freeing. I wish I could adequately share it, enable other people to experience it! The difference is just not expressable. Pushing and persevering through those first few weeks is worth every moment.

Russ Beye said...

Tracy, firstly, that was an excellent post that really made me think about how I view my training and eating habits. I think I am having trouble getting back into my groove because I see it as a prison, and not liberating. How wrong, and dangerous, that kind of thinking is! I originally started to lose weight last summer because I hated all the weight I gained over the previous year and I wanted to be healthy again... How is that like being in a prison? Thanks so much so those words you wrote, because I feel that I really needed something like that right now.

As always, thanks!

Keturah said...


If only I could eat as much as you do. Alas, I have a tiny tummy - probably a blessing because I have a slower metabolism (no matter how much I work out).

Thanks for the great post!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Wow! Good for you! I reflect on my "sugar" consumption...the need, the cravings, the feelings about the amount...from none, to some....etc.

We all have to find what works for us and feel good about it. We are all a work in progress....I think I'm ready to work on something other than this "sugar thing"!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm so glad for your comment! I wanted you to know how much I thought of you lately...since my surgery.

Can you send me an e-mail, so I can tell you more?

Tracy Reifkind said...


A small tummy! Lucky you!

My sister is always amazed at the amount of food that I can's craziness!

But it's craziness that will soon be part of my past...that I know. Life is too short and there's too much to do, in a postive way, to keep cramming food down my throat!