Hi, I’m the pretty girl in the photo above. But… don’t let the pretty face fool you (and it really is… was my face) I’m not skinny. I am by no means fat, but I’m not a twig. My mom is a big (shorter than me, really) fat Italian woman with an Immune System of Steel, and my dad is a tall skinny European Mutt who has been borderline diabetic for a good portion of my life and recently suffers from erratic blood pressure. Heart attacks and strokes run on both sides of my family, and although right now my form and health seem to be leaning towards my mom’s side, there is a very real possibility that I can develop diabetes or high blood pressure later in life.
I also happen to be dirt poor.
I have no excuse for being dirt poor, except that right now I’m working two jobs and have only been at my new place for about 3 1/2 weeks. One of my paychecks hasn’t caught up with me at my new place yet (though I expect it to arrive her, at my parents’ or back at my boss’s office any day now) and my other paychecks have been awkwardly timed. I’m also getting married in a little over five months. Stress has suddenly become a factor in my life.
FYI, I’m also turning 30 in November. It isn’t an important detail, but kind of a milestone, y’know?
But why do I tell you all of this crap that you really didn’t want to know??? Because I want you to know that you aren’t alone. I may not have kids (yet) and I don’t have a ton of pets or anything, but I am trying really hard to make it out on my own for good this time and to make healthy life-long decisions that will help me for the rest of my life.
I’ve gotten myself on a bit of a health plan, but it isn’t one of those pieces of complete shite where you have to buy into it. Over the next series of posts I’ll probably sound like a bit of a goody two-shoes as I tell you some of the things that I’ve learned. Some of it was from living with a savvy, first-generation, Italian Mom whose parents grew up during the Great Depression, and a little bit was from my first two successful attempts at being dirt poor (this time will fail at staying poor! I promise!!!)
There are, however, some things that my plan requires:
- Grocery Shopping – I know that going to Taco Bell is easier, and if you order off the dollar menu you can eat a meal for under $3.oo. However, fast food is rarely healthy. The joyous Chili Cheese Burrito is a small thing with beans, rice, and nacho cheese wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. Two of them together are 740 calories. If I fried up some home-marinated chicken thighs and veggies, add a spoonful of home-made guacamole, home-made salsa, sour cream, and dribble of sharp cheddar cheese all on a flour tortilla, and you have 3 huge burritos to spread out over lunch and dinner for 820 calories, with better nutrition to boot! And the whole thing costs you about $3.oo per meal. I’ll tell you how to grocery shop for maximum effect in my next post.
- Exercise – Its the sucky thing in life, but it has to be done. There is an article I ready recently from the MyFitnessPal Blog that said that physical weight isn’t an indicator of true health – my parents are evidence of that! But, that doesn’t mean that exercise isn’t good for you on levels besides weight. it helps your cardiovascular strength, the ability for your body to heal itself and even helps your level of pain tolerance and endurance. I had a teacher way back when I was an undergrad who would run 5 miles every day at 5 am, and she wasn’t skinny. Turns out, she just wasn’t skinny. She is healthy as a horse, though, and can outrun me in a minute! It’s important to schedule in time to exercise every week, and whether you schedule one 30-minute session every week or five 90 minute sessions, it has to be something that you can actually do. I’ll also be talking about exercise in a future blog, so stay tuned for more details 😉
- Have Help – I have a Fit Bit that I got from a friend (I love having rich friends!) and I have the My Fitness Pal app and the Map My Walk app so that I can record everything I eat and all the calories I burn through exercise and walking (though sometimes you have to get creative since HIIT isn’t an option under Cardiovascular exercise in My Fitness Pal). All of these apps are linked together through My Fitness Pal, so that nothing I do gets missed and I get a more accurate activity and consumption log. I also have an account with Fitness Blender – an awesome couple who used to be trainers at a gym and decided to make workout videos that people can watch for free. I’ll tell you more about them later (and, no, nobody pays me anything for my blog. I make no money off of this… sadly, this is why I’m still poor).
I hope that this blog helps you. I hope that this blog helps me! It’s going to be part diary,part advice column, but mostly it’s going to be another way for me to relieve some stress through writing (I did mention that I have two jobs, I just moved, and I have a wedding coming up, right?). But, mostly, I want to get healthy and stay healthy. If I can lose a few pounds while doing that, all the better. Moderation and Balance are my key words, and I hope to acquire a lifestyle that follows this mantra to the letter! Who’s with me?!