Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Healthy Eating

Day 2 - General Rules
Day 3 - Superfoods
Day 4 - Chocolate

Inspired by Linds at Rocking Chair Reflections (and wanting to keep up my efforts to post more regularly) I decided that this year I would take part in The Nester's 31 Days and post on a chosen theme for each of the 31 days of October.

I found it surprisingly easy to pick a theme. While we were on holiday last year I read a book I'd picked up as a free Kindle offer, The Forever Young Diet and Lifestyle by James and Joan O'Keefe - I'm sure someone had recommended it, but can't remember who. I came home determined to eat more healthily. I wouldn't say my diet before that was awful - I have never been a junk food addict or had any major food issues, but I did eat without thinking much about whether what I ate was good or bad, and there probably weren't many days when my fruit and veg count made it beyond three or four. Somehow this particular book managed to motivate me to really change the way I ate. It made me focus on eating good stuff, and by filling up on good stuff I naturally ate less of the bad stuff.

When I started to improve my eating habits I was overweight and knew that I could do with losing 30lbs or so. The last time I weighed myself before I began eating healthily I weighed 13 stones (182lb - I wonder why the British always think of weight in stones and Americans in pounds?), which was, I think, the heaviest I have ever been. Despite this I never saw changing the way I ate as a "diet" in the weight loss sense - losing weight wasn't why I did it, and it didn't really cross my mind that I would get thinner just by changing what I ate without counting points (I've done Weight Watchers in the past) or consciously cutting down on quantity.

Losing weight was so far from my mind that it came as a genuine surprise to find that by the New Year every pair of jeans I had was literally falling off me and I was a size smaller all round. By the spring virtually none of the clothes I had been wearing he previous year fitted, and by the summer I had gone down another size. After being a size 16 for more years than I can remember I am now a size 12 (I think UK sizing is two sizes up from them US, so in American terms that would now put me at a size 8). It has been a very expensive year for clothes as I have literally had to replace everything (even underwear!), often more than once. I don't know how much weight I have lost as I have never been particularly hung up about weight and don't even possess a set of scales, but I guess it must be around 20 to 25lbs.

Once I started thinking about it I realised I have more than enough to say to be able to post about healthy eating for 31 days. I'm planning to talk about the changes I have made, the foods that are my superfoods, how I approach meals and snacks, and various other aspects of eating well. I hope that sharing what healthy eating means for me, both practically and in changing the way I think about food, may help inspire any readers who come along for the ride to eat better themselves, even just by making a few small changes. I also want to record the changes I've made and what has worked well for my own benefit. So here begins 31 DAYS OF HEALTHY EATING.


Jennifer said...

Wow, congratulations!

Linds said...

I will be following every word. I need to shift heaven knows how many lbs and now would be a good time! Good for you! You are a star - for the healthy weight loss AND for taking part in the 31 day challenge!

Missus Wookie said...

Sadly the UK/US is one size - so 12 here is 10 in the US :sigh:

Looking forward to that and may look for the book, healthy choices are all I'm aiming at these days.